Guangdong & Hong Kong: Wonton Noodle Soup

Restaurant: Ying Kee Restaurant
City: Oakland, CA

I had wonton noodle soup for lunch on Sunday; the wonton at this place is superb!

The noodle soup consisted of shredded chicken, shrimp, mung bean sprouts, green onion, wonton, and egg noodles. The wonton is a type of dumpling, filled with shrimp and minced pork. I usually eat the wontons with red vinegar.

wonton noodle soup

Here’s info about the wonton (the dumpling), from Wikipedia:

In Cantonese cuisine, shrimp filled wonton within minced pork is most commonly served with thin noodles to make wonton noodles. It may also be consumed with red vinegar. The soup is made from boiling shrimp shells, pork bones and dried flounder to give it a distinct taste. Hong Kong wontons were introduced to the area after World War II as street food and later indoor eateries. Wonton is served in variety of sizes with smallest being two wonton and noodles called Sai Yung.

Here’s some info ’bout the wonton noodle soup, from Wikipedia:

Wonton noodles [Mandarin: yun-tun mian; Cantonese: wan-tan min], sometimes called wanton mee (“wanton” is a Cantonese word for dumpling while noodles in Hokkien is “mee” or in Cantonese, “min”) is a Cantonese noodle dish which is popular in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The dish is usually served in a hot broth, garnished with leafy vegetables, and wonton dumplings. The types of leafy vegetables used are usually kailan also known as Chinese kale. Another type of dumpling known as shui jiao is sometimes served in place of wonton. It contains prawns, chicken or pork, spring onions with some chefs adding mushroom and black fungus.

In Hong Kong, wonton noodles are usually served in steaming hot soup with shrimp wontons and garnished with leafy vegetables. There are plenty of variations of this popular Cantonese dish, with different toppings and garnishes. For example, the soup and wontons in a separate bowl, the noodles being served relatively dry, with the toppings and garnishes, dressed with sauce, dipping the noodles in the soup to eat it.

There are four distinct features: First, the wontons are predominantly prawn, with small amounts of minced pork, or no pork at all. Second, aficionados will insist on fresh, smooth thin noodles which are al dente, free from the taste and odor which is characteristic in many egg noodles when cooked. Third, the bouillon is light brown (prepared from dried flounder) and is usually steaming hot. Lastly, garlic chives are used as a garnish. The first two give the dish a wet but crunchy or crispy mouthfeel. The last two give the dish a unique bouquet.

In order to ensure that the noodles are perfectly al dente and free from “noodley” taste, the cooking process and sequence must be meticulously adhered to. The wonton is cooked first, and then placed in the bowl. The noodles are blanched for only 10 seconds, after which they are rinsed under cold water and placed in the serving bowl. Piping hot bouillon is then scooped into the bowl, on top of the wonton noodles. The bouillon must be tasty, yet not so strong as to overpower the delicate taste of the wonton and the noodles which it is meant to accompany. Wonton is most popular in some provinces in China.

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