I met my lovely mum in town at our favourite Chinese restaurant. It’s the wonton noodle soup (and maybe the Mediterranean decor) that’s kept us coming for nearly ten years. The noodles and dumplings are handmade and you won’t find better this side of China.
Dumplings can be found in many cultures and I enjoy all their variations, from the confusingly named ‘mini pork bun’ which are actually soup-filled parcels that pop in the mouth, to vegetarian momos, a highlight of my trip to Darjeeling.
So it follows that I started making my own. In fact wonton noodle soup has become something of a Friday night favourite. Here’s a recipe we use, passed on by a friend from Beijing.
WONTON NOODLE SOUP
Makes 4 generous serves
250g free range pork, minced
1 handful Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
sprinkling chives, finely chopped
Wonton wrappers (found in refrigerated section at your local Asian grocer. Some supermarkets stock them too)
Small dish of cold water
3-4ltrs chicken stock
2 bunches bok choy, leaves separated and rinsed
Noodles of choice, prepared as per directions (I like fresh udon style noodles)
Chilli flakes and sesame oil, combined to make a thick mixture
Zhen jiang vinegar (a dark red vinegar found in Asian grocery stores)
Chives, finely chopped
Combine pork, flour, cabbage and chives in a bowl and massage for 10 mins.
Lay wrappers out on a clean, dry surface. Taking tablespoon portions of the pork mixture, roll into balls and place one in the middle of each wrapper. You should have enough for around 40 pieces. Lightly moisten the edges of the wrappers and pinch together, sealing the pork mixture inside.
Meanwhile bring the stock to boil and divide prepared noodles between 4 large bowls.
Place dumplings in boiling stock and cook for 4 minutes. At 2 minutes place bok choy in the stock and continue cooking. Do not overcook.
With a slotted spoon, divide dumplings and bok choy between the bowls then pour over stock and serve. Condiments can be added to taste.