Monday, July 18, 2011
Our family business, which was a coffee stall passed down since my great grandpa’s days, was situated next to a noodle shop for almost 40 years. The noodle shop make their own wonton skins and wonton noodles. So, they tend to have excess bits from the sides or some broken pieces that can’t be used to wrap the wontons.
What they’ll do is, they’ll dry the unusable wonton skins and collect a heck lot of it. They’ll either give them away to friends or sell it if others want it.
I’m not sure if this is consumed elsewhere, but my hubby felt this is so alien. I’ve cooked this once before and he finds it very weird, so this time I added fried shallots and crispy anchovies, and he finds it a lot better. But from where I came from, it was just plain wonton skins served with softened anchovies from all the boiling, no crispy ones. This is really old fashioned food that evolved from the hard frugal times, where no food was ever wasted.
Wonton Skin in Broth
Recipe Source: Wendyywy
Inspired by : Grandaunt
200gm wonton skins
½ cup dried anchovies / ikan bilis
1 tsp oil
250gm choy sum / mustard greens, cut into 2 inch lengths, separate stalks and leaf portions.
2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
1 thumbsized knob of ginger, peeled and smashed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp oil
Fried shallots and fried anchovies for garnish
1. Peel wonton skins and lay them single or double layered in a tray to dry. Put them in the sun or in a warm oven. This is drying step to facilitate the cooking process.
2. Rinse anchovies and drain. Put the rinsed anchovies into a stock pot and turn the heat on. When the anchovies look drier, put in 1 tsp of oil and cook for a while before adding in water. Bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer and put in the lid on. Simmer for 30 minutes or until soup turns whitish. Season with salt and pepper. Do not undersalt.
3. When it’s 15-20 mins to dinner time, heat a wok (large surface area preferred) and put in 2 Tbsp of oil. Cook ginger and garlic until garlic is slightly golden.
4. Strain in anchovy broth, bring to a boil. Put in choy sum stalks. Bring to a boil.
5. Sprinkle* dried wonton skins into broth, or lay them quickly trying not to overlap the next piece. Stir or press in the wonton skins before you do another layer. When all wonton skins are put in, put in the choy sum leaves, bring to a boil and turn heat off**.
6. Serve immediately with some fried shallots and crispy fried anchovies.
*Sprinkle if they’re in small pieces, and when they are dried, it’s easy this way. Lay them if they are in big pieces
** The wonton skins will further expand and soak up the broth as it cools down. Add more water to cook if it’s too dry. It should not be too soupy, but feels like eating “wat dan hor”.
When I was halfway cooking, Lyanne came into the kitchen, signaling to me, she has soiled herself. So, when I finished cooking, I quickly took her to bathe, which was why my wonton skins looked so dry in the picture.
If you are thinking, why can't I just use them fresh instead of dried?
Reason is that, you will be slow in putting them in. Can you put in slice by slice quick enough that the first piece isn't overcooked by the time you add in the last piece? When they are dried, you can put handsful of them in without worrying they will clump together.