Well, our Seattle “summer” is officially over. It’s getting dark early, the rain is back in full force and chill is in the air. Don’t get me wrong--when we have a sunny fall day with the trees exploding with color everywhere around us, it’s a beautiful thing. That said, it’s still fucking cold and I WANT SOUP.
This recipe is my SECOND favorite soup recipe. (My first is the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup from Lorna Yee’s “Newlywed Kitchen”. If you don’t have her book, buy it, you moron. I promise you all of the recipes are fantastic). The first time I made this soup for some of my friends in Seattle I met on the Interwebs through the Twitter, I made the fatal error of making the wontons using a dumpling press. (GASP!!!) If you have Asian girlfriends, you will know they are a mean, cruel and judgy lot, especially if you fuck with their wontons. I have never heard the end of the dumpling press, even though they still ate the shit out of this soup (because hello—it rocks!). I’ve learned my lesson since that time…Thanks to a couple of friends who took pity on this Cracker, demonstrating uncharacteristic patience and compassion, I now know how to make proper dumplings. They’re not as pretty as theirs (and probably never will be) but they taste good.
A couple of notes: Yes, this soup has some steps to it. Deal. The broth is absolutely spectacular as it enhances chicken stock with Cantonese roast duck flavor. In Seattle, the International District has a lot of options to find the duck. Don’t try to chop the meat in a food processor or you will end up with pasty nastiness. The hand-chopped meat gives nice texture in the wontons. The roast pork has VERY crispy skin and will be a bit of a pain to chop, but again—it’s worth it. Also, don’t skimp on the garnishes identified in the recipe. They all add an important character to the final dish.
Peking Duck Broth with Asian Wontons
- · 1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- · 1/4 cup chopped carrots
- · 1/4 cup chopped celery
- · 1/4 cup chopped onions
- · 1/4 cup chopped fennel
- · 4 x garlic cloves, crushed
- · 2 tbsp coarsely chopped ginger
- · 1 tbsp coarsely chopped lemongrass
- · 1 x tomato, coarsely chopped
- · 1/4 cup soy sauce
- · 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- · 1 x Chinese Barbequed Duck, cut into small pieces
- · 2 L cold water or 2 L dark chicken stock
- · 4 x thyme sprigs
- · 1 pkg wonton wrappers
- · 1/2 cup finely diced Chinese barbequed pork
- · 1/2 cup finely diced Chinese roast pork
- · 1/2 cup finely diced Chinese barbequed duck
- · 3 tbsp soy sauce
- · 1/2 Thai chili, seeded and finely diced
- · 1 tbsp mirin
- · 3 tbsp sesame oil
- · 1/4 cup red vinegar
- · 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- · 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- · 1 tbsp finely minced ginger
- · 2 tsp finely minced garlic
- · 1 x egg, beaten
- · 1/4 cup chopped Thai basil
- · 1/2 cup enoki mushrooms
- · 8 x lime wedges
- · 3 tbsp minced garlic
- · 3 tbsp Thai chili
- · 3 tbsp minced ginger
- · 3 tbsp lemon zest
1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onions, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and tomato. Sweat vegetables, stirring occasionally until vegetables start to brown.
2. Deglaze pot with soy sauce and vinegar. Add the duck pieces and any juice from the duck cavity. Sweat the duck pieces for 3 minutes. Add thyme and pour in enough water or stock to cover. Bring to a boil uncovered, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 ½ hours. Strain liquid through sieve and cool.
1. Add finely chopped Chinese barbequed pork, roast pork and Peking duck in a large bowl. Add soy sauce, chili, mirin, sesame oil, vinegar, cilantro, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
2. Place 8 wonton wrappers on a clean surface and using a pastry brush or your finger and brush egg wash around the outside of each wrapper. Place small spoonful in the centre of each wonton wrapper and pull sides to top and pinch together to seal. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat until you have finished mix.
3. To cook place a single layer of wontons in a large steamer lined with parchment paper and cook until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
1. Garnish large soup bowls with Thai basil, enoki mushrooms and green onions. Place wontons in the centre of each bowl and pour hot peking duck broth over. Serve immediately with lime wedges, garlic-chili, and ginger-lime.