If one dish summed up our family’s food history, this would be the dish. As a teen, Dad worked in a wonton bar in Sha-Tau-Kok, in the New Territories of Hong Kong, which borders China. This is where Dad first learnt his trade and skill, a skill that would be later passed to me. Won- ton translated literally means ‘swallow cloud’ because after the wontons have been cooked, the dumplings float in the soup, resembling small clouds.
- Preparation times: 15 minutes
- Cooking times: 10 minutes
- Serves: 4
For the wontons
- 100 g (3½oz) minced pork
- 100 g (3½oz) raw king prawns (tiger shrimp), peeled, DE-veined and finely chopped
- 1 cm (½in) piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp light soy sauce
- 1½ tsp rice vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1–2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch), only if mixture is too wet
- 1 egg
- 24 wonton wrappers
For the soup
- 3 cm (1¼in) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 800 ml (3⅓ cups) chicken stock
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 spring onion (scallion), finely sliced
- 1 tsp sesame oil
First make the wontons. In a large mixing bowl, combine the minced pork, chopped prawns, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper and sesame oil and thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together. The filling should be slightly sticky but if it seems too wet, mix in 1–2 teaspoons of cornflour to thicken it.
Crack the egg into a bowl and beat with a fork.
Place a wonton wrapper on a chopping board and position it so that it faces you like a diamond. With your fingertips or a spoon, spread a thin layer of the egg wash along the top two edges of the wrapper. Place a quarter of a teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper, fold the bottom tip to the top tip to form a triangle and pinch along the edge of the filling to seal the wonton, squeezing out the air. Wet the tip of one of the long ends of the triangle tips and fold into the center, then fold the other tip into the center and join the two together. Repeat until you’ve filled all the wrappers and used up the filling.
Now make the soup. Put all the soup ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Fill another large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Carefully drop the wontons into the boiling water and cook for 3–4 minutes. Once the wontons float to the surface they should be cooked thoroughly but please check before eating. There should be no pink meat.
Divide the wontons between four soup bowls and sprinkle with chopped spring onions and a drizzle of sesame oil. Pour over the soup and serve.
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