The key to fuss-free afterwork cooking is an organised and well stocked pantry and freezer. You don’t want to be shopping for all the ingredients for dinner on a busy weekday, so if you have the basic supplies on hand, it only leaves the fresh ingredients to find on the day – and most of these, properly stored, will keep for two or three days.
This hearty and nourishing soup is the ultimate comfort food on a chilly winter night. Chicken stock should be a pantry staple and good frozen wontons are readily available at supermarkets and Asian stores. Take these ingredients as a guide, adapt and adjust to suit your taste, or whatever is in the pantry, and start cooking.
For the Broth
- 1.5 lit. chicken stock
- 500 ml water
- 1 tbs light soy sauce
- 1 tbs Shaoxing wine or rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- 2.5cm fresh ginger, finely shredded
- 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
- 1/2 Long red chilli, seeded, sliced
- 2 shallots, white part only, sliced
Goodies to add to the soup – some suggestions
- Won-tons, straight from the freezer
- vegetables of choice eg. juilenned carrot, sliced bok choy, mushrooms, sliced snow peas
- Ramen noodles (vacuum sealed) or dried cellophane noodles, straight from the pantry
- Chicken, cooked, use either leftover roast or buy a BBQ chicken
- Prawns, peeled, preferably green
- BBQ Chinese pork, sliced, straight from the local Asian shop
- Green shallot tops
- Red chilli, sliced
- Bean sprouts
- few drops sesame oil
In a large saucepan heat a little oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shallots and the chicken broth and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low so that the broth just simmers. Allow it to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil and drop in the wontons. Let them cook for 8 – 10 minutes,(or according to the packet instructions) until they float to the surface and the filling feels firm to touch. Reduce heat to a simmer, and gently stir in the chicken, prawns or BBQ pork and your choice of vegetables and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Ladle into hot bowls and garnish with the remaining green onions, chilli and bean shoots, and a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil, and serve immediately.