Recipe Study No. 2: For our second soup study, I wanted to share a family favorite that has been passed down from my grandmother to my mother. My sisters and I are all crazy about it, and I have already successfully begun my tactic of getting my two-year-old addicted to them. It has been a longtime Christmas tradition for us to gather around the table, just as we did as kids to fold wontons. We all had our own stack of wonton wraps, a little bowl of water and eagerly waited for our mother to place an oversized bowl of ground pork on the table. It was never a chore – we were silly, we laughed, we threw folded wontons at each other, and we even ate raw wonton wraps once or twice (not recommended, but at least we didn't eat the raw meat!). At the end of it, we marveled at our origami skills, our fingers covered in flour with our stomachs growling from the aroma of our mother's homemade chicken broth.
This recipe is extremely simple, and the folding technique is even easier. I can probably fold wontons in my sleep now, so please let me know if any of the step-by-step photos are unclear. I highly recommend using homemade chicken stock, though ready-to-serve boxed broth is fine, especially if you are pressed for time. I tend to make my stock ahead of time, as I have a stockpile of old chicken bones in my freezer, so I can make it anytime! I also prefer Braggs Liquid Aminos in place of standard soy sauce – I think the flavor is much better.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. They're quite addictive, and tasty and elegant for any occasion.
- 1 lb of lean ground pork
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons mirin (rice cooking wine)
- 3 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
- 1 cup of green onions, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- In a large bowl, add ground pork and sprinkle in tapioca starch. With your bare hands, combine the tapioca into the meat until it is thoroughly distributed. Add mirin and soy sauce, continuing to turn and mix the meat as thoroughly as possible with both hands.
- Set aside 1/4 cup of the green onion, and add the remainder to the meat filling, mixing it in.
- In a large pot on medium-high, begin heating all 4 cups of chicken broth.
- Set up your wonton folding station at the kitchen table (it's easier doing this while seated). You'll need your bowl of meat filling, a teaspoon for scooping, a small bowl of warm water and wonton wraps.
- Begin folding. See the image above for the technique, continuing to fold all of the wontons until you no longer have any leftover meat.
- When the stock begins boiling, you're ready to add wontons. Reduce heat to medium. One by one, place several wontons into the boiling broth until the pot is fairly full. They will initially sink to the bottom, but then float to the top once they are fully cooked. This takes about 4 minutes.
- With a mesh strainer or slotted spoon, scoop cooked wontons into a large serving bowl. Once the batch is complete, add another round of wontons. To keep your cooked wontons from sticking together, ladle a small amount of broth into the serving bowl.
- Once you have enough wontons, pour the remaining broth into the serving bowl. Serve immediately, garnishing with a sprinkle of the green onion that was saved.
- A squirt of Sriracha or any other hot sauce in your soup bowl also gives this dish a nice kick of flavor.
NOTE: If the recipe makes more wontons that you can eat in one sitting, they can be sealed in an airtight container and refrigerated or frozen. However, do arrange them in one row rather than pile them on top of each other. The wraps get a bit sticky when chilled, and you'll be ripping them apart if they've sat for a while. Try to cook the refrigerated wontons within a couple of days. Frozen wontons are good for about a month and don't need to thaw beforehand; just drop them in your boiling stock.