• Soup for cold weather. (Angie Cui )Source: Angie Cui
If it wasn't due to COVID-19 outbreak, my mum, who lives in China, would be here already. Now she's missing out on a reunion with her grandchildren.
By
Angie Cui

31 Jul 2020 - 8:51 AM  UPDATED 31 Jul 2020 - 8:51 AM

We really miss my mum, who we can't see because of the pandemic. We also miss her favourite dish - wonton soup.

Hold on, do we know the differences between dumplings and wontons? Are wontons considered a type of dumplings?  Some people may argue that the dumplings can be empty inside or filled, when dumplings are filled inside with some specific filling, they are sometimes called wonton.

I am not so sure about that definition. However, I do know wontons are just as tasty as dumplings. They're only made in different shapes, in my view.

Wonton soup is tasty Chinese food. Whether you're having it in a restaurant or making it at home, it's delicious and can be nutritious including as a source of protein. It can also be a good source of vitamins A and C

Packed with goodness.

As the outbreak continues in Melbourne, I miss my favourite hometown dish — wontons. I wish mum were here to show me how to make wontons again.

I remember four years ago, when my son was born, I attempted to make wontons for the first time. Mum tried to show me how to make the dough and fill wontons into the sheets.

I am going to call my mum tonight and ask her to show me again, so that I can cook for my little family.

It was hard for me as I wasn't into cooking. Frankly, I would say I never cooked until I became a mum. I love to see the happy faces when I cook for my kids. 

Warm soup for cold days and hard times — who doesn't want this type of soup? I'm going to call my mum tonight so we can make this recipe together.

You can make it, complete with her secret ingredients, too.


Wonton soup by Angie's mum

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the wontons (filling)

  • 200-300 g pork mince or chicken mince or chopped vegetables (for vegetarians)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chives, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you prefer)
  • 1-2 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • package square wonton wrappers, or handmade wonton wrappers (see the instruction below)

For the soup

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 pieces of peeled ginger
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • garlic cloves, smashed
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • Some shallots and coriander for garnish

1. Mix pork, soy sauce, chives, vinegar, cooking wine, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and sesame oil in a large bowl until fully incorporated.
2. Use your finger, wet the edges of the wonton wrapper with water. Place half a tablespoon of wonton filling in the centre of the wonton wrapper. Fold the wonton in half diagonally to create a triangle, and seal the edges. Fold the two identical corners in on each other and press again to seal. Repeat until all wonton wrappers are filled.
3. Bring all soup ingredients to a boil. Simmer on low for 10 minutes, then remove ginger and garlic cloves and bring it back to a boil. Lower in wontons and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve into bowls and garnish with shallots and coriander.

For the handmade wonton wrapper

Ingredients

  • 2 cup plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water

1. Place flour into a large bowl.
2. Mix egg, salt, and water in a separate bowl.
3. Mix everything with a spoon or your hands, until the mixture begins to come together, just like how you make other dough.
4. Turn the dough onto the counter and knead for 3-5 minutes. The dough should be firm but silky smooth.
5. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 1 hour.
6. Divide the dough in half. Cover one half of the dough with your towel. Lightly dust your counter-top with corn starch (not flour), and roll half of the dough as thin as you can.
7. Cut the sheet into your desired shapes. 3 inch squares or circles are great for wontons or dumplings.
8. Repeat the same procedure with the leftover dough.

NoteUse the wonton wrappers immediately or freeze them. Stack the wrappers with a very generous dusting of cornstarch between each wrapper so that the wrapper won't stick.

Love the story? Follow the author here: Twitter @angiecuiwrites.

WONTON SOUP
Wonton soup

For a quick dinner hack, you can buy pre-made wontons in the freezer section of your local Asian grocer. 

Prawn wontons

Wontons are a style of Chinese dumpling. It can be tricky to fold and pinch the dough just right, but it gets easier with practice. This recipe fills ready-made wonton wrappers with a fresh prawn mixture.

Shanghai-style wonton soup

In Shanghai, wontons form part of what might be the city’s favourite breakfast. A light broth (sometimes just the starchy water the wontons have been cooked in) is flavoured with a little sesame oil, spring onion and pepper, and acts as a soup to hold delicious wontons filled with pork and green vegetables. Destination Flavour China 

Chicken and chilli wontons

Crispy fried wontons are just so satisfying. These are stuffed with chicken mixed with chilli and ginger, served with a spicy dipping sauce.

Dry wonton noodles with char sui and choy sum (wantan mee)

"Right next to the Seapark Market in Petaling Jaya, you’ll find a guy at a stall making wantan mee. But his aren’t just any old wantan mee because he makes his noodles ‘fly’. Literally. After blanching the noodles for your order, he flings them really high into the air (we’re talking two stories high into the air!), deftly catches them then keeps on cooking the dish. It’s so much fun to watch and whether it’s just a gimmick, I’m not sure. Some people honestly reckon throwing the noodles like this makes them taste better, imparting a springier texture. I’m thinking it’s a very clever way to get rid of all the water – you don’t want wet noodles for this dish." Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's Street Food Asia

Suzhou small wonton soup

When my husband and I visited Suzhou in China, we made sure to grab two bowls of steaming hot, fragrant, mini wontons. These wontons are stuffed with a tiny bit of pork filling with a paper-thin skin, and immersed in a rich broth. Slurping them up is like slurping noodles – smooth, fast, and incredibly satisfying. My husband recalled seeing his grandmother in Suzhou make these at home. She’d take a piece of wonton skin, dip her pinkie finger into the meat filling to scoop up a tiny bit of meat, smear it across the skin, and then quickly stuff it into a little baggy pouch – not folded neatly, just smashed together to seal, and that’s pretty much how these wontons are made!

Filipino wonton soup

Originating from the town of Molo – hence its name pancit Molo – this is the Filipino answer to wonton soup. This is a serious soup designed for meat lovers as it contains prawn, pork, chicken, ham and eggs.