Woo! I can't believe we're already over a week into my favorite month, January. I know, everyone hates it. It's cold. Hanukkah is over. Christmas is over. New Year's eve is a mere memory, a blip on the radar. But I love January. Tomorrow is my dad's birthday (the 10th), my mom will be celebrating shortly after on the 17th, and put the two dates together, and you've got my big day (the 27th and guess what, I'm gonna be v v v old this year!!!!). So you see, lots of reasons to love this month. And then you have to factor in my newest reason to love January. My godson came into my life almost three years ago now on the 20th and he might be the greatest reason to love January! Then to top it all off, I've got a gaggle of awesome friends who are also January babies, so while everyone else might be going hmphf and oof and calling in sick with a case of the Januaries, I'm yay-ing and woo-ing because my favorite month has finally arrived (insert a shit ton of *party popper* emojis)!!
Basically, what I'm trying to tell you in a not so subtle way is that I'll be sharing a few cakes this month. There are so many reasons to celebrate, which means there are many cakes to be baked. But cakes are not the only baked good worthy of celebrations. Let there be cookies, pies, and candies too. Some of those might sneak their way in too. And of course, there should be cocktails. Those will still make appearances here and there but they might not make it every Friday, because let's be honest. Cake. Cookies. Pie.
In short, this is the month of a million cakes, a bajillion cookies, and heaps and mounds of chocolates, marzipan, and candies galore. And I'm totally ok with that. But...balance. So in strolls this spicy chicken wonton soup recipe. I love this soup for oh so many reasons. First of all, it's insanely easy to make. The ingredients are simple and easy to find (check your grocer's asian foods aisle if you're having difficulties) and it's insanely comforting. The chicken broth is so soothing but has a nice kick thanks to the fresno pepper and the ginger, the wontons are super juicy and loaded with flavor, and the bok choy and radish slices add a little crunch. Basically, this soup has everything. Not only is it warming, soothing, and super tasty but it's also extremely well rounded. It's pretty much my idea of an awesome Friday night. Bonus points for it taking less than forty-five minutes (and thirty of those minutes are for prep and mushroom rehydration), start to finish.
So look out for a few more savory recipes to pop up in this space because while I love sweets as much as, if not more than, the next person, I'm trying to find a bit more balance in this space and my personal space as a whole. Have a lovely weekend! I'll be cozying up to a bowl of this spicy soup while plotting my next cake!
Spicy Chicken Wonton Soup
Serves 2 to 4 people (depending on hunger levels)
- 7 g (or 4 - 5 mushrooms) dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 c. boiling hot water
- 1/2 lb. ground chicken
- 2 - 3 green onions, chopped
- 5 -7 water chestnuts, finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced + 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 - 2 tsp. sriracha (to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
- 24 - 28 wonton wrappers
- water, for sealing wrappers
- 32 fl oz. chicken stock
- 1 medium fresno chili, sliced
- 5 - 7 slices fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. mirin
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 bunch bok choy, chopped (ends trimmed off)
- 1/2 watermelon radish, halved and thinly sliced.
- 3 - 4 qt. saucepan
- Sharp knife and cutting board
- Bowl with plate to cover
- Mixing bowl
- Small bowl, for water to seal wrappers with
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Place dried shitake mushrooms in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over to soak. Cover with plate and rehydrate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, squeeze liquid from mushrooms then chop finely and combine with ground chicken, water chestnuts, minced garlic, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sriracha, and cracked black pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix with wooden spoon till combined. Set aside shitake water for broth.
- Put about 1 1/2 tsp. of the chicken mixture on the middle of a wonton wrapper, then dip your finger in the small bowl with water and run it along the edge of one half of the wrapper. Fold wet edge over dry edge, then press edges to seal together. Tuck the two ends in (it'll look like a tortellini). Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
- Combine stock, fresno chili, sliced ginger, sliced garlic, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and the shitake water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add wontons and cook for 5 minutes. Add bok choy and cook for an additional minute. Spoon into bowls and top with radish slices.
- Serve and enjoy!