Short Soup

Sally usually shies away from Asian cuisine, but her take on this classic Chinese dish is second to none.

Yesterday we needed to go into Hobart to stock up on ingredients.  We decided for a rare treat to go to a Chinese restaurant for lunch.  It may not seem much like a treat to others, but when our children were young Chinese food was one of the only types of speciality restaurants you could go to.

It was a battle back then though. Our Stephanie as a tiny tot refused to eat anything unusual – on one such Chinese restaurant outing she flatly refused to eat a thing.  Eventually the very kind restaurant manager took pity on her and cooked her some kinkle cut chips.  Her big brothers teased her for years afterwards, nick-naming her “kinkle-cut”, much to her annoyance.

Things were no better many years later with our youngest daughter Courtney.  The mere hint that we might visit a Chinese restaurant always saw her throw the most horrific of tantrums.

So yesterday in a nostalgic mood Robert and I happily anticipated a Chinese meal for lunch.  We were so, so disappointed.  The food totally lacked flavour – even the soft drink I ordered was warm.  The food was barely saved by dousing it with the soy sauce provided at the table.  We didn’t bother to try for dessert.  More than sixty dollars later and very disgruntled we left, vowing never to return.

After a while I took a different view.  I have always shied away from cooking Asian food as in my experience it had always been cooked so well in the restaurants.  After our dreadful lunch time experience I figured mine couldn’t taste any worse and decided to give it a try.  I visited a specialty Chinese shop, bought up some basic ingredients  and armed with helpful hints and tips from the shop owner, came home and set to work.

I made up 3 recipes in all – in imitation of those we had hoped to enjoy at that restaurant.  The first is here – Short Soup. At the very least they are guaranteed to be tasty and are not at all difficult to make.

Short Soup

 If there is too much filling mixture for the wontons, roll it into tiny meatballs and cook along with the wontons.

This recipe only calls for 20 wonton wrappers.  If the packet you purchase has more than this (mine had 40), simply wrap the remainder tightly in cling wrap and freeze for later use.

Serves 4

For the wontons

250g pork mince

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

2 spring onions, white part only, very finely diced

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sweet chilli sauce

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon finely grated fresh green ginger

20 wonton wrappers

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the soup

1 litre chicken stock

2 spring onions, finely sliced

2 spring onion tops (green part of spring onion), finely sliced

2 teaspoons soy sauce

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

½ teaspoon chicken or vegetable stock powder, optional

Mix together the pork, sesame oil, spring onion, sauces, salt and ginger until thoroughly combined.  Place the wonton wrappers side by side on a board or bench top.  Brush around the edges with the egg.  Place a teaspoon of the mixture just below the middle of each and fold over the form a triangle sealing edges well.  Place a small dot of egg on each corner and fold in to form a little parcel.

Heat 2 litres of water in a large pot and add ½ teaspoon salt.  When boiling strongly add the wontons and boil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the wontons rise to the top.

Meanwhile bring all the soup ingredients to the boil and simmer 2 minutes.

To serve, place five wontons in each bowl and ladle the hot soup over.