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Wonton Soup

from 1001 Foods to Die For
from Andrews McNeel/Madison Press

Wonton Soup

8 oz ground pork
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cornstarch
24 wonton skins
5 cups water
8 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup spinach or watercress, torn in pieces

Serves 6

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in
1001 Foods to Die For from Andrews McNeel/Madison Press


Hailing from southern China, wonton soup has been North America's favorite Chinese soup for decades. Wonton is derived from yun tun, Mandarin for "swallowing clouds." Peer into a fragrant bowl of clear chicken broth floating plump, billowing wontons, and it all makes perfect sense.

Chinese chicken soup is as simple as boiling a chicken in water with a few slices of ginger. The whole bird creates a rich, deeply-flavored soup, while the cooked meat can be used in everything from noodle dishes to fried rice.

The wonton filling is made from ground pork seasoned with scallions, rice wine, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Chopped shrimp and crunchy bits of water chestnut may be folded in. This mixture is wrapped in delicate skins of flour, egg, and water, and then boiled in water so they won't cloud the soup.

A sip of ginger-scented broth followed by a bite of a juicy wonton will transport you back to your first meal at a Chinese restaurant. Wontons may have lost some ground to hot-and-sour over the years, but a soup that tastes of childhood will never go out of style.

In a large bowl, mix the pork, scallion, ginger, and cornstarch. Cook until the pork loses its pink; drain off fat. When cool, place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each wonton skin. Moisten the edges with water. Fold each in half to form a triangle and press edges together. Then moisten the outside points of each triangle and pinch together. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the wontons. Return to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, or until the dumplings float to the top. Drain.

Heat the broth and add the soy sauce and spinach. Bring just to a boil and remove from the heat. Place 3 wontons in each soup bowl and ladle the hot broth on top. Serves 6

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