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Shitake Wontons with Green Jade Soup

Wontons are traditionally served poached in a clear broth soup, but they can also be deep fried until crisp and golden.

Shitake Wontons

Serves: 4 (makes 20 wontons)

Dietary: Vegan | Prep: 45 minutes | Cook: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 20 (8cm) square wonton wrappers
  • 2 tbsp water

Filling

  • 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

Method

  • 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

Serves: 4

Dietary: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. Bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a large pan.
  2. Season to taste with the Shaoxing rice wine and light soy sauce.
  3. 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.
  4. Season to taste.
  5. Add the watercress and serve as soon as it has wilted.

Chinese Vegetable Stock

Makes: approximately 2 litres

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. Add the dried mushrooms and gently simmer for a further 30 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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