March 11, 2013
My husband is sick and I am not a nurse. In fact I’m pretty bad at it, but I called him during the day to see how he was doing and he said he thought he might be feeling a bit better. He was a little hungry. He didn’t have a cold, but my first thought went straight to chicken noodle soup. Hmmm….that really wasn’t going to work for me but I had to make something that would be easy on his stomach.
I thought I had heard somewhere that ginger was good for the stomach. Well, it sounded like a good idea anyway, but remember I’m not a nurse. And in my opinion, wonton soup is like chicken noodle soup and I remembered when I was looking at the new Fine Cooking magazine there was a recipe that had me interested. It was in the category of easy dinners. This was perfect!
I came home with all the ingredients I needed for the soup and there he was lying on the sofa, just like any man who thinks he is dying. I told him I would make him some soup and he would probably feel much better. This was so easy to put together that even my friend Emily would be able to make it and so fast I think I beat a really good Chinese delivery. Plus I had the added bonus of witnessing a medical miracle. My husband was about to rise from the sofa and proclaim good health once again.
In no time at all I had the soup made and poured two wonderfully aromatic bowls, offering one to my husband. However, in a really sad voice said he wasn’t hungry. Wow…perhaps this really wasn’t drama. Perhaps he was really sick. So I poured him a glass of ginger ale and I sat down alone and devoured my wonton soup. It was so good! I felt bad that my husband had to miss it but I throughly enjoyed it. It was like take out without the wait.
On the downside, it was not the medical miracle I anticipated. My husband went to bed without any dinner. On the upside, it was a great bowl of soup and not a lot of trouble, ranking a very high YUM on the taste thermometer.
Make it some night when you want a light dinner, playing nurse or just wanting take out without the wait. You’ll be glad you did.
- 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, 1 inch finely grated (1 teaspoon) and 2 inches thinly sliced
- 1/4 pound lean ground pork
- 2 large scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (green and white parts kept separate)
- 1/2 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon Asian sesame oil, more as needed
- 20 square wonton wrappers
- 2 romaine lettuce heart leaves, halved lenthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise
In a 4-quart saucepan, bring the chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, and the sliced ginger to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let the ginger steep while you make the wontons.
Combine the pork, the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, the grated ginger, scallion whites, rice wine, cornstarch and sesame oil in a medium bowl and mix gently by hand.
Arrange the wonton wrappers on a clean work surface and put 1 teaspoon of the pork mixture in the center of each.
Fill a small bowl with warm water. Dip your finger into the water and run it along the edges of a wonton wrapper. Fold the wrapper diagonally over the filling, pressing out any air, to make a triangle. Press the edges firmly together. Moisten the two points on the long side of the triangle and pinch them together over the filling to seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
Remove the ginger from the broth with a slotted spoon. Raise the heat to a lively simmer, add the wontons one at a time (so they don’t stick together) and cook until the pork is done, 5 to 8 minutes. (to check, pull one wonton out and cut it open to make sure the pork is cooked through.)
With a slotted spoon, divide the wontons among 4 soup bowls. Divide the lettuce among the bowls. Season the broth to taste with one or two drops of sesame oil and divide evenly among the soup bowls. Sprinkle with the scallion greens and serve.