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Broken Wonton Soup
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Makes 4 servings 1x
Time about 30 minutes
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 3 scallions
- 1 pound snap or snow peas
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce, plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil, plus more for serving
- 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
- Salt and pepper
- 12 ounces ground pork
- 24 wonton skins
1. Put the stock in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Trim the tough parts off the mushroom stems and save them for another use if you like. Thinly slice the caps and add them to the pot.
2. Peel and chop garlic and ginger. Trim and chop the scallions, separating the green and white parts and keeping them separate. Trim the snap peas and cut them on the bias into bite-size pieces.
3. Crack the egg into a medium bowl and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, white parts of the scallions, and five-spice powder if you’re using it. Sprinkle with a teeny bit of salt and lots of pepper and beat with a fork to combine. Add the ground pork and mix it into the seasonings, stirring gently until everything just comes together.
4. When the stock boils, adjust the heat so it bubbles steadily. Use your fingers or two teaspoons to pinch off and shape an imperfect walnut-sized piece of the pork mixture; drop it into the stock. Repeat until all the mixture is used. Cover and cook, adjusting the heat so the stock continues to bubble but not vigorously until the meatballs firm up a bit, about 2 minutes.
5. Separate 24 wonton skins (refrigerate or freeze what remains for another use). Drop them into the pot, stirring carefully after every few to prevent them from sticking together.
6. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through, and the wonton skins are just tender, another minute or 2. Add the snap peas and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy sauce if necessary. Serve, garnished with the green parts of the scallions and passing some soy sauce and sesame oil at the table.
— Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything Fast: Completely Revised and Updated
Broken Wonton Soup with Silken Tofu and Watercress. A long variation, detailing a flavorful plant-based alternative: In the ingredient list, omit the pork and egg. Substitute 1 bunch of watercress for the snow peas and add 24 ounces (2 boxes) soft silken tofu. Start by doing the shiitake prep in Step 1 and skip Step 3 entirely. Begin the cooking by putting 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until they’re brown in places, 3 to 5 minutes. Then circle back to Step 2 and do the rest of the vegetable prep while they cook, including trimming the watercress. When the mushrooms are starting to crisp, add the 5-Spice, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and scallion whites; stir a couple of times, then immediately add the stock. When it returns to a boil, add the wonton skins and tofu. Break the tofu into large pieces and when the skins are tender, taste and adjust the seasonings and serve, garnished with the scallion greens and watercress.
Broken Wonton Soup with Spicy Shrimp and Snap Peas. Use peeled shrimp instead of pork. Pulse it in a food processor with the egg and seasonings from Step 3, adding a bit of chopped fresh green chile, like Thai, and continue with the recipe.
Broken Wonton Soup with Gingered Chicken. Substitute ground chicken for the pork (to grind your own, follow the previous variation) and an additional 2 inches of ginger instead of the garlic.