Recipe: Wonton Noodle Soup

I recently made Wonton Noodle Soup for the first time. While I have made dumplings before, making wonton was new for me.

Ingredients

Wonton skin (egg-based), 500gm fatty pork mince, 2 bunches of garlic chives, dark soy sauce, aged Chinese vinegar, chilli sauce, sesame oil, sugar, egg noodles, chicken soup (of your choosing).

Method

  1. Create your chicken soup, whether it’s from a stock cube, directly from a chicken carcass, or a can. Whatever works for you, but ensure that it is a clear broth, not a thick soup. Keep it on a slow simmer on the stove.
  2. Finely chop up the garlic chives, and mix it in with the mince. Add two dashes each of soy and vinegar, a pinch of sugar and chilli sauce and sesame oil to your liking. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Start making your wontons. Use a small dab of the pork mixture in the middle of a wonton skin, then seal the skin with some water and wrap it to your liking. Just ensure that you keep quite a bit of skin free, as cooked wonton are characterised by a longer trailing skin.
  4. Once you’ve finished making your wontons, boil a pot of water. Drop a handful of egg noodles in the pot – one handful for each person. Depending on whether you use dry or fresh egg noodles, cook them for two or three minutes.
  5. Use tongs to take the cooked noodles from the pot, and place in individual bowls. Make sure you don’t take too much of the water with the noodles.
  6. Drop the wonton into the boiling water. Cook for approximately three minutes. Once done, use a straining ladle to take the wonton out of the water and divide evenly between the individual bowls.
  7. Pour the hot chicken soup over the wonton and noodles, and serve with condiments on the side for diners to help themselves (chilli sauce, extra sesame oil, chopped herbs, etc.).

These quantities should feed approximately five or six people, presuming a handful of egg noodles per person and around ten small wonton each. Total cost is in the region of $12-$20AUD, presuming you already have all the sauces at home and depending on what kind of chicken soup you choose to use.

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot PieIn the mood for something hearty and cheap? This is your answer!

Ingredients

Two chicken breast fillets (or eight chicken thigh fillets – depending what cut of meat you prefer), one large bag of frozen cubed vegetables (e.g. corn, peas, carrots), one can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken condensed soup, two sheets of frozen puff pastry. Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  1. Take your puff pastry and frozen veggies out to defrost. Preheat the oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Clean and dice the chicken to approximately one centimetre cubes, approximately the size of the veggies. Brown chicken on medium heat in a large lidded saucepan.
  3. Add defrosted veggies to the pan and cook until warm through.
  4. Add can of Cream of Chicken condensed soup and half a can of water to the pan, and stir through. Let the mixture simmer until ingredients are hot and fully combined, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer the mixture straight to a medium-sized casserole dish (leave approximately half a centimetre gap at the top).
  6. Cut puff pastry into strips, and arrange on top on the casserole dish in a criss-cross pattern. Brown with egg wash if desired.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the pastry is nice and crispy (approximately twenty minutes to half an hour) – then serve!

This should serve six people  if you dish out smaller portions with side dishes. Total cost is approximately $20AUD for puff pastry, chicken, canned soup and frozen veggies. Cheap and tasty!

Recipe: Mussels in a Thai Red Curry Soup

Mussels in Thai red curry

I picked this recipe up on my Travelicious markets tour, along with two kilos of mussels from the Sydney Fish Markets.

I’m convinced that’s actually the sign of a good food-related event, when you’re left with ideas and techniques that expand your thinking and your relationship with food.

Ingredients

Two kilos of black mussels, onion, garlic, red curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, coriander and chilli.

Method

  1. If they aren’t already, clean your mussels. This is a good Youtube video explaining how to do it.
  2. Finely dice the onion and garlic (one onion, about three or four cloves of garlic) and brown it in a large pot on medium heat. Add three large tablespoons of curry paste once the onion and garlic has browned.
  3. After a minute, add fish sauce (two tablespoons), brown sugar (one tablespoon) and coconut milk (one can). Depending how soupy you want the broth to be, you might also want to add a half cup of water as well.
  4. Add the mussels to the pot and put the lid on. They don’t all need to be submerged in the soup because the steam that will collect in the pot will cook them. Cook for approximately three to five minutes, or until all the mussels have opened up.
  5. While the mussels are cooking, chop up chilli and coriander and sprinkle it on top of each serving. Serve with a side of jasmine rice to absorb the soup.

Two kilos of mussels was enough for a filling meal for three people, and would serve four well if you had some extra sides to go with the dish. Quite quick and simple to make (approximately half an hour) and relatively cheap as well, considering that most of the ingredients you should already have in (onion, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar), and others will only cost you about $15AUD total (mussels, curry paste, coconut milk).