Won Ton Noodle Soup, Or How I Snuck Shiitakes Into Dinner - Eat Drink Man Woman Blog at Allrecipes.com - 114796

Eat Drink Man Woman

Won ton noodle soup, or How I snuck shiitakes into dinner 
Jul. 23, 2009 11:24 am 
Updated: Jul. 24, 2009 10:08 am
My husband is what I'd call a moderately picky eater. He won't eat any mushrooms except for white. He thinks they're 'weird'. One time we ordered pizzas and he refused to try the one with crimini mushrooms. (Really, the way I look at it is if you can eat one kind of mushroom, surely you can at least try others. And let's face it, they're all 'weird'.They're fungi!) And as for shiitake mushrooms, that staple of Chinese and Japanese cooking? He says it gives him "heartburn". But I cleverly (some might say sneakily) devised a way to feed him shiitakes and have him like it--nay, LOVE IT--by mincing and mixing them into won tons. *evil laugh*

Won tons at mom and dad's house

On weekends, my parents often make won tons with egg noodles and a nice chicken broth. I learned how to cook Chinese soup noodles and won tons from watching them at this ritual. It's simple: the won tons are assembled and ready to cook; noodles are put aside--different varieties too, if desired; the soup is simmering on the stove, a pot of water is boiled and then reduced to simmer; and on the kitchen counter are plates of condiments and garnishes. Scallions, cilantro, white pepper, sesame oil, sriracha hot sauce, and red (rice) vinegar are favourites.

With the setup like this, it is easy for everyone to make their own bowl of won ton soup--perfect for a casual meal. Parboil the won tons in the pot of hot water, cooking the noodles in the same, and then transfer the noodles to a bowl. Use a slotted spoon or similar kitchen tool to move the won tons into the soup for just a few minutes. Then, ladle them with some broth onto the noodles. Serve with desired condiments and garnishes. Yum!

Won ton noodle soup with scallion pancakes

For the won ton filling, I used ground pork (about 1/2 lb), shrimp (about 1/4 lb), shiitakes (five of them), cilantro, scallions, freshly ground white pepper, and corn starch. I minced the shrimp, mushrooms, and greens, and put placed everything in a large bowl to mix thoroughly. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to buy Chinese won ton wrappers, so I bought the kind from the local market. The difference is minor; the more authentic kind is much thinner than the North American version. I think most people wouldn't notice or mind the difference. ;)

For the soup, I used Chinese canned chicken broth, white pepper, thinly chopped shiitakes (2 of them), and a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil. Garnishes were cilantro, thinly sliced Chinese BBQ pork or char siu, and hot sauce. We used rice noodles because we prefer that to egg noodles.

Hubby did notice the dried shiitakes soaking in a bowl of water during dinner prep, but when he saw the slices of mushroom floating in the soup later, I knew he wouldn't have thought that they'd be in the won tons as well as the soup. Heh!

Even though won ton soup is a filling meal in itself, I also made some scallion pancakes. This, plus the noodles, allowed me to stretch out the won tons--I placed two-thirds of them in the freezer for future meals. And we all love scallion pancakes, especially my son. I usually make them moderately thin, but not so that they are brittle, and with rather less oil and salt than most. The pancakes were rolled out beforehand, so that while the noodles and won tons were cooking, I was frying them on a pan. It helps to be a good multitasker!

Dinner was yummy, but the best part is that hubby loves my won tons (he says they're "superior" to my dad's!), and never mentions having heartburn afterward.
Dried shiitake mushrooms. I keep a large jar of them in the pantry at all times.
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Won ton noodle soup
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A wedge of scallion pancake
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Jul. 23, 2009 12:30 pm
Ahh, sounds like the perfect meal for me! Shitakes have a great, unique flavor that taste so good in wontons, dumplings and tofu. Your wonton recipe sounds perfect to me, pork + shrimp + shitakes are a must in my family. Yum! (no scallion pancake pic??) =P
Jul. 23, 2009 4:18 pm
Hi BLUEALUE, mmm...I love dumplings and tofu as well. I just can't live without shiitakes! I hadn't taken any pics of the pancakes this time, but I found one I had taken a long time ago. :)
Jul. 23, 2009 7:30 pm
The whole thing sounds so darn good, I'm making a mess of myself. I am really intrigued by the scallion pancake. How do you do that? Today must be the day for pancakes. Did you read Foodelicious's blog?
Jul. 24, 2009 10:08 am
Wow that looks good! I have a jar of dried shiitakes that waves at me from the back of the pantry, hoping I'll do something useful with it. You're giving me ideas now.
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About Me
I'm newly (and happily!) single, with two awesome kids and a good relationship with my ex. Things have changed a lot for me lately but one happy side effect of being single is having more time to try different recipes and experiment in the kitchen! And yes, my ex still gets to sample my cooking. (He does need all the help he can get...)
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook practically everything. When baking, I tend to dial back the sugar and have a fondness for nuts, fruits, and spices in my baked treats.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I hope to start some more family cooking traditions with my children. My son sometimes helps with dinner and desserts. My daughter is a little too young but she is already very interested in helping in kitchen when mommy cooks and bakes. She has her own play kitchen too!
My cooking triumphs
Making flaky pastry crust, getting my ex and son to eat (and like) fish, and learning how to make yeast breads without a machine. Getting my ex to try 'weird' food (e.g., different ethnic foods) was also a triumph. Most of all, learning to actually like cooking is the biggest triumph. I used to despise it!
My cooking tragedies
One of the first meals I ever made was risotto. It tasted good but it was way too sticky! Oh, and there was the time I had a cake baking in the oven and no one noticed that the fuse had blown halfway through the cooking time. A few years ago I tried to make doubles (Trinidadian snack food with chick peas and fried bread) and it was awful. The chickpeas were too oily, the bread not enough so; it wasn't spicy enough, and the bread was weird and misshapen.
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