Wontons are traditionally served poached in a clear broth soup, but they can also be deep fried until crisp and golden.
Serves: 4 (makes 20 wontons)
Dietary: Vegan | Prep: 45 minutes | Cook: 5 minutes
- 20 (8cm) square wonton wrappers
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 200g fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese rice wine
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp Chinese cabbage finely chopped
- Lightly fry the mushrooms with the spring onion, spice, ginger and garlic. Add rice wine and shoyu and cook until all the liquid is gone. Mix in the shredded cabbage.
- Line up 20 wonton wrappers. Working quickly, place a teaspoon of filling on each wrapper.
- Working on one wrapper at a time, turn the square diagonally so that there is a corner pointing downwards facing you. With a finger, use the water to dampen around the edge, fold the bottom corner up over to meet the top corner and seal to make a triangle.
- Take both the side corners and bring forwards to meet each other just beneath the filling of the dumpling so that they mirror the top of the triangle, almost creating a diamond shape. Dab one corner with water and press the other on top to firmly seal. They should look like folded arms and be able to sit on their bases.
- Alternatively, gather the edges together to make a balled wonton with a pinched bunch at the top.
- To cook, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
- To poach the wontons, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and drop the wontons in one by one. As they cook, they will rise up and float which takes a couple of minutes. Test one to ensure the wrapper is cooked enough, then scoop out and into serving bowls or a plate.
- Ladle over hot soup broth, or serve plain with a dipping sauce.
Green Jade Soup with Lotus Root
- 1 litre Chinese vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 100g fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 head of pak choi, sliced
- 8 thin slices lotus root
- small bunch watercress, chopped
- Bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a large pan.
- Season to taste with the Shaoxing rice wine and light soy sauce.
- Add the spinach, pak choi and lotus root slices, and simmer for a few minutes until the spinach has softened but is still bright green.
- Season to taste.
- Add the watercress and serve as soon as it has wilted.
Chinese Vegetable Stock
Makes: approximately 2 litres
- 2.5 litres cold water
- 2 onions, peeled and cut in quarters
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 5 cm piece ginger, unpeeled and sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 5 dried Chinese or Shitake mushrooms
- Put all the ingredients except the dried mushrooms into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add the dried mushrooms and gently simmer for a further 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain and pick out the mushrooms (to slice and use in cooking), but discard the remaining vegetables.
- Keep the stock in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze in a plastic container.
Mouthwatering photos by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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