This is our first International Food Challenge and this month we are exploring Cantonese Cuisine, which comes from Guangdong Province in Southern China and it is one among the 8 great traditions of Chinese cuisine.
The basic cooking techniques of Cantonese cuisine includes roasting, stir-frying, sauteing, deep frying, stewing and steaming. Steaming and stir-frying are most commonly used to preserve the natural flavors of the ingredients. The most characteristic cooking methods of this cuisine are cooking in salt, cooking in wine, baking in a pan.
Sara's Yummy Bites and Shobana @ Kitchen Secrets and Snippets selected 4 Cantonese recipes to try. I picked 2 dishes that I have always wanted to try -- Vegetarian Wonton Soup & Scallion Pancakes.
Wonton soup involves quite a few steps; making the filling, cooking the noodles and assembling. But the end result is very hearty and worth every minute of the time spent. I followed the recipe given to us to the 'T' and it came out yummy!!
For Wonton Soup:
Vegetable Stock or Water - 3~4 cups
Shredded Vegetables - ¼cup (I used savoy cabbage & julienned carrots)
Sambal Oelek or Chilli paste - 2tsp
Rice Vinegar - 1tsp
Soy sauce - ½tbsp
Vermicelli or thin noodles - 1oz. (I used whole grain thin spaghetti)
Wonton wrappers - 20 (I used Nasoya brand Wonton wrappers)
Corn starch - 1tbsp whisked in 3tbsp water
Salt & Pepper - to taste
For Wonton Filling:
Veggies - 1 cup of your choice, I used cabbage, carrot, broccoli and red pepper (cauliflower, beans, celery will taste good as well)
Tofu - ¼cup, crumbled
Green chili - 1, finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, crushed
Ginger - 1" piece, grated
Sesame oil - 1tsp
Salt - to taste
- Make the filling: Finely chop/ mince the veggies using a food processor or mini-blender. Heat oil in a saute pan, add the ginger, garlic and green chilies and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Next add the veggies and cook on high heat until the veggies are tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add crumbled tofu and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.
- Cook Noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Make Wontons: Place 1tsp filling in the middle of each wonton wrapper. Lightly moisten the edges with water, fold the wonton over the filling onto the opposite side forming a triangle.
- Moisten the edges to seal. Moisten the two long ends of the triangle and fold them together to press firmly to seal. Set the wontons aside until ready to use. Filled wontons can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- Make Soup: In a sauce pan, bring the broth or water to a boil. Gently stir in the veggies.
- Add the chili paste, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for 2~3 minutes.
- Drop the wontons one by one into the simmering soup and cook for 4~5 minutes or until the wontons start to float to the top.
- Add sesame oil and cooked noodles.
- Slowly add the corn starch slurry to the soup and bring to a boil to thicken.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.