Tasty, moist pork filling wrapped with slippery wonton skin, served in hot chicken soup, this pork wonton soup is a perfect treat on cold winter days.
As the winter draws near, the cold days always evoke memories of my childhood growing up in North-western China. Today’s recipe, Pork wonton soup (猪肉馄饨), was a special treat which I very much enjoyed in a tiny state-run restaurant near my primary school.
The perfect pork wonton filling should be flavoursome and moist. Spring onion and ginger are two essential ingredients for almost all types of meat based Chinese dumplings. Chop them very small as this will help to combine them with the minced pork. Add some good quality light soy sauce for a “umami” taste (Xian Wei, 鲜味) together with some ground Sichuan pepper (or Chinese five-spice powder) for a subtle tangy flavour.
Although ready-to-use minced meat is widely available nowadays, many Chinese home cooks still prefer mincing with a cleaver as they believe the hand-minced meat is more tender and retains more moisture. It’s a noisy, labour intensive job but the final result makes you feel it’s all worth it.
To achieve a similar texture using shop-bought minced pork, please remember a very important step: add some stock (or water) little by little to the mince while swirling constantly in the same direction. When all the liquid is completely absorbed, the mince will be very moist and sticky. Then you are ready to assemble the wontons.
I always keep frozen wonton wrappers in my freezer. They come in handy whenever I crave dumplings but haven’t got enough time to prepare the wrappers from scratch. I leave frozen wrappers in the fridge to thaw overnight and gently separate each wrapper right before assembling the wontons.
I like using home-made chicken stock as soup for this pork wonton dish. Just add a little salt, ground white pepper and a dash of sesame oil, then garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. If you enjoy spicy food as I do, some Chinese chilli oil will give the dish an extra kick.
Thank you for reading my post and recipe. I hope this pork wonton soup provide a little extra warmth to you on cold days.