chinese soup recipe

Wonton Soup

Wonton Soup

For me, Wonton soup always brings back memories of going out for Chinese food with my family, when I was a kid. The restaurant would serve it family style, and my mom or dad would ladle out everyone’s soup. It always looked and smelled wonderful. Tasted wonderful, too. Even more special, because we only had it when we out to dinner.

The one problem I find when trying to make this soup at home is finding wonton wrappers that are thick enough. The square ones I find at the neighborhood grocery store are OK, but thinner than the ones in Wonton  Soup at a restaurant. At a local Asian grocery I have found round wrappers that are labelled for dumplings and are thicker. That is what I used. They worked out better. You can play around with fillings. I often add shrimp as both a filling, and to the soup itself.

Wonton Soup

1½ lb. chicken
1 head bok choy, or 4-5 baby bok choy
3 T. hoisen sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
24 won ton wrappers
2 qts. chicken stock
1 t. ginger
1 t. hot pepper sauce
Chopped green onions
Sesame oil

Bake the chicken until cooked. I used boneless chicken thighs, but even leftover roasted chicken would work. You can also used pork. Once cooled, I minced enough of the chicken to give me 1 cup of meat. The rest I cut into thin strips. I then took stems from the bok choy and minced enough of them to make 1 cup. Combine the minced chicken with minced bok choy, the hoisen and the garlic. This is the filling for your wontons. Slice more of the bok choy- using mainly the leaves, into thin shreds. This will go into the soup later, along with the strips of chicken. You should have at least a couple of cups of the shredded bok choy, but more is OK, too. To make the wontons place one on your work surface and spoon a rounded teaspoon of the filling into the middle of it. Moisten edge with water, fold in half and press to seal. I used round wrappers, but square wrappers are fine, too. Repeat with remaining wontons and fillings until done. Bring stock to a boil and add the ginger and hot sauce. Add the wontons to the simmering stock. Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the strips of chicken and the shredded bok choy greens. Cook about 5-6 minutes longer. Finish soup with chopped green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serves 6-8

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

Many years ago, my dear friend, Martha, got me to try Hot and Sour Soup. I have been in love with it ever since. I stock up on the ingredients when I am shopping at my local Asian grocery store. Since many of the ingredients are canned or dried, it is easy to keep them on hand. The soup itself does not take that long to make. You do need to soak the black mushrooms for a little while, but once they are ready, the soup comes together pretty quickly. The black mushrooms are available already sliced in thin strips. That is what I use. You can also find them dried whole. In that case, you would soak the mushrooms first, then slice them.

Feel free to play around with the additions. Sometimes I’ll add some shredded nappa cabbage. I have also made a vegetarian version by using vegetable stock and omitting the sliced meat. It was still a very tasty bowl of soup.

You get plenty of heat from the white pepper, but you can add some hot sauce, if you like it hotter.

Hot and Sour Soup

5 c. chicken broth- or vegetable broth

2 c. pork, sliced in thin strips or you can use chicken or omit

1 T. soy sauce

¾ c. dried sliced Chinese black mushrooms, soaked 30 minutes in water and drained

1 can straw mushrooms, drained

1 c. sliced bamboo shoots – I use the braised ones in a can- nice flavor

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

10 oz. tofu, cubed

½ -1 t. white pepper

¼ c. cider vinegar

4 T. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 c. water*

2 beaten eggs

Sesame oil

1 green onion, sliced thin, or chives

Combine broth with pork, soy sauce, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts in pot and simmer 10 minutes. Add tofu, pepper, vinegar and cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. As soup thickens and clears pour egg in slowly. Remove from heat; stir in a little oil and onions and serve.

Serves 4.

Note: For extra heat you can add hot sauce to taste.

* I use a type of cornstarch called Clear Gel. It remains thick, even after reheating. You can find it in Amish stores and on line.

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