Sunday, October 30, 2011
I’m so glad that the temperature is finally getting cooler. Not only winter clothes can “hide” my body fat a little better, but I can also enjoy my favorite bowl of hot noodle soup without shedding a sweat. My favorite bowl of noodle soup is the home made Won Ton Noodle Soup (鮮蝦雲吞湯麵). It’s easier to make than you think. Another good news is, you can make the Won Ton ahead of time in a large batch because they freeze really well. You can pull out a few won tons straight from the freezer and get cooking without (and shouldn’t) defrosting them ahead of time. Let’s get started shall we? There are just a few main ingredients in this Won Ton Noodle Soup.
First, you’ll need some shrimps, I like to use 31-40 count (which means there are 31 to 40 shrimps in a pound), the texture of this size of shrimp is more bouncy than smaller size ones. I usually cut them into smaller pieces so they are easier to wrap. Up next is some ground pork for flavor and as a binding agent. Also, there are some ready to eat bamboo shoots in chili oil that are already julienned. Up next,won ton wraps; I’ve tried a few different brands and they are pretty much the same in flavor and quality. Just make sure to get the thin one for Won Ton and not the thick kind for Chinese dumplings. I love to serve the won ton noodle soup with Bak Choy, you can use your preferred vegetables. Last but not least, the chopped green onions. They are not only for garnish on top, but also add a nice mild oniony flavor to the soup.
Of course, you’ll need noodles for this noodle soup. The egg noodles shown on the picture below is the authentic fresh egg noodles used in traditional Won Ton Noodle Soup. They are available in most Asian supermarket in the refrigerator session. Make sure you get this skinny kind, not the wide and flat ones that looks like linguini. Although the package shown four sessions of noodle, this whole package can easily serves six. Well, of course, that depends on your appetite as well.
Up next are the marinade ingredients, there are sesame seed oil, Shao Hsing cooking wine, fish sauce, soy sauce, ground white pepper, 1 egg, some corn starch, sugar and kosher salt. The marinating is simple, just mix everything together with the shrimps, ground pork and bamboo shoots and you’re ready to wrap them up.
Before you start, prepare a lightly floured sheet pan so the wrapped won tons has a place to land. Also, you’ll need a small bowl of tap water so you can seal the wrappers. Here goes the step by step instructions as shown in the picture below:
1) Pick up a piece of won won wrap, spoon a heaping teaspoonful of won ton filling onto the center of a piece of won ton wrap. Make sure you get a little bit of everything, a few pieces of shrimps, some ground pork and bamboo shoots are in the mix. Dip your finger into the prepared bowl of water and wet all the edges of the won ton wrap.
2) Fold a corner of the wrap to the opposite side to form a triangle.
3) Gently press the sides of the wrap to seal the edges.
4) Pick up the bottom two corners of the filled won ton
5) Wet the tips and press them together.
6) Place the wrapped won tons onto prepared sheet pan. Continue to fill won ton wraps until all fillings are used up.
Easy right? It’s really fun wrapping these little jewels up. Almost as much fun as eating them, almost. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to help out in the wrapping process. Although they already can’t wait to get their hands on them now.
I love spicy food so I usually serve the Won Ton Noodle Soup with some chili oil or chili sauce. The picture below shows one of my favorite chili oil to use. The English name on the bottle says “hot and spicy sauce”! hahaha…so helpful, huh? Anyway, you don’t really need the name as the logo is so distinctive! Don’t judge, this is a really flavorful chili oil with a nice crunch. The manufacturer must have toasted the chilies really well before they’re bottled.
Notice how clear the soup/stock is? That’s because I cook the won tons and noodles in a separate pot than the stock. The water used to cook the noodles and won tons would be too starchy and sticky to consume. So, I never cook the noodle in the stocks directly. That is an important step to a wonderful bowl of won ton noodle soup.
Since these noodles are fresh egg noodles, they cook up really fast compared to dried noodles. They are el dente in about 2 to 3 minutes cooking time. Just like pasta, do not over cook the noodle. However, the texture of these egg noodles are quite different than Italian pasta. They are a lot more “bouncy” than pasta, which is a lovely compliment with the won tons.
Yes, I love chili oil in every bite. Here’s how the won ton looks like when it’s cooked. The won ton wrap becomes slightly translucent, silky and smooth, so thin that it’s almost invisible.
And below shows the inside of the won ton….the shrimp is naturally sweet, bouncy and flavorful. There’s a slight crisp from the bamboo shoots. With a hint of sesame oil and chili oil, every bit is heavenly. It’s such a heart and stomach warming dish! With the weather getting colder each day, I know I’ll be enjoying this Won Ton Noodle Soup a lot more often as well. I hope you’ll try the recipe and let me know how it goes.
Won Ton Noodle Soup (鮮蝦雲吞湯麵) Printable Recipe
Makes 54 Won Ton
1 pound Shrimps (31-40 counts), shelled and deveined
1/4 pound ground pork
1 (14 oz) Won Ton Wraps
1/4 cup bamboo shoot, strips
Green Onions, chopped
A few cups of seafood or chicken stocks
A dash of sesame oil
A pinch of ground white pepper
A package of fresh egg noodles
1 teaspoon Shao Hsing Rice Cooking Wine
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoon soy sauce
A pinch of ground white pepper
A dash of sesame seed oil
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less adjust to taste)
To Make the Won Ton Fillings:
Cut shrimps into thirds or fourths depending on their size. In a large mixing bowl, add shrimps, ground pork, bamboo shoots and all marinade ingredients together. Stir until well combined and marinade is evenly distributed.
Slightly dust a large sheet pan with all purpose flour, set aside. Fill a small bowl with tap water, set aside. Spoon a heaping teaspoonful of won ton filling onto the center of a piece of won ton wrap. Dip finger into prepared water and wet all the edges of the won ton wrap. Fold a corner of the wrap to the opposite side to form a triangle. Gently press the sides of the wrap to seal the edges. Pick up the two corners of the filled won ton, wet the tips and press them together. Place onto prepared sheet pan. Continue to fill won ton wraps until all fillings are used up.
To Prepare the Won Ton Soup:
In a medium stock pot, bring water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package. Usually just 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over cook the noodles as they are fresh noodles, which cooks up much faster than dried noodles. Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to move the noodles around when they’re cooking. Remove noodles from heat and into serving bowls.
Wait until water return to a boil before dropping the won tons in. Add won tons and cook until the water re-boil again. When the won tons flow onto the top, they’re ready. (Keep in mind, if your won tons are frozen, it might take a few more minutes to cook up). Remove from water and divide them into serving bowls.
In a separate pot, heat your favorite seafood or chicken stock until boil. Add bak choy and cook for a few minutes, remove to serving bowls. Ladle stock into serving bowls, sprinkle with green onion, a splash of sesame oil, ground white pepper and serve. It’s wonderful with a few drops of chili oil/chili sauce as well.
Serving suggestion: Usually 12 is perfect for one serving without noodle. 6 if serving with noodle and vegetables.
Storage suggestion: The filled won tons freeze really well. Freeze wrapped won ton on a sheet tray until frozen (1 to 2 hours). Then, transfer to a zip log bag for long term storage.