Alisa Fleming ~ We all have a favorite comfort food (or two) and my husband’s is wonton soup. Originally from the cold and rainy Northwest, his cravings start kicking in like clock work, just as the post-Labor Day chill sets in. Yes, it does get cold in Vegas, wide temperature swings are a part of desert living. While we are fairly new to this vibrant town, we lived in the high desert of Lake Tahoe for many years, and have grown accustomed to quickly shifting from swim suits to hats and gloves, all within the same day…
So, I thought I would surprise my husband with my first attempt at Wonton Soup. I altered the recipe from Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. She calls for 1 packet of oriental sesame dressiing mix. While we eat a ton of Asian-inspired food, this isn’t a regularly stocked item in our house, so I simply omitted it with no sacrafice. Also, while I usually have oyster sauce on hand, I was out, so I used tamari (soy sauce) instead. Also, the original recipe was for steamed wontons. A quick boil in some basic broth is all that is needed for your basic wonton soup, no bamboo steamer required. Okay, one last thing, the recipe calls for pork, certainly the best meat for wontons, but they do not sell any antibiotic-free pork in my area, so I use ground turkey instead. It is a fair substitute.
Just in case you were wondering, it was good. Not as salty as the restaurant types, no msg of course, but a nice soothing meal nonetheless. If you like a saltier hit, add a bit of tamari/soy sauce to the broth.
1 pound ground pork or turkey
1 (5-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1/2 cup scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon jarred minced ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoon oyster sauce or soy sauce or tamari
1 (16-ounce) pack wonton wrappers
Savoy or Napa cabbage
In a large bowl mix pork/turkey, water chestnuts, scallions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, egg, and oyster sauce. Fill center of each wonton wrapper with 1 teaspoon of meat filling. Gather wrapper up and twist to secure sides. Brush the edges of the wontons with water to help seal. Arrange cabbage leaves on the bottom of a bamboo steamer. Place dumplings about 1-inch apart and steam until the filling is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
To Boil: Fill a pot with 1 quart of chicken broth and an additional cup of water. Add the wontons and boil until the wonton skins are tender (like pasta). If desired, add other seasoning, vegetables (that cabbage sliced up works well), etc for variations on the broth. We like it simple.