Homemade Wonton Noodle Soup

A hot bowl of wonton noodle soup is perfect for any time of day.  I grew up eating Hong Kong-style wontons and never truly appreciated them until I made them from scratch at home.  It’s a rather labor intensive, but rewarding experience.  The recipe handed down to me uses shrimp.  The ones I used to make at the family restaurant was made with a blend of shrimp and fatty pork.  Making the wonton noodle stop consists of four parts: making the broth, making the wontons, cooking the noodles, and finally, putting it altogether.

THE BROTH

Ingredients

  • 1 oz of dried shrimp skin (this is different from regular dried shrimp).  It is called ‘ha pei’ in Cantonese, ‘xia pee’ in Mandarin.  See packaging below.
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  • 8 cups of water
  • 1.5 tablespoons of chicken bouillon powder (I use Lee Kum Kee brand)
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce for color.
  • 4 green onions, chopped into small slices.

Making the Broth

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Fill a medium-sized pot with 8 cups of water.  Add the dried shrimp, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for half an hour.  Add the chicken bouillon and soy sauce.  Some recipes call for a bit of sugar, but it is optional.  If the broth is not savory enough, season to your preferred taste.
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Let the broth cool down and strain into another container.  Cover and set aside.

THE WONTONS

Ingredients

  • Wonton wrappers.  If the wrappers are frozen, thaw at room temperature, do not defrost them in the microwave.  Keep them in the package until ready for use.

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  • 1.5 pounds of peeled and deveined shrimp (makes around 75 – 85 wontons).  Peeling and deveining shrimp is a labor intensive process.  Have someone help, if possible.

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  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder

Making the Wontons

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First, chop the shrimp into a paste-like consistency. Do not finely mince the shrimp.  It should have a paste-like consistency made of small chunks.
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It should look like this.
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Add the salt, chicken bouillon powder, and sesame oil.  Mix well.
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Slap the shrimp onto a hard surface for five minutes. This will give it a bit of elasticity when cooked.
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Scoop a small wad of the shrimp and cook it to test for texture and flavor. The shrimp should give a bit when lightly squeezed and bounce back. If the flavor is not enough add a little bit more seasoning.
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Spread the shrimp onto a flat plate and start wrapping the wontons.  A table knife is useful for placing the shrimp onto the wonton wrapper.
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Do not use too much or too little shrimp.  See below on how to wrap.
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It takes a bit of practice.
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Set aside and cover with plastic wrap until ready to cook.

THE NOODLES

Ingredients

  • Wonton Noodles: If the noodles are frozen, thaw at room temperature, do not defrost in the microwave.

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Cooking the Noodles

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Bring a large fresh pot of water to a boil, throw in the noodles.  Cook for about one and a half minutes.
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Drain the noodles and rinse with cool water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER

First, reheat the broth in a separate pot (not pictured).

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Next, cook the wontons in boiling hot water (Do not use the soup). When they float to the surface they are done.  Dump out the water.
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Remove the wontons into a separate bowl.
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First add the noodles.
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Then add the wontons.
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Pour the hot broth over the wontons and noodles. Garnish with chopped green onions. Adding a little bit of ground white pepper into the broth enhances it.

 

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A bowl of wonton noodle soup from one of my Hong Kong trips.

 

 

 

 

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