Wonton Noodle Soup

by Charlotte on November 22, 2009

After a nice long summer, we are now mostly enjoying the indoors here in the Pacific Northwest. Between home projects and work in the corporate world, cooking (and eating!) provides a nice diversion. This is my attempt to re-unite Marcel with his love of Asian food which faded when we ate rice and noodles everyday for almost a month while traveling in Asia a few years ago. Mission accomplished.
Even though I am Asian I don’t really know much about cooking Asian food. Eating yes, cooking no. As a matter of fact I was already in my mid-20s when I first ventured into the kitchen. I relied on my mom to make everything and I don’t even remember how she made stuff. Fast forward to today. Thanks to the internet, my culinary world has expanded beyond my imagination. I am always pleasantly surprised to see what I am capable of. Living in the Pacific Northwest, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the bounty of the region. This one is definitely going on our recipe list.
I soon realized that good ingredients is everything. For this recipe, my local sources include pork from Carlton Farms, cornstarch from Bob’s Red Mill, and fresh wonton wrappers by Summit Chinese Food. As for the noodles, I got them from Uwajimaya but they were imported from China.
An army of wontons

An army of wontons waiting for battle

These noodles will make you feel like you are eating in a Hong Kong eatery.

These noodles will make you feel like you are in a Hong Kong eatery

filling wonton noodle soup with 9g of protein from the noodles and more from the pork

Surprisingly filling wonton noodle soup with 9g of protein from the noodles and more from the pork

Cooking Notes:

- Homemade chicken broth is ideal but the best store-bought brand you can find can be good enough. My favorite brand is Kitchen Basics. I added 1 cup water per quart of broth to tone down the salt.
- I used low-fat % ground pork but if you want something more moist, you can use the regular version.
- Sesame oil is the ingredient that makes it taste “Chinese”.
- Consider this a base recipe to build on. You can add other meats such as shrimp, fish balls, Chinese BBQ pork, etc. as you wish.
- I measured 1 tsp of meat mix per wonton. It makes about 40 pieces.
- Chili garlic oil really adds depth to the flavor of the soup. This is available in most Asian grocery stores.
- This might look intimidating but there are no special skills required. Just patience in having to assemble the wontons for about 1 hour. You can cut that in half if you get your family or friends to help you. Even better, make a big batch and freeze them for a quick meal next time.
Wonton Noodle Soup

Wontons:

1/2 pound ground pork
2 stalks scallions or green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 pound wonton wrappers, at room temperature, covered with a damp towel
1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/4 cup cool water (cornstarch slurry)

Soup:
2 quarts chicken broth (home-made or store-bought)
8 ounces dry thin egg noodles (Hong Kong-style recommended)
1/2 pound baby bok choy, leaves separated and washed
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix the pork, scallions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, and sesame oil in a large bowl. Put a level teaspoon of filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper, brush cornstarch slurry on all edges. Fold over to form a triangle, press to secure edges, encasing the filling. Brush cornstarch slurry on one tip of the triangle. Bring two corners together and press to secure. Make sure all edges are sealed. Place on a clean, dry plate in one layer and cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.

In a large stockpot, add the chicken broth. Once it reaches a rapid boil, slowly drop the wontons. The wontons are ready when they float to the top. If you want to be sure, take a piece, split in the middle to check for doneness. Scoop out all the wontons and place into serving bowls when done.

Cook the noodles in the broth according to the package instructions. Add the bok choy to the pot until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Ladle broth, noodles and bok choy to bowls. Drizzle just a few drops of sesame oil in each bowl.

Garnish with scallions sliced into thin ribbons.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

emily November 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Hah! I am half Asian and hardly know a thing about cooking like this either, except what I’ve picked up AFTER I moved out. My mom has tried to show me egg rolls and various dishes, but I just can’t seem to get motivated when I can just go out to get it. The funny thing is that my husband thinks I cook the best fried rice, when all I do is mix the typical ingredients and add soy sauce and toasted sesame oil to it. :-)

This all looks AWESOME by the way – great pics!

Charlotte November 24, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Thanks Emily. I like cooking now especially that it is so easy to find good recipes. Fried rice is one of my favorite “meals”. This is the recipe I use:
http://www.thaitable.com/Thai/recipes/Fried_Rice.htm

I have never tried adding sesame oil. I do add a little chili oil. Thanks for the tip!

Keep cooking…

Jaden November 25, 2009 at 2:34 am

LOVE IT! Thank you for trying the recipe. You’re a pro now! ;-)

Charlotte November 26, 2009 at 10:55 am

Thanks Jaden. On to my next mission now – get the Steamy Kitchen cookbook!

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