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wonton soup with shiitake mushrooms

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:07pm

I used to make wonton soup with homemade wrappers, but I rarely wish to invest so much time these days. I never have good luck finding egg-free wonton wrappers in the supermarket or health food store, where the Nasoya brand dominates. Instead, I find egg-free frozen wrappers at the local Asian market, where they are also very cheap. I like to buy two or three packets and freeze the ones I don't use right away. They are excellent with a variety of stuffings, including fruit for dessert.

Preparing wontons, whether for soup, baking or frying, is very simple. The key is to avoid overstuffing the wrapper, which will cause the wonton to split open during cooking, especially in a soup. I never make so much wonton soup that we have leftovers. Wontons do not reheat well so you end up with a bowl of wonton stuffing with some shreds of wrapper - not very appetizing. With prepared wrappers this soup is simple and fast to make. You can change the filling depending on what you have available, but shiitakes are an excellent choice with their substantial texture.

4 c. vegetable broth
2 T. Bragg's or other soy sauce
1 t. rice vinegar
1 bunch of scallions, sliced
a few drops of toasted sesame oil for each bowl

approximately 25 wonton wrappers (half of a standard package)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, minced
1 carrots, minced
1/4 c. green cabbage, minced
1 c. shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 T. Bragg's or other soy sauce

1. Heat 1 tsp. of oil in a skillet and saute the garlic until soft, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the scallions, carrot and cabbage and saute until barely softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the shiitakes and the Bragg's and saute until the mushrooms are barely wilted, about 3 minutes.

4. Transfer the filling to a bowl. Arrange the wontons in a pile next to the bowl with a cup of water close by.

5. To prepare the wontons, place about 2 t. of filling in the middle of the wrapper.

Dip your fingers into the water from the cup and wet the edges of the wrapper. Connect the far edges of the wrapper and seal tightly to create a triangle.

With still wet fingers, gather the two bottom edges together and seal tightly.

Collect the wontons on a floured plate until they are ready to be cooked.

6. Combine the vegetable broth, Bragg's and vinegar in a large pot. Set this to boil when you are almost completed with the wontons.

7. When the wontons are finished and the broth is boiling, carefully place the wontons into the broth. Add the scallions to the broth.

8. Boil briskly for no more than 4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. Test the edge of one wonton to make sure they are done. If they aren't, boil for only one minute at a time until cooked through.

9. Serve each bowl with a few drops of toasted sesame oil.
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