This time of year is the time for soup. And yes, even in sunny California it is getting a little chilly, putting me in the mood for soup, chili, and other comfort foods.
My mom used to make wontons with us kids, and we thought it was the most fun thing to scoop the meat onto the thin wonton skins and wrap them in all sorts of fantastic shapes, some of which held together during cooking, and some that didn’t. It always felt like a treat to get together and make wontons – little did I know my mom was rejoicing at getting three pairs of helping hands to get the job done! And when they were done, my mom would freeze them in bags, and Saturday afternoons we’d have ramen noodles and wontons, an easy and fast meal that we kids loved.
I made these for my in-laws the day before Thanksgiving, and I’m happy to say everyone slurped them up contentedly, including Chris’ grandparents, who reminisced about the time they went to China in the 1980s and stayed at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai and ate lots and lots of dumplings.
It’s a little crazy that Chris’ grandparents visited China 30 years ago. By all accounts, things were a little crazy there back then.
This makes quite a lot of wontons, which is great. Just freeze them and keep them for months, a perfect last minute addition to a bowl of noodles. If you do freeze them, do so right away before the filling gets the skins soggy. Not only is that kind of gross, but it will also cause your wontons to stick together in the freezer.
Pork and Shrimp Wonton Soup
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup minced canned bamboo shoots
3 scallions, minced
2 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 package wonton skins
Your choice of vegetables
Mix together all the filling ingredients. Place a small teaspoonful in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Dip your finger in water and wet the edges. Fold in half diagonally to make a triangle and press edges together, trying to remove all the air from the inside pocket. Wet the tip of the triangle’s arms, bring them together to the front and stick them together. Place on a plate. Make the rest of the wontons.
At this point you can freeze them or cook them right away. Heat some chicken broth in a saucepan (how much depends on how many dumplings you want to cook). Bring to a boil and add wontons. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until the dumplings float to the surface, and wonton skins are wrinkled, sticking to the meat inside the pockets. Add your choice of vegetable and blanch until tender. Serve.
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