Chicken Wonton Soup

I have not been back home for a few years now and missing my brother since we have been talking so much lately. I was thinking of family birthdays and dinners, because I just missed my brothers, and how when I was little we used to go to this Cantonese restaurant for birthdays and special occasion. Despite everyone in my family loving their food for years my brother hated it. The only thing he would eat is this chicken wonton soup.

I wanted to recreate the soup to recreate the memory. It took some research but this is a very simple soup. Also by adding mirin to the broth it added some awesome flavor. I cannot wait to take this to another level and try and recreate my favorite wonton noodle Thai soup. Expect that recipe coming soon.

Chicken Wonton Soup

  • 20 Wonton Wrappers, round or square
  • 1/2 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 tsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Egg White
  • 6 c (48 oz) Chicken Broth, low sodium
  • 2 tbsp Mirin
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 4 Scallions, diced

In a bowl combine chicken, 1 tsp soy sauce, and egg white in a bowl. Mix until well combined and smooth.

Add one tsp of chicken mix to center of wonton wrapper. Dip your finger in water and moisten around the edge of the wrapper. Fold wrapper over the mixture and press the air out, then pinch the edges in a “z” in 4-6 places. Tightly pinch the the edges as forming. Place on a plate as they are made and set aside. (Can see step by step from Gyoza recipe if you need help forming wontons)

Once all the wontons are complete place a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken stock, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and diced scallions. Drop in the wontons slowly as not to splash. Bring to a boil and place lid on pan. Turn heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve hot and garnish with additional scallions if desired.
Makes dinner serving for 4 or starter serving for 8-10.

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Gyoza with Dipping Sauce

There is a place in the skyway in downtown Minneapolis called Zen Box. It has the best gyoza I have ever had. This is as close to their recipe as I can get. I have read about 25 recipes and based on taste tests this is the result, which is soft, savory, crunchy and holds up well when piced up which is a cooked-to-perfection test of a good gyoza. I have had good and bad potstickers – bad being Panda Express – and good which are in my opinion, these. It is one of those items that wherever you go you tend to order it. The results can vary widely from place to place and well have our favorites. If you like a slightly more crunch testure, keep in a 200°F oven until ready to serve. It adds an extra crunch to them that really is pleasant.

Gyoza is basically the Japanese name for potstickers or dumplings. The sauce for this I took the inspiration from another local restaurant (Fuji-Ya). They have this spicy dipping sauce that is just amazing! The following recipe makes 24 and they freeze exceptionally well. I hope you try them.

Gyoza Dipping Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Mirin
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 drops Chili Oil
  • 2 drops Sesame Oil

Combine and mix. Set aside to let flavors blend until ready to serve.

Gyoza

  • 2/3 c Napa Cabbage, minced
  • 1/4 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 tsp Ginger, fresh grated
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/8 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/8 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/3 c Scallions, minced
  • 1 tbsp Egg White
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 2 tsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 drops Sesame Oil
  • 20-25 Gyoza wrappers
  • 1/2 c water

Shred and mince the cabbage, wash and drain and place on paper towels to dry.

In a bowl combine pork, ginger, soy, sesame oil, and pepper. By hand mix throughly. Add in egg white and continue to mix by hand. Add in the onion and cabbage keep mixing until one cohesive mass.

In a small bowl combine the 2 tbsp of water with 2 tsp of flour. This you will use to we the rims of the wrappers to seal. So place near your work space.

Get an empty plate or tray to place your prepared gyoza. Line it wax paper.

Now the tricky work.

Step 1: Place a gyoza wrapper in your hand and add 1 teaspoon of the pork mix in the center.

Step 2: Dip your finger in the flour water and run it around the rim of the wrapper. Make sure you are going over the very edge so you get a good seal. Fold the wrapper in half pushing all the air out from around the pork mince as you line up all the edges.

Step 3: Now the folding seal edge over edge in a Z shape starting in the middle.

Step 4: Then repeat working out from the middle one side to the edge and then the other. It should take no more then 2-3 crimps per side. Being sure to pinch the seal closed between your fingers.

Step 5: Place the dumpling fat side down on the plate. (If freezing, Line a flat sheet with wax paper, and place them in the freezer. When completely frozen transfer to a freezer bag. Keeps well up to 2-4 weeks.)

Repeat steps 1-5 until all the dumplings are made. After step 5 this is the point that if you want to you can freeze the dumplings.

Place a 10″ non stick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot place 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 drops sesame oil in pan.

Arrange 10-12 dumplings in the pan when it is browned to your personal preference.

Get the lid for the pan ready. Now add 1/2 cup of water and immediately place the lid. You will be able to hear when all the water has simmered out. Should be 5-8 minutes.

Test the seams for doneness. They should be A slight transparent oily color. If needed add two more tbsp of water. If it is ready remove from pan add 1 tsp of water and place on lid quickly and remove from heat. Shake pan to loosen dumplings.

Serve garnished with scallions and dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Chicken, Pepper, and Mushroom Crostini

All I can say is yum!  I made this as a quick weeknight main course with a side salad.  I think originally I came up with it to try as an appetizer when I was going to have some guests over, but it ended up working out as a quick small meal as well.  I work retail so some nights if I close the store down then I am not home till 10pm or later and typically starving!  This is quick and easy and can make as much or as little as needed the recipe is easily adaptable to accommodate your immediate needs.  I only cook for two and always tend to have just one chicken breast in a baggie in the fridge begging to be cooked.  All the ingredients I tend to have on-hand so just swinging by Byerly’s on the way home and picking up a mini loaf or two of a crunchy baguette, make this a weeknight favorite.

Chicken, Pepper, and Mushroom Crostini

  • 6-8 slices of a Baguette, diagonally sliced
  • 1 Chicken Breast, cut in half and into 1″ x 1/4″ strips
  • 1 tbps olive oil
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 2 Green Onions, diced
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Portobello Mushroom, or 3 Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper, thinly sliced into 1″ strips, I use orange or yellow
  • 4 Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, quartered
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 Mozzarella Ball shredded into tiny pieces
  • 1 tsp chopped Italian Parsley
  • Olive Oil to drizzle

 

Turn oven onto 450° F.   Turn your pan on to med-high heat and before you put in the oil make sure it passes the water test, if using stainless steel, before putting in the oil. Slice the Baguette and place on cookie sheet, set off to side.  By now your pan should pass the water test, add in the oil and when hot add the garlic, shallots, and green onions, saute lightly till onions are opaque.  Add the chicken and when lightly cooked and you can still see pink, add seasonings.    Toss in the mushrooms, and brown lightly with the chicken.  Once the mushrooms and chicken are lightly browned, add in the peppers, once they take on a bright color turn off the head and toss in the tomatoes, stir around and taste again.  Add Salt & Pepper as needed, maybe more of the seasonings, a pinch at a time.  Always taste, that’s the fun part of cooking! When the seasoning tastes well to you, spoon on top of the baguette slices and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella.  Place in oven and bake for 10-15 min until the bread looks browned on the bottom edges.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with the parsley, and then top with a light olive oil drizzle.  Let cool for 2-3 min and serve semi-hot!

 

Adapted from: Meadow Mushroom