Hong Kong is my most favourite place in the world. I've been to a lot of cool places but no other place even stands a chance against Hong Kong. The fashion, the efficiency, the shopping, the food. LORD the food. Like most Asian cities, Hong Kong is truly a food lover's dream. There's dim sum, ramen, hot pot. There are cakes, tarts, pizzas and pies. It seems that there is a new, 3 Michelin star restaurant opening every time we visit. But, even when faced with all this choice, the one thing we always go to first, before any 5 course chef's tasting menu, high tea or egg tart, is wonton noodle.
This traditional Cantonese soup, of fat wontons filled with pork or shrimp (or both), springy egg noodles, basic greens and a few easy garnishes is the one food that Hong Kongers line up for at lunch time. It's simple in execution - cheap and cheerful - but full of complex and delicious flavours and textures.
I used to think that wonton noodle was something I could only eat abroad, or at a Chinese restaurant. But, with a little practice, I was able to master this version that I think is pretty awesome and definitely makes me nostalgic for the real thing on the other side of the world.
6 cups stock of your choice (veggie, chicken, fish, pork) do not use plain water!
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 inch ginger - peeled & thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves - peeled and lightly crushed
1 onion - washed and halved (peel on)
1 celery stalk - halved
1 package wonton skins
500g shrimp - peeled, cleaned & finely chopped
1 green onion - finely minced
1 clove garlic - finely minced
1 tsp ginger - finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cornstarch
4 tbsp shiitake mushrooms - finely minced
500g wonton egg noodles - cooked 1-2 minutes LESS than recommended on the package directions, rinsed and drained.
2 tsp Chilli Oil
1 green onion - thinly sliced
2 cups snow pea leaves or baby bok choy
1 cup shiitake mushrooms - halved
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1. in a large stock pot, heat stock with 1/4 tsp white pepper, sliced ginger, crushed garlic, onion & celery. simmer on medium heat for 1 hour. after 1 hour, remove vegetables from stock and season to taste with salt & pepper. set aside.
2. to make the wontons, combine shrimp, green onion, minced garlic, minced ginger, sugar, salt, black pepper, minced mushrooms and cornstarch in a bowl. mix well.
3. place 1.5 tsp of shrimp filling in the centre of each wonton skin. using your finger, slightly moisten the edges of the wonton wrapper with warm water. gather the edges like a parcel and pinch to seal. place prepared wontons on a baking sheet or plate and cover with a damp cloth while you prepare the rest.
4. when the wontons are ready, bring the prepared stock to a boil. place the wontons and shiitake mushrooms in the stock and boil until they float to the surface 3-4 minutes.
5. arrange noodles and snow pea leaves in the bottom of each bowl and ladle in hot stock, mushrooms and 3-4 wontons. the greens will cook in the hot broth.
6. garnish with green onions, chilli oil & sesame oil.