The Soul-Soothing Elixir: Chicken Wonton Soup
Is there a comfort more profound than delving into a bowl of chicken wonton soup? This particular brew isn’t mere sustenance; it’s an heirloom from my grandmother, showcasing how food transcends mere taste. Every mouthful resonates with comfort, love, and longing, making this soup an emblem of warmth in our lineage.
As a child, the scent of this soup wafting from the kitchen was the sign of an impending treat. Whether I was nursing a cold or simply looking for a pick-me-up after a tiring day at school, this soup was always my solace. The practice of making wontons, taught to me while I still needed a stool to reach the counter, remains one of my most cherished experiences. Now, as an adult, it’s my turn to share the magic of this soul-soothing soup with others, passing along the traditions and tastes of my family’s culinary history.
For the Wonton Filling:
- 12 ounces napa cabbage
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 shiitake mushrooms (either fresh or dried; if using dried, account for weight difference)
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 pound chicken (choose boneless skinless breast, thighs, or even pre-ground chicken)
- 2 teaspoons ginger, finely minced
- 1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons shaoxing wine or dry sherry cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 5 teaspoons chicken powder or bouillon paste as an alternative
- 2 tablespoons water (from either mushroom soaking or cabbage salting)
- 2 packages of wonton wrappers (totaling approximately 75-80 wrappers)
Steps to Culinary Bliss:
- Clean the napa cabbage and allow it to dry. Chop as described in the original, add salt, and let it sit. Ensure you keep the water post-squeeze.
- If using dried mushrooms, soak them. Once prepped, dice them.
- Over medium-high heat, caramelize the mushrooms in oil. Set them aside to cool.
- If not using ground chicken, prepare the chicken by chopping it manually to ensure the best texture.
- Create the filling by mixing all the ingredients, ensuring the mixture achieves a sticky, cohesive consistency.
- Get your wonton wrappers ready. After dabbing with water and adding the filling, fold, seal, and shape the wontons.
- Boil a pair for tasting. Adjust seasoning based on this taste test.
- Boil the remaining wontons as described in the original, ensuring they don’t stick and are cooked to perfection.
Golden Tips & Suggestions:
This recipe yields around 6-7 dozen delightful wontons.
Serve the wontons in a rich broth for a complete experience. If you’re pressed for time, you can use the wonton cooking water, flavored with light soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, chicken powder or bouillon paste, and topped with fresh scallions. This ensures you get a flavorful soup without compromising on time. Remember, every sip should transport you back to cherished memories, so make each bowl with love.