Day Three: Wonton (Sort of) Soup

12 Oct

Wonton soup is one of my favorite Chinese dishes. It is comforting and full of flavor. Now that I can’t eat wontons, I never get it (well, that combined with the fact that there are no good Chinese restaurants in Tahoe). And in general, I’m horrible at cooking most Asian cuisine. But, since I’m experimenting here, I decided to go for it. I essentially made wontons without the wrappers, so they are gluten-free. They are basically little meatballs – sort of an Asian version of  Sopa de Albondigas. The end result was great, flavorful and light.

I opted to cook the meatballs separately for three main reasons: 1) there is the chance that they could fall apart in boiling water, and I didn’t want there to be chunks in the soup,  2) when you cook them, the cooking liquid becomes very murky which would not make for a pretty soup, and 3) some of the fat cooks out and therefore it won’t be in the soup itself. A note – you could make these as regular wontons. Just buy the wonton skins, fill with meat filling, and cook the same way as the meatballs. You could also add more vegetables, like bamboo shoots or mushrooms.

Wonton Soup

  • 1/2 lb pork shoulder
  • 1/4 c cabbage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (regular or wheat free)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp finely minced ginger
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 c rich chicken stock
  • 2 c water
  • 1 carrot, sliced diagonally
  • 1/4 of a green cabbage, sliced

Cut the pork into small pieces, and remove any excess fat. Place in a food processor or meat grinder. In a bowl, combine the pork, diced cabbage, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, egg yolk, garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 10 meatballs (if using wonton skins, you’ll end up with about double since you will use less filling in each).

Fill a pot with water and some ginger slices (if desired). Add meatballs, about 4 at a time, and cook for roughly 8 minutes. Remove and repeat with remaining meat.

Meanwhile, combine the chicken stock, water, rice vinegar and remaining soy sauce and sesame oil in a heavy pot; bring to a simmer. If desired, add additional chopped ginger. Add the carrots and sliced cabbage and cook until carrots are crisp-tender. When all meatballs have cooked, add to the pot with vegetables and broth. Simmer until meatballs are heated through. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

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