Vegetarian Wonton Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Wonton Soup Recipe Recipe

Wonton soup is made with dumplings and flavorful broth. It may look difficult, but the dish isn't as complicated as it seems. The key is to use thin, good quality wonton wraps. I've tried several brands and I’ve finally found the one with perfect thickness and consistency. All you need is a little practice at folding the dumplings. I will post a video soon demonstrating how to make wontons. Stay tuned!

I filled these wontons with fried jicama, tofu and shiitake mushrooms. I served the soup as a side dish. It's vegetarian, low in calories and delicious. Wontons are work, but they are rewarding.
 

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings

1 package thin wonton wraps (squares)
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ jicama (see tips)
½ (12-ounce) package firm tofu
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (see tips)
8 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
1-½ teaspoons mushroom seasoning salt (or regular salt)
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 egg whites (optional), lightly beaten
3 tablespoons caramelized onions (click on the link for the recipe)
3 quarts vegetable broth (click on the link for the recipe)
¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped


Directions

Prepping the tofu: Cut the tofu into ½-inch slices. Blanch the tofu for about 3-4 minutes in salted water. Drain the liquid. Let the tofu cool a little. Then mash the boiled tofu with your hand using disposable gloves. It should resemble large-sized cottage cheese curds. Set the tofu aside.

For the jicama: Peel and slice horizontally into ½-inch thick pieces. In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the jicama slices until golden brown. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut the pieces into very thin strips, then finely chop them. Set aside.

Making wonton filling: In the same pan, add more oil if necessary. Add the ginger garlic paste; cook until fragrant. Add the chopped mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the jicama and caramelized onions. Season with mushroom seasoning salt and pepper. Allow to cool a little. Add 2 tablespoons each green onions and cilantro.

How to wrap wontons (this is one method; there are a million other ways of forming these dumplings): Brush 2 adjacent sides of a wonton square with the egg whites (if used). Place a teaspoon of the wonton filling. Fold in half, in a triangle shape (two opposite corners together). Brush the tips of the wonton with egg whites (if used) and gather both ends and press firmly. 

How to Make Wonton

Assembly time: In an individual serving bowl, add a teaspoon of green onions and cilantro. Fill a small pot with salted water. Bring to a boil. Place about 5 wontons at a time in the pot. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the wonton skin is cooked. Drain the wontons using a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to the bowl.  Count about a dozen wonton per person. Repeat with the rest of the bowls.

When you're ready to serve, bring the vegetable broth you have prepared to a roaring boil. Cover the wontons with the hot liquid. 

To be eaten with chopsticks of course!

Enjoy!

Note: if you want to serve this soup as a main course, you could add thin egg noodles along with greens such as bok choy.


Tips

The egg whites are optional. They act like a glue to seal each dumpling. You could use water instead.

Jicama is a large, sweet, firm turnip that is used in vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine to imitate the juicy pork fat and pork skin (when fried). It's crunchy like an apple and filling like a potato. You can find it in most supermarket produce departments or any Vietnamese store; it's called củ sắn. You could replace jicama with water chestnut to add crunch to the filling.

I use ginger garlic paste a lot in my cooking. It tastes great and is very healthy for you as well. Just clean the ginger (about a 2-inch chunk), carefully removing any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife, then finely chop the root. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender, add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Mushroom seasoning salt brings a very distinct, earthy flavor to the broth. You can find it at gourmet specialty stores or in most Korean stores. I buy mine at Marina Foods -10122 Bandley Drive -Cupertino, CA 95014.

You can find wonton wraps in the fresh section of Asian stores. Just make sure to pick the thin thread-like noodles. I buy mine at Ranch 99 market. My favorite brand is New Hong Kong Noodle Company (this same brand is also excellent for thin egg noodles).

Wonton Recipe with Picture

I use Thanh Son tofu brand. If you live in the Bay Area, you have to try it. They sell it in a lot of the Asian markets in San Jose and their main shop is on 2857 Senter Road, San Jose. It's a very little shop but everything is very good. Their factory makes the best tofu texture; they make it fresh daily.

Frying onions is easy. Chop the onion. Heat about 1 inch of canola oil in a skillet. Fry the onion in the oil, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning until the color is evenly golden brown. Drain the oil on paper towels. I always make extra so that I can vacuum-seal and store them in the freezer for future use. I place about one cup per bag. You can store them up to 3 months. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn. I keep them exactly the same way I would with extra pesto or the (papaya) meat tenderizer for poultry.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on January 25, 2011.


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