Friday, September 17, 2010

Wonton Soup & Scallion Pancakes

I hardly ever make any kind of Asian food. The recipes often call for a lot of ingredients I don't have on hand, I don't have a wok, and I'm not too familiar with some of the techniques. But for some reason wonton soup sounded so good the other night and I found a recipe I thought I could handle. And then I started thinking about scallion pancakes. I don't think I'd had them in well over a why not give it a try? Soup first, here we go.

This recipe is from Emeril, with a couple of minor adaptations:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, plus 3 tablespoons finely chopped
10 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound ground pork
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
About 30-40 wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced baby bok choy
1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps

In a large saucepan or soup pot heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the 1/4 cup of sliced scallions and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low so that the broth just simmers. Allow broth to simmer for at least 20 to 30 minutes while the wontons are being assembled.

In a small mixing bowl combine the remaining teaspoon of minced garlic, remaining tablespoon of chopped ginger, 3 tablespoons of finely chopped scallions, the pork, egg yolk, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and crushed red pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Working on a flat work surface, lay out a few of the wontons. (Keep remaining wonton wrappers covered with plastic wrap.) Fill a small bowl partially with cool water and set aside. Using a teaspoon measure, place a heaping teaspoonful of the meat filling in the center of each wonton. Using your fingers, lightly wet the edges of the wonton. Bring 2 opposite corners of the wonton together to form a triangle and enclose the filling, pressing edges firmly around the mound of filling to eliminate any air pockets and seal. Moisten opposite corners of the long side. Curl moistened corners toward each other, overlapping one on top of the other, and press the edges together to seal. You should now have a rounded stuffed wonton with a triangle poking up at the top. Assemble the remaining wontons in the same manner. When the wontons are all assembled, set aside.

Add the sliced baby bok choy, and mushrooms to the broth and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Using your hands or a slotted spoon, gently add the prepared wontons to the simmering broth. Increase the heat slightly so that the broth returns to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally (very gently), until the wontons float and the pork filling is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

The scallion pancakes were...good, but kind of a hassle. They really weren't that hard to make, it's just that the dough was kind of sticky and annoying, and the whole thing was too much work and mess for what I was hoping would be a quick, easy appetizer course. I don't think I'll be making them again any time soon, but I'll show you a picture of my finished product and point you toward this recipe if you want to try it. She did a much better job of documenting each step of the process with photos.

They were pretty tasty dipped in soy sauce. As for the soup, the wontons were great. The broth needed some salt added, since it calls for low-sodium chicken broth and the only salt in the recipe is the soy sauce mixed into the pork in the wontons. But I was surprised how easy the whole thing was, even making the wontons. The only advice I would give is to make sure the wontons are sealed because when you fold the bottom two corners in sometimes the edges pop open. And also - his recipe called for 1/2 cup of sliced bamboo shoots, but I skipped those and added another 1/2 cup of mushrooms. Yum!

1 comment:

  1. Those wontons are gorgeous! Nice work - and the soup sounds delicious. The pancakes look yummy too, even if they were a little sticky! I'll definitely have to try this recipe, thanks for sharing!