(bloody hell that’s good) Wonton Soup

(bloody hell that’s good) Wonton Soup

I took a ten year hiatus from soup.

I was fed soup (mostly an oily broth with potatoes etc floating in it) for about three months straight but that’s not what started the hiatus. It was the day that I was morosely hungover and was taken to a local market for something to ‘cure it’. In front of me was placed a cloudy bowl of broth and as I raised the spoon out of the deep something else came out first.

A chicken foot.

Now I know that they give fantastic flavour to any dish, and I’m a great believer that if you’re going to cook with meat it’s best to respect that sacrifice and use as much of the animal as possible.

But on that day I was not fucking having it.

If this wonton soup spackled over the trauma of that memory for me, it’ll at least make you smile. It’s bloody good. And for the record this is NOT a “traditional” or “authentic” recipe and if authentic tradition is what you’re looking for, bitch you’re at the wrong blog.

What you need:

  • Wontons:
  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1tbsp ginger, grated (approx. 1″ piece)
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1tbsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp five spice
  • 1 tsp porcini powder (if you can’t find this, no big deal)
  • 1 stock cube (I use no sodium chicken ones; you do you, chief)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 pack of wonton wrappers
  • Cooking broth:
  • handful dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 stock cube
  • Flavour bomb:
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • .5 tsp sesame oil
  • .5 tsp shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1tsp rice vinegar
  • 1tsp spicy chili crisp (or if you’re an animal like moi, a lot more)
  • Veggies:
  • Bok Choy, thinly sliced
  • Spring onions, thinly sliced

What to do:

Before you do anything else, chuck the mushrooms and the stock cube in a saucepan and top with about 4 cups of water from the kettle. The longer you can leave the mushrooms to steep, the deeper flavour you’ll get out of them. Leave this to the side while you get the rest going.

Believe it or not, to make wonton soup you need wontons so here we go:

Combine all the wonton ingredients in a bowl (except the wrappers, you muppet) and mix th-ou-rough-ly. The more you mix, the better your mixture will bind and it’ll soon become sticky.

Next, get your wrappers out and begin filling, folding and sealing these bad boys. You’ll need only about two teaspoons of pork mix per wonton, and some water nearby that you’ll use as a glue of sorts (by dipping a finger in and just running it along the edges of the wrappers. There are about five thousand ways to wrap wontons so I suggest looking for different methods that you like best. I watched the video below and used the second method shown:

For the record, yes there are also a thousand videos on YouTube about this; 56 seconds was all the patience I had at the time but if you have more, go find another one. I aint yo’ mamma.

As you make them, place them on a tray lined with parchment and when the tray is full and you’ve used up all your mixture, shove it precariously in the freezer and hope to god you don’t hear everything crash down when you shut the door. You’ll be making far more wontons than you need, so freezing them all is the most efficient way to go as they cook up a treat straight from frozen.

While you’re waiting for them to freeze up, clean up the kitchen you animal. It’s a mess. How dare you.

Get your bowls that you’ll use to serve and pour in the flavour bomb ingredients, then add the veggies. When the wontons are cooked, we’re going to pour the cooking broth over this flavour bomby goodness and thus will start world peace with the fucking magic that we’ve made (and we’ll revel in the deep irony of the past sentence).

When the wontons are frozen, get your mushrooms out of the stock and discard (I personally find them too rubbery to use), then bring the stock to a boil. Once boiling, throw in your wontons and be sure to stir them occasionally to stop them from sticking as they cook. In about 5- 10 minutes (or when they start floating to the top), they’ll be done.

Dish up the wontons into your serving bowls and then ladle that brothy goodness over top.

I don’t think I’ve said ‘wonton’ enough here.

Slurp, wonton, munch, enjoy.

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Before you come for me, know that I am fully aware this probably doesn’t technically fall under the ‘chowder’ heading but ‘Corn Soup’ just sounds bloody awful, so here we are.

I initially started making this when I had become over-zealous in my farmers market shop and had far too much corn than I knew what to do with. Obviously it tastes better with fresh, local corn blessed from the BC sun and exorcised of all demons but we can’t all be Ina Garten so just grab a bag of the frozen stuff and let’s get cracking.

Added bonus? This isn’t terrible for you. There’s veggies, only a little amount of cream and hell you don’t even need to garnish with the bacon if you don’t want to (you’re fucking mad, but that’s your choice).

What you need:

3-4 ears of corn (or the majority of a standard frozen bag; save a little aside for topping; you can throw it in the pan with the bacon).

3 yellow potatoes; medium size; peeled and chopped

2 carrots; peeled and chopped

1 small onion (whatever colour, don’t be racist); finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic; finely chopped

1/2-1 whole chili; finely chopped (if you don’t have fresh, just use a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes for some heat)

1tsp of Sage; finely chopped

1tsp of dried Oregano

3 cups of vegetable stock (I use mushroom)

1/4 cup of cream

2 rashers of bacon; chopped and fried until crispy

What to do:

In a large pot, add a knob of butter and a tablespoon or so of olive oil on a medium heat. once melted add the onion, sage and chili. Season with salt and pepper (the salt will stop the onions from browning). Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for another few minutes until it’s smelling damn good.

Next, throw in the potatoes (seriously, try aiming for the pot from across the kitchen, it’s fun). Once you’ve realized what a shit shot you are, add the rest of them AND the carrots. Stir them amongst the onion mixture. You’ll notice that some sticky goodness will start collecting at the bottom of the pan and that my friend, is “fond”. Fond is our friend. You could say, we’re fond of it (thank you).

Now it’s time to add the corn; stir and cook again for a few more moments (if you’re using frozen corn, cook a little longer as adding these tiny little ice cubes will cool down the pan a bit).

Take your stock and pour into the pot, you want the level of stock to come up just level with the ingredients. Bring it to a simmer on medium-low, cover it and go keep yourself busy for about a half an hour (you want the potatoes to be fully cooked, preferably starting to mush up a bit as you stir the mix).

Once you’ve achieved mushiness, grab a stick blender and blend the soup OFF the damn heat. Be careful because, surprise surprise it’s fucking hot and if you’re not careful you’ll somehow end up with a bad burn on the top of your foot (?). My adventures in the kitchen know no bounds.

Once blended, add the cream, taste for seasoning and dish up. If you’re feeling a little Gordon Ramsayish today then take the bacon and leftover corn to garnish the soup with.

Garnish, serve, munch, enjoy.