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Wonton Skin in Broth - Noodle Week # 1

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
Servings: 2-4

200gm wonton skins
½ cup dried anchovies / ikan bilis
2L water
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.

21 lovely notes:

Honey Bee Sweets July 18, 2011 at 12:08 PM  

I'll have a big bowl with extra fried anchiovies on top please, heehee! 

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) July 18, 2011 at 12:08 PM  

at first glance, look like a bowl of mee hoon ker for me, hehehe..i would add some meat slices if i will cook this..

edith July 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM  

This is an interesting dish. In Singapore we have something in Ikan Bilis Broth. The dough is something like pasta.

Small Kucing July 18, 2011 at 12:22 PM  

ooo...like pan mee only it's smoother

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more July 18, 2011 at 1:26 PM  

Bee,
one coming right up!


sonia,
You may. I was trying to blog about this dish as close as it was to the original frugal version.


Edith,
I believe you mean 'pan mee' or meehoon kueh like some call it. Ikan bilis broth is a very basic broth that most families will use regularly.


Small kucing,
Minus the minced meat and a change of vegetables.
Actually most Malaysian homemade noodles uses ikan bilis broth base.

Jeannie July 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM  

Really looks like meehoon kueh soup:) And I know my boys will say it's wierd too! A great dish to go to when I ran out of food to eat:)

lena July 18, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

i've cooked this wanton skin a few times, just add them to soup , those were the dried ones which i get from pasar malam.

Elin July 18, 2011 at 3:52 PM  

I don't mind having a bowl of that provided that soup is good :) Looking at yours, I bet it is good !

HK Choo July 18, 2011 at 6:07 PM  

Great sharing..now this would come in handy with those pieces of wonton skin that accidentally got dried up in the fridge which I had been guilty of chucking them away, oops.

And it sure looks like smooth wat-tan-hor to me, in a way!

ReeseKitchen July 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM  

Looks like the "min fen gou" I used to cook...hehe! We can have a BIG bowl for that...;p

Anonymous,  July 18, 2011 at 7:42 PM  

I saw something similar like this from the Asian store. They are cut in square but smaller pieces in dry form but not sure if they are the same. I can imagine the softness of the wanton skin in broth. Like HK Choo I always have extra wonton skin in my freezer and they always dries up and end up in the dustbin. Now I know what to do with it. Thanks for sharing the idea with us.

Gertrude

WyYv July 18, 2011 at 11:57 PM  

thanks for sharing! I think it will be as good as panmee!!!

Shirley @ Kokken69 July 19, 2011 at 12:35 AM  

Hey, this is a greAt idea, less troublesome than mee hoon kueh! I definitely will try this!

Shu Han July 19, 2011 at 1:10 AM  

when i first saw this i thought it was mee hoon kueh. but this is a brilliant idea! never thought of it! i love wonton skins, so smooth and slippery and delicate. that's the first i've heard of it, really interesting!

Quay Po Cooks July 19, 2011 at 9:59 AM  

My mum made this for breakfast for me now and then. Very frugal indeed and this is one example to simple is GOOD! When are you coming to KL? Don't forget to schedule a day to catch up with us:D

Anonymous,  July 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM  

there is something similar to this in foochow cuisine... its called 燕皮, if i'm not mistaken.

Sean

Cheah July 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM  

I haven't had this for umpteen years. My mum used to cook this but if I can remember, the wonton skins were not dried but fresh. But I suppose it's easier to handle dried ones.

Food Dreams July 20, 2011 at 1:42 PM  

What a great idea to used up leftover! I always hate to throw away any food... thks for sharing!

Amelia's De-ssert July 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM  

This looks super delicious like pan mee, I would like to have a big bowl too :)

苹果妈妈 May 12, 2012 at 7:37 PM  

When I small my mum used to cooked for us too. We bought the dried skin from the wonton mee seller.
But mum cooked with the crispy anchovies. We love it very much! Wendy remind me my childhood memories!

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