Wonton soup and wonton noodle soup are two mainstays of Cantonese cuisine available in restaurants across the world. They’re great slurped when dining out and even more comforting when prepared and eaten at home. Here, bok choy stands in for the usual dark green gai lan or choy sum vegetables to lend its natural sweetness to the soup. How you season the soup is up to you. If you’re starting with an intensely flavorful homemade broth, you may not need to add anything.
• 2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade (see Tips)
• 12 baby bok choy, cut in halves or quarters lengthwise
• 8 ounces fresh wonton noodles (optional)
• 20 fresh or unthawed frozen wontons
• 1 scallion, thinly sliced
• Soy sauce, red vinegar, chile oil or chile crisp, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In another large saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the bok choy to the stock, immersing all of it, then immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting. Let stand until ready to serve, 5 to 10 minutes. Season broth with salt, to taste.
If serving with noodles, cook the noodles in the boiling water according to the package’s directions. Transfer to serving bowls with tongs or chopsticks and bring the water back to a boil. Drop the wontons into the boiling water and gently stir to make sure they don’t stick to one another or to the bottom of the pot. When the water returns to a rapid boil, add 2 cups cold water, then adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Once the wontons float on the surface, continue to simmer for 2 minutes. The dough should look slightly translucent.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, divide the wontons among the serving bowls, then divide the bok choy and broth among the bowls. Serve immediately with scallion and soy sauce, vinegar, chile oil or chile crisp.
Total time: 10 minutes, serves 4.
To make homemade chicken stock for wonton soup, combine 8 ounces chicken wings, 8 ounces ground pork, 3 slices of ginger, 2 cut-up scallions and 7 cups water in a large pot. (Add an ounce of dried Chinese mushrooms or dried scallops and a whole star anise, if you have them.) Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then immediately turn down the heat to maintain a bare simmer. Simmer, skimming any foam on top, for 35 minutes. Strain, discard the solids and season the stock to taste. For a quick shortcut to more flavorful soup, simmer 5 cups of store-bought chicken stock with 2 ginger slices and 2 cut-up scallions for 15 minutes.
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