Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vegetable Wonton Soup with the Works

I've been trying to hold off on preparing this dinner until the winter months, but I couldn't wait any longer! This soup is similar to a traditional wonton soup, but it's got a few additions that make it into a very flavorful, very filling meal rather than a first course.
Back in June, JJ and I went to Siam House in Bloomington. Dinner was delicious, but what made it most memorable was the wonton soup. Usually wonton soup is a few floating wontons in a really salty broth with a few scallions and sliced button mushrooms floating in it. When the server brought out a large cauldron of soup and removed the lid, I was in a cilantro scented heaven! The pot was full of baby bok choy, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, and plump, translucent wontons. I later read that the wontons were a mixture of ground pork and shrimp, though I think the shrimp flavor was overshadowed because I couldn't tell it was in there.
JJ isn't a big cilantro fan, he can take a sprinkle here and there, but the big sprigs turned him off. I figured it would be a great recipe to recreate while he is not home at dinner this week! I made the wontons out of a tofu and vegetable mix, and they were just as good and flavorful as the pork variety. I also used egg roll wrappers and trimmed them down a bit because my wonton wrappers always unseal because they're too small (or I fill them too much).
This dish was easiest to prepare in a deep, wide skillet rather than a pot because I didn't want to disturb the wontons too much as I always fear they'll burst on me!

Vegetable Wonton Soup with the Works

12 egg roll wrappers
1 carrot, peeled
1 c. shredded cabbage
6 oz. shiitake mushrooms
4 scallions, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp. grated ginger
4 oz. firm tofu, crumbled
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
pinch of crushed red pepper
salt and pepper
2 tsp. cornstarch

8 c. vegetable stock
2 baby bok choy, trimmed and halved
4 oz. bean sprouts
10 sprigs of cilantro
2 scallions, sliced

Place carrot, cabbage, mushrooms, scallions, garlic and ginger in a food processor.
Pulse until ground into small bits, but not pureed.
Add to a skillet with 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium heat.
Saute' for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, remove from head and cool to room temperature.
Add tofu to a mixing bowl, crumble with fingers.
Add soy and oyster sauce, crushed red pepper flakes and cornstarch, mix well.
Add vegetables, mix again.
Lay wonton wrappers on a cutting board, fill with 2 tbsp. tofu mixture, wipe sides with water, seal and press, fold over and seal the points, see wonton photo below.
When finished, place wontons on a baking sheet and place in the freezer.
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
Add stock and bok choy, bring to a simmer, add bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions and wontons.
Simmer for 5-6 minutes, until wontons are translucent and float, be careful and don't move them too much, do not boil soup.
Serve as soon as possible, if wontons sit they may start to disintegrate into the soup!

my preferred way to wrap up a wonton or dumpling, they always seem to keep from falling apart this way!
the adoarble and delicious baby bok choy
my preferred cooking vessel for preparing the soup


Lauren said...

That looks delicious! I've never had vegetarian wonton soup before. I'm looking forward to trying it!

D said...

I could eat soup any time of the year. This looks wonderful!

Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) said...

looks amazing! I'm hungry just reading this!

Sandra Bragg said...

What does bok choy taste like?

Joanne said...

Wonton soup was my favorite Chinese food dish growing up. Way to step it up with all of the cilantro!

The Food Librarian said...

This looks so yummy. I love wonton soup and the addition of the bok choy gives it such a refreshing bite.

Anonymous said...

This recipe was absolutely awesome, it tasted so good.

I ended up using real wonton squares, rather than the bigger egg/springrolls cutouts that were suggested, and they didn't fall apart or anything, there were just more quantities of them, which I preferred over less but bigger wontons. I added my own amount of baby bok choi because mine were smaller than the ones in the picture.

I think I probably added a cup and a half of cabbage because I had a ton, too.

I was suprised at how many mushrooms amounted to what the recipe called for but it was perfect!

I love this recipe and everyone else who tried it did too.

Just one word of caution - one of my guests has "the soap gene" for cilantro so the soup tasted like SOAP to her! She couldn't eat it. I had no idea about that, so it would have helped if the recipe had mentioned that, but then again, most cooks might already know this.

Anyways, this recipe was awesome, it was my first time ever making wonton soup, let alone a japanese/chinese (?) dish.

Thanks so much.

Katherine said...

Hi, making vegetarian wonton this week and this was really helpful!

A suggestion to keep from bursting, use egg as a glue. Just beat an egg and spread a very small bit to the sides of the wonton to seal the sides completely. I've never ever had a wonton fall apart.

Also, my personal favorite thing to do is replace scallion with leek! It makes it soo flavorful!