As we head towards Autumn and Winter, there is nothing (in my books) more satisfying as a good wonton noodle soup.
This is a great recipe for a rainy Sunday lunch or a quick weekday dinner, that is full of flavour and happiness in a bowl.
The soup takes a bit of preparation in terms of time needed to simmer, but it’s so worth it!
To save time for the weekdays, you can batch make the soup and wontons and freeze.
If you want to cheat on the duck, it’s easy enough to head down to your local Chinese shop that sells roast duck and buy it already cooked and ready to add to your noodles.
There are many ways of making wontons – this recipe opts for the traditional pork and prawn, but you can mix it up and create your own fillings and modify the soup to your liking.
Prep time – 40 minutes, plus 5 hours for the soup to simmer and then chill overnight, and 1.5 hours sous vide cooking time for the duck.
For the soup base:
- One whole organic chicken
- 2 L filtered water
- 2 carrots
- 1 large brown onion
- 2-3 sticks celery
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 tbs black peppercorns
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- Any other robust vegetable you’d like to add that’s left over – eg. Mushrooms, swedes, parsnips etc
For the wontons:
- Egg wonton wrappers
- 150g pork mince
- 50-60g shelled and de-veined prawns – you can cook them prior if you don’t like the smell of prawns
- 1 dutch carrot – finely diced
- 1 -2 spring onions – finely diced
- 1 knob of ginger – finely grated
- 1 Tbs light soy sauce
- 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the rest:
- 4 duck breasts
- Chinese five spice powder
- Fresh egg noodles
- Bok choy
- 4 spring onions
- Fried onions
- Chilli to taste
- Make the soup base:
- Roughly chop the onions, carrots and celery (and/or any other vegetables you want to add)
- Chuck into a large pot with some olive oil on high heat
- Let the ingredients sweat a little
- Add organic chicken – I like to remove the legs and split the main carcass into two
- Add the peppercorns, bay leaves and 2L of filtered water and bring to the boil
- Simmer for 1 hour and then remove chicken
- Remove meat from chicken and then return bones and skin to the broth
- Add the apple cider vinegar
- Simmer for another 5 hours (or as much time as you have)
- Remove from heat and strain liquid
- Refrigerate liquid and then skim and discard any fat that rises to the top the next day – your soup base is now ready.
- Make the wontons:
- Take the wonton wrappers out from the fridge 10 minutes before you need to use them
- Mix all the ingredients together by hand except for the wonton wrapper
- Have a small bowl of water ready on the side
- Make the wontons by placing a small spoonful of filling mix into a wonton wrapper
- Wrap the wontons into a triangle and seal using a little water on each side of the wrapper. Make the wontons into a shape by pinching the sides over each other – see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGc2YwwXckM for creative ideas on how to make different shaped wontons
- Cover wontons with a damp tea towel or cling wrap to keep them from drying out
- You can batch make the wontons and freeze for use at a later date – just make sure you boil them a little longer if you choose to freeze them.
- Make the duck:
- Dry the duck breast well with paper towels
- Score the skin several times
- Sprinkle some Chinese five spice over the entire duck breast
- Vacuum seal the duck breast using a vacuum sealer if you want to sous vide it
- Cook the duck breast – set the sous vide at 60 degrees and then cook for 1.5 hours – when ready, remove the duck and dry well with paper towels
- Finish the duck by placing skin side down onto a very hot pan so that it renders the fat and crisps up the skin. NOTE: If you don’t have a sous vide, you can pan fry the duck breast, skin side down and then flip over once and cook until it’s medium or to your liking.
- Combine it all together:
- Heat the soup base to boiling and then a few minutes before serving, throw in the bok choy to cook
- In a separate pot, boil water for the wontons and noodles
- Cook the wontons until they float, remove with a slotted spoon and you can either place aside or in the simmering soup base
- Cook the noodles for a few minutes until they are ready – drain from pot
- In a bowl, place the cooked noodles, wontons and bok choy. Add sliced duck breast, ladle in the soup and garnish with sliced spring onions, fried onions and/or chilli to taste.