While Humes encourages readers to play around with different broths, noodles, and toppings to create the pairings they like most, she explains some combinations will always be “time-honored, regional classics”—such as Hong Kong-style wonton noodles, which transport her back to childhood. Wontons and noodle soup are a dynamic duo in Cantonese cuisine; some places sell nothing but it.
Makes 4 servings
To make in advance: Cantonese Umami Broth (recipe below), Hong Kong–Style Pork-and-Shrimp Wontons
- 8 stalks bok choy, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 24 Hong Kong-Style Pork and-Shrimp Wontons
- 1 pound (450 g) fresh wonton noodles
- 6 cups (1.4 L) Cantonese Umami Broth (recipe below)
- Finely chopped scallions
Prepare the toppings: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the bok choy and blanch it until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the bok choy to a bowl; set aside.
Bring the water back up to a rapid boil. Add the wontons and cook until the dumpling skins are translucent and the filling is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Drain the dumplings in a colander; set aside.
Assemble the bowls: Cook the noodles according to the package instructions; divide them evenly among 4 deep serving bowls.
Bring the broth to a strong simmer in a medium pot. Top each portion of noodles with 6 wontons and 2 clusters of greens, and gently ladle the hot broth into each bowl. Sprinkle generously with chopped scallions; serve immediately.
Cantonese Umami Broth
Makes 4-6 servings
- 3 pounds (900 g) chicken backs and necks
- 3 pounds (900 g) pork bones
- 14 cups (3.3 L) water, plus more for blanching the bones
- 1 (4-ounce/120-g) chunk prosciutto
- 3 tablespoons dried baby shrimp, rinsed
- 3 scallions, chopped into 2-inch (5-cm) sections
- 1 (2-inch/5-cm) knob fresh ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
Combine the chicken and pork bones in a large stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain the contents in a colander in the sink. Rinse the bones and meat under cold running water, rubbing off any scum or blood clots. Rinse out the stockpot.
Return the pork bones and chicken to the cleaned stockpot. Add the prosciutto, dried shrimp, scallions, ginger, and water. Turn the heat to medium high, and bring the pot to a rapid simmer.
Immediately after the liquid begins to bubble, reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Simmer gently for 2 hours, periodically skimming off the foam and fat that rise to the surface.
Remove the pot from the heat. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot; discard the solids. Remove any remaining fat from the surface, then taste the broth for seasoning and add salt if it needs it.
Recipe and illustrations reprinted with permission from The Noodle Soup Oracle: Hundreds of Possibilities for the World's Favorite Comfort Food. Copyright © 2019. Published by Running Press.
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