Chicken-and-Shrimp Wonton Soup with Lemongrass Broth
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4 to 6
This recipe is chef Paul Liebrandt's interpretation of the classic. "They don't use a huge amount of lemongrass in traditional Hong Kong cooking; it's a Southeast Asian ingredient," he says. "But it adds great aroma and it's a nice twist."
- 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts on the bone, skin discarded
- 1/2 pound spareribs or baby back ribs, cut into single ribs
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 3 black cardamom pods (optional; see Note)
- 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns (see Note)
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 10 cups water
- 1 fresh lemongrass stalk, tender white inner bulb only, chopped
- One 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
- 3 cilantro sprigs
- 2 scallions, halved
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 ounces shelled and deveined shrimp, minced
- 2 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted Asian sesame oil, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
- 1 red Thai chile, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon minced cilantro, plus 1 tablespoon small leaves, for garnish
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 12 square wonton wrappers
- 1 scallion, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced, for garnish
- MAKE THE BROTH In a pot, heat the oil. Add the chicken and spareribs and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add the cardamom pods, peppercorns and star anise and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add all of the remaining broth ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, skimming off the fat, until the broth is reduced to 6 cups and very fragrant, 40 minutes. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large saucepan; skim off any fat.
- MAKE THE WONTONS In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the wrappers and garnishes. Arrange 4 wrappers on a surface; keep the remaining ones covered with a damp paper towel. Brush the wrapper edges with water. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Bring all 4 corners of each wrapper together and twist the top gently to form into purses. Press the edges to seal. Transfer the wontons to a plate. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling; cover with plastic wrap.
- Bring the strained broth to a boil. Add the wontons and simmer over moderate heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Spoon the wontons into bowls and ladle the broth over. Garnish the soup with the sesame oil, cilantro leaves and sliced scallion and serve.