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Sep 14, 2006 04:47 PM

Won Ton Soup Broth, a second try

A couple of weeks ago I asked for help making good chicken broth for won ton soup. Kitchensalli and OnceUponABite responded with helpful ideas. Both recommended roasting the bones but when I google chinese style broth the roasting is not recommended. Also, when I get Won Ton soup in restaurants the broth seems to consistently be the "white" version. This time I'm going to try flavoring the broth with onion, dried black mushrooms, ginger, star anise, 5 spice ...??
Any ideas or recommendations out there?? tia


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  1. The Key to Chinese Cooking says to make a chicken stock from a chicken that has been cleaned of any extra fat and any visible blood clots which would cloud the broth. Cut the chicken in to 1 inch pieces, cutting through the bone. Put the chicken in a deep kettle along with 4 slices of ginger about 1/8th inch thick and 1 whhole scallion and 3 qts. cold water and salt to taste. Bring to a gentle boil and skim until the broth is clear. Then simmer covered 3-4 hours.

    She then wants you to strain the broth through 3 layers of cheese cloth. Discard the meat and bones and if necessary strain again to remove any impurities.

    I don't use 5 spice or star anise in my soup but a drop of dark toasted sesame oil, Kadoya is a brand I like. Sometimes I like mushrooms and sliced roasted pork added to my wonton soup, maybe some shrimp and some sliced green onion. The book suggests after making your stock that you add a leafy green to the soup like spinach and maybe a little light soy sauce.

    1. There is a chicken stock powder with a rooster on it, if I remember correctly in a red can with yellow on it, that is available in many Chinese markets. For example in Orange County it is available in the 99 Ranch Markets. It makes wonderful broth, very quickly. You can use it with some bok choy greens, a few cut up carrots, a clove or two of smashed garlic, and you'll have a wonderful broth for won ton. Cook the won ton in a separate pot of water, drain it, and put it in the soup stock. If you like wor won ton, try putting cooked chopped chicken and shrimp in the broth, even calimari and/or octopus, and load it with more greens. Good cooking.

      1. Sorry to inform you but most Chinese restaurant use chicken powder along with plain chicken stock (chicken breast bones, water and ginger) as the previous poster mentioned. Add some chopped green onions and you'll have Chinese wonton broth. I believe Knorr brand even sell wonton soup powder. Looks something like below:

        1. Thanks for the feedback friends. I put the greens in the soup but not to make the broth. I've never even heard of the powder. I'll look for it. I'm in Sacramento and we have a number of good chinese markets here. Thanks again, and please keep posting if you have any other ideas to improve my broth, I want to get this right!!


          3 Replies
          1. re: Roberto

            The powder is chicken boullion. All mainstream grocery stores (Safeway, Albertsons) should carry it now.

            1. re: peachblossom

              You're right, but the Knorr brand chicken powder produced in Asia (I recognise the brand from theSauce's description) has a very distinctive taste that isn't like stock cubes you usually get in Western supermarkets, which give a different colour, are usually flavoured with herbs, and contain some oil. I go to Chinatown in Manhattan especially to get this chicken powder, as nothing else will do.

              Sadly, the "distinctive" flavour is mostly monosodium glutamate - but it still tastes great.

              1. re: peachblossom

                THAT IS MUCH TOO SALTY ...... What Roberto is talking about is the LEE Brand "Won Ton Soup Base Mix" Much superior to the above rec. The tin comes in an 8 oz (227 grams) container with green plastic lid ( He is right, it is a yellow with red lettering in Tai ..... the product is made in Thailand. You will surely not find it in a Safeway or Albertson grocery store. You will find it in your better Oriental Groceries. Good eating with Wok This Way.

            2. As an alternative to plain chicken broth, you might like to try a fish-based broth especially if you've got shrimp wontons.

              I make my own dumpling soup broth with leftover mushroom water (from re-hydrating Chinese black mushroom aka shitake), and a sachet of bonito (dried Japanese tuna flakes), a little bit of soy and a touch of white pepper and a drop of sesame oil. II'm not crazy about fresh scallions, but some minced green scallion would make sense too. I could swear some of the good restaurant-noodle soups must have a dried shrimp or seafood-derived ingredient that makes it yummy.

              If you get to a big Chinese supermarket, also look for a premium-quality instant noodle -- I think it's called KING-something brand. You might like it. They have an abalone-flavored soup stock with their instant noodle that's really really good. It comes in a dark yellow package (both soft cellophane-foil-type and round cardboard bowl-type.)

              One more alternative for a flavor injection is use dried shrimp-roe egg noodles. That's "HAH gee meen" in Cantonese. Par-boiling before final cooking in the broth is optional. The salty shrimp flavor comes right out of the noodles into the broth.

              Good luck.

              2 Replies
              1. re: vicki_vale

                The flavor for Won Ton soup broth is from shrimp shells. Try boiling some shrimp shells in water for 15-20 minutes and add some chicken broth for the soup.

                1. re: Eemee

                  Thanks to both you and Vicki_Vale for mentioning the fish/shrimp stock. After some investigation and experimentation we discovered that the only thing that tasted "authentic" was a fish based stock with shrimp shells; we now use fish-heads and shrimp shells and create a wonton soup which is truly "shiver worthy" (as when you get shivers of delight from something exquisite). Fish-heads are even better than bonito flakes because they add the necessary body which turns an "OK" wonton broth into a masterpiece and the shrimp shells give it the wonderful aroma and distinctive taste.