Won Ton Soup

Last week, Trader Joe’s had won ton soup at its sample counter. It was okay. The key features for me were the fresh pea sprouts and the cilantro. I was not overly taken with the won tons, themselves. Won ton soup with fresh won tons. That sounded pretty good, though. I have a recipe for won ton soup in my favorite Chinese cookbook, but the broth did not sound as appetizing as broth with pea sprouts, cilantro, and peppers. Also, I did not have the pork, the shrimp, the green onions, or the water chestnuts for the filling. I had bean sprouts I’d been growing on the counter, though. Those were crunchy. And I had mushrooms. And yellow onions. And quail stock that had been cooking in the crock pot for two days.

For Won tons:

Won ton wraps

For the filling:
Chopped mushrooms, to make 1 cup
Handful of bean sprouts, chopped, to make 1 cup
1/4 cup chopped onions

For the sauce:

1 teaspoon rice wine or mirin
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
several dashes salt
4 dashes white pepper

Mix all ingredients for won ton filling and wonton sauce. Place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For won tons that will go into soup, I just spoon a little filling into the middle of the won ton wrap and fold it in half. Wet one edge of the wrap and seal the won ton. Keep the wraps in a plastic bag as you work, so they don’t dry out. Put assembled won tons on a plate under a wet paper towel.

For soup base:

2 cups stock
1 cup water
3 cloves garlic
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
fresh pea sprouts
3-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 chopped Anaheim pepper
1 teaspoon rice wine, or mirin
soy sauce, to taste

Cook the ginger and garlic briefly in 1 teaspoon olive oil. When aromatic, add stock and water. Add rice wine. Bring to low boil. Add soy sauce to taste and turn down to a simmer. Add peppers. Just before serving, add pea sprouts and cilantro.

Meanwhile, boil won tons (only as many as easily fits into the pot!) in water. They are done very quickly. Transfer to plate and cover with a wet paper towel.

To serve, place won tons in a bowl and spoon soup over top.

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