Updated: Jul 25
Wanton soup is a classic Chinese dish that is based on very few ingredients. The key to this dish is a soft and tasty dumpling with an aromatic umami infused chicken broth. As for the wrappers these do take some time, however if you want to just buy them then that will save time although the end result will not be quite the same. Let's cook!
To serve 4
400g plain flour
cornflour for dusting
4 chicken wings
3cm piece ginger
4 garlic cloves
2 spring onions
5 dry shiitake mushrooms
3 tbsp light soy
salt to taste
200g pork mince
10 tiger prawns
1 spring onion
2cm piece ginger
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy
1 whole egg
1 tbsp corn flour
black rice vinegar (optional)
chilli oil (optional)
Start this dish by making the wonton dough, in a large mixing bowl add 400g flour and 2g of salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add 210g of water, mix vigorously with chopsticks until combined. When more manageable kneed the dough with your hands until no more flour is visible. When a dough is formed clingfilm and allow to rest for 30 minutes to allow the gluten in the flour to activate.
2. After half an hour of resting the dough should be much softer to work with. Place the dough onto a work surface and kneed for approximately 5 minutes until the the dough becomes smooth. When the dough is smooth place into a bowl and cover with clingfilm and allow to rest for 1 1/2 hours.
3. Whilst we are waiting on the dough to rest we can make the broth. In a large dry pan add 4 chopped chicken wings and sear until charred. Now slice 3 cm of ginger and add to the chicken followed by 4 garlic cloves, 2 roughly chopped spring onions, 5 dry shitake mushrooms. Then dry fry until aromatic then add 1 ltr of water and 3 tbsps of light soy. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook slowly for at least 1 hour skimming occasionally.
4. Now prepare the filling for the dumplings. Start by finely chopping 10 tiger prawns then add to a large bowl. Now add 200g of pork mince, 2cm piece of grated ginger, 1 finely chopped spring onion, 2 tbsp light soy, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 1 whole egg, 1 tbsp cornflour and 50ml of water. Mix all the ingredients well and season with white pepper then place to one side for now. (The mix for the dumplings should be quite wet).
5. Back to the dough, after 1 1/2 the dough should be soft and easy to work with. Place onto a work top and divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Dust well with corn flour and roll out the dough into 4 flat rectangles roughly 30cm by 20cm. Repeat this process for all 4 pieces of dough and again dust with cornflour to prevent them from sticking. Place all 4 flat pieces of dough on top of each other as we can now roll the dough together.
6. To roll all the pieces of dough together, use the rolling pin to assist by rolling the dough onto the rolling pin and roll. Frequently dust each piece of dough with corn flour to prevent sticking and try to roll out any unwanted air bubbles. We are aiming to roll the dough as thin as possible roughly 2mm thick, when ready place all the sheets on top of each other and prepare to cut.
7. To cut the dough start by cutting in half then into half again to make 4 equal strips. Now cut the dough into equal sized square sheets roughly 5cm by 5cm. When all the wanton sheets are cut, separate each sheet, place onto a plate and set to one side.
8. To make the wantons take 1 wrapper and place roughly 1 tsp of the filling into the middle. With a brush lightly brush water around the border of the dough and fold the wrapper into a triangle. Make sure the edges are nicely sealed then take the two ends of the triangle, lightly brush with water and fold over to seal the wanton. When all the wantons are rolled place to one side. (There are many ways to fold wanton pastry, this is just one way although its entirely up to you how you fold them).
9. To cook the wantons place a large pan of water on a high heat and bring to a boil. Add the wantons in batches and cook for 4-5 minutes. You will know when the wantons are cooked as they will rise to the surface of the water when ready. As we are waiting on the wantons to cook now would be a good time to check the seasoning of the broth by adding additional salt if needed. When satisfied pass the stock through a fine sieve and prepare to serve.
10. To assemble the dish add a touch of black vinegar and a drizzle of chilli oil to the bottom of the serving bowls. Now add the cooked wantons to the bowl followed by the broth. Garnish with some finely sliced spring onions and nourish. Hope you all like my take on wanton soup.
If you want to make the filling for the wantons vegetarian then you could replace the prawns and mince pork with tofu, cabbage various or mushrooms. If its too much hassle to make the wanton wrappers then you could simply buy the wrappers from your local Chinese supermarket. Have fun making wantons!