Wednesday, 11 April 2012

How Not to Cook Won-ton, Wun tun, Wan-Tun or Wan-Tan Soup

Frozen  wan-tan or won -ton
 A BFF (best friend forever), one of the chosen ones I have inspired me to make wanton soup. Hermie comes from Ilo-ilo which is home to the national  pride of Bachoy La Paz, a soup which I always thought of as a local version of wanton soup, and Hermie has always this soup ready when we visit her in NL. I thought of preparing my own wanton soup while shopping in an Asian supermarket in a local Chinatown in Rotterdam. I wanted only to inquire  if they have frozen wakame (seaweeds salad) but ended up buying wanton and pechay leaves instead. For the soup, one needs also chicken meat, pepper, salt, garlic and chives.
Left, boiled won-ton  and right, fried won-ton
 Heat oil, add garlic and stir-fry the chicken pieces. Then add water and cook chicken until tender. Normally, I add the frozen wontons in the boiling broth followed by pechay leaves and the spices. One can garnish it with fried garlic, chives, young garlic or chopped coriander leaves.
My other BFF, Jeh (and she is The Cooking friend I have) has tasted once my soup which I have been boasting to friends around. She commented that my wontons are over-cooked and suggested that I cooked them separately and just mix them in the soup when ready to serve. Did she say cook in oil or fry in oil? Anyway, I tried first frying the wonton pieces and to my frustration, they turned soon crispy. Did I get her instruction rightly? Jeh, help! Then I boiled the remaining pieces from the mother broth and set them aside for serving. They were all sticking to each other after awhile.
Fried won-ton parcels with chilli-garlic sauce
 So what to do? I was thinking either I have a merienda of fried wonton parcels with the potato salad or plunge them into the chicken broth. How will they taste crisply fried in hot soup? I returned the won-ton pieces back to the frying pan and fried them until they were all real crispy and ready to eat as starters and not as ingredient of the main course which is Chicken-Won-ton Soup. Found a bottle of banana sauce with an expiry date of November 1911 together with this bottle of chilli and garlic sauce. The chilli sauce has not yet expired luckily and it went fantastic with the crispy won-ton pieces. I sprinkled a bit of peanut oil to the other bowl of boiled wontons thinking it might keep them separated but it didn't help. They were all still clinging to each other in pairs or in groups. Tja. What to do?  I chose some isolated won-ton parcels, placed them in a bowl, add two pechay leaves but left out the chicken pieces as I have enough of the fried stuffs as starters. I garnished the soup with black peppers and squeezed a lemon in it. Added a bit of fish sauce (also not expired but the bottle is almost empty) and enjoyed it even without chopped coriander and chives, and hot, hot it was. I was searching for
frozen fruitsalad or ice cream in my host's freezer as first aid to my burnt tongue. This time, I won't even look for the expiry date.

A small joke about this soup. I can't help but remember this joke which I heard on the radio so many light years away. "How do you call it when someone vandalizes a Chinese restaurant?
Answer? Wanton destruction

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