Wor Wonton Soup

Wor Wonton Soup

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.

Wor Wonton Soup

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You’ll want to skip the takeout when you can make flavour-packed Wor Wonton Soup at home. It’s incredibly easy and quick once all the components are ready. I prefer to make homemade wontons and pork for this recipe because both are just so much better than store-bought in my opinion. I’ve included links for both, so I encourage you to be adventurous and try both. For this soup, I’ve chosen to use broccoli and carrots for my vegetables, however, feel free to sub in baby bok choy, water chestnuts, snow peas or baby corn to suit your liking.

Prepped pork wontons, pork char sui, shrimp and vegetables ready for Wor Wonton Soup.

The biggest trick to Wor Wonton Soup is the timing. I’ve dabbled with several different timing arrangements and found that the vegetables will cook in the same time it takes the wontons to cook. Therefore, adding them to the simmering broth at the same time is essential. Overcooking either is undesirable, to say the least. The same can be said for the shrimp and pork too. The shrimp will cook in no more than 2 minutes and the pork only needs to be warmed as it’s already cooked. So be sure to stick around the pot, the whole process takes only 4-5 minutes, so it’s not the time to do even the quickest of choirs.

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.

I’ve included links for the Pork Char Siu and Pork Wontons. The extra pork can be tightly wrapped in a sealable bag and frozen for up to two months. The wontons can also be frozen in a single layer and then placed in a sealable container for up to a month. Extra wontons are easily cooked in a little broth, deep-fried or pan-fried. Trust me, they will not go to waste!! This is a wonderful soup that eats like a meal and it’s easier than you might think. Enjoy!

Pork Char Siu

Crispy Wontons

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.
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Wor Wonton Soup

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2-2 cups large bite-size broccoli pieces
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 16 each pork wontons see note
  • 12 large shrimp, deveined and tail removed
  • 6 ounces Chinese BBQ pork (Pork Char Siu), thinly sliced see note
  • 2 tbsp green onion, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • as needed sesame oil

Instructions

  • In a large pot heat broth and soy sauce to a gentle simmer. Add broccoli, carrots and pork wontons and maintain a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes until wontons are cooked and vegetables are just tender. Add shrimp and sliced pork when about 2 minutes of cooking time remains.
  • Divide soup into shallow bowls and garnish with green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Notes

-The prep time noted does not include the time to make the wontons or pork char siu if making either from scratch.
-You can use store-bought wontons and pork char siu, however homemade is so much better and I've included a link to both in the post above.

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Pork Char Siu

Pork Char Siu

Pork Char Siu

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What’s your favourite Chinese dish? I can’t seem to narrow it down to just one but wor wonton soup and pork dumplings are definitely at the top of my list. I also enjoy dim sum with its array of steamed buns, rice rolls and dumplings. But today’s Pork Char Siu was made in preparation for wor wonton soup, which is soon to follow!! Wor, meaning “everything” in Chinese means the soup can be made with any combination of your favourite foods such as broccoli, baby bok choy, or shrimp. I personally believe that Pork Char Siu is a must to include. The sweet and salty meat is great together with the broth and vegetables and helps to make the soup a meal on its own.

Pork shoulder roast on a black cutting board with a bowl of marinade in the background in preparation for Pork Char Siu.

While wor wonton soup is one of my favourite ways to use Pork Char Siu, it’s also great in fried rice, ramen, or sliced and served with extra sauce over rice. Heck, cold pork buns are great too! The cooked pork freezes well in an airtight container for up to two months. Having three cooked pieces gives you Pork Char Siu for at least three meals if frozen separately. It makes for easy weeknight meals when you’re short on time and energy. Enjoy!

Reduced marinade in a stainless steel skillet ready to glaze the roasted pork for Pork Char Siu.
Pork Char Siu sliced and presented on a black cutting board garnished with fresh parlsey.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

Pork Char Siu sliced and presented on a black cutting board garnished with fresh parlsey.
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Pork Char Siu

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 22 minutes
marinating and resting 1 day 10 minutes
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 52 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder roast
  • 5 tbsp honey, divided
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sherry or Chinese Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 tsp red food colouring paste see note
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

Instructions

  • Trim pork shoulder of excess fat and cut lengthwise into 3 even pieces. Place pieces into a sealable bag.
  • Whisk together 3 tbsp of honey and the remaining ingredients. Pour marinade over pork and seal bag. Lay bag flat on a small tray or shallow baking pan and refrigerate for 24-48 hours, flipping once or twice.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F and place rack in the middle. Line a baking tray with two layers of aluminum foil or a layer of aluminum foil and a sheet of parchment paper. (see note) Drain marinade into a shallow skillet and place pork onto the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, turn pork and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp of honey into the marinade and reduce over medium-high heat until it coats the back of a spoon, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Generously baste pork with sauce and bake for 10 minutes. Turn pork, baste again and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Turn oven to broil and remove the top layer of aluminum foil or sheet of parchment paper from under the pork leaving a cleaner surface for broiling (see notes). Baste pork and broil for 1-2 minutes, turn pork, baste and broil again for 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven, cover and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Notes

-I used a food colouring paste, more food colouring may be required if using the liquid variety.
-Lining the pan with two layers of aluminum foil or aluminum foil and  parchment is important because the sugary drippings from the pork tend to burn easily.  Removing the top layer that is already starting to get dark gives a clean surface for broiling, preventing any unnecessary burning.

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Crispy Wontons

Crispy Wontons

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

Crispy Wontons

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I’m a PIG! At least that what my friend and co-worker Yanan tells me, and who knows the Chinese zodiac better than a person born and raised in China? It’s a lucky sign/animal Yanan tells me, but being called a pig certainly doesn’t have the best ring to it. However, I must confess I have been known to be a little piggish when it comes to food LOL! Today’s Crispy Wontons are inspired by Yanan and the upcoming Chinese New Year on February 12th.

Wontons wrapped three ways on a wooden cutting board demonstrating pork wontons for the Crispy Wontons recipe.

Yanan can make the best pork dumplings and steamed buns and has been my inspiration and guidance for this post. She is always willing to teach, lend a helping hand, and has a huge heart. I can say with some honesty that my wonton making has improved with her recommendations and practice from making this post. However, it will be some time, if ever, that I can proclaim to be a pro at Chinese cooking. I will at least say it is fun to practice!

Yanan and her family immigrated from China to Quebec, Canada in 1999. They had to learn French in a French-speaking province, find employment and make their way through endless challenges in a new country. Yanan was a teacher in China and already knew technical English, but learning Americanized English was a thing of its own. The slang, profanity and innuendoes still took some learning. The tones in the Chinese language are very prevalent when she is speaking English today. They provide a level of entertainment because her tone can change with each word, leaving you to wonder if she is being passionate, angry, or simply excited about something.

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

From Quebec, Yanan and her family moved across the country to the province of Alberta. She found employment with the Correctional Service of Canada and eventually became a co-worker of mine. She is a joy to me, and I consider myself lucky to call her a friend. Happy New Year Yanan!

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.
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Crispy Wontons

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 52 wontons

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese wine or sherry
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 pkg wonton wrappers
  • as needed canola oil

Instructions

  • Line a large baking tray with parchment and fill a small bowl with cold water.
  • In a medium bowl add all ingredients except wrappers and canola oil. Mix gently until well combined.
  • Lay 8-10 wrappers on a flat surface. Place approximately 2 teaspoons of pork filling in the center of each wrapper. Moisten the outer edge of the wrapper with water using your fingertip. Fold the wrapper in half diagonally, pressing lightly on the edges to create a good seal. Dab both lower corners with water and bring both lower corners across and together pressing lightly to hold. It will look like a bishops hat. Place prepared wonton on the baking tray and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Keep the wrappers and prepared wontons covered with a clean damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
  • Attach a candy/high-temperature thermometer to the side of a large pot at least 9" in diameter. Add enough canola oil to come up a minimum of 3 inches. Heat oil to 350°F.
  • Carefully drop wontons into the hot oil, about 8-10 at a time depending on the size of your pot. Cook for 2 minutes per side until golden. Remove with a mesh/slotted scoop to a paper towel-lined tray. Repeat with remaining wontons, adjusting temperature as you go to maintain the 350°F.
  • Serve immediately with plum sauce, sweet chili sauce or a soy dipping sauce.

Notes

-Wontons can be shaped in a variety of different ways.  I like to use the simple folded triangle method which resembles a bishop's hat, however, any shape will work. Three varieties are shown in the post.
-Alternatively, you can use an electric deep fryer set at 350°F to cook the wontons.

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Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza

Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza

Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza baked hot and bubbly and garnished with fennel fronds.

Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza

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I say start the new year with pizza! Yes, that’s right, crispy, cheesy, flavour-packed Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza. We can not make just any pizza, it truly needs to be a cast-iron pizza to start the new year right. It creates the best golden and crisp underside that you’ll ever create at home, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making all your pizzas this way. Most new year resolutions include some form of healthy eating, but I think the new year (because it’s gonna be great) deserves full-on, carefree, in your face deliciousness. The sausage and fennel combination has not only become my new favourite, cooking it in a cast-iron pan tips it over the edge of my pizza nirvana. So move over plain ol’ pepperoni pizza… grown-up pizza just walked in.

A cast iron skillet full of of ingredients for Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza.
Pizza dough, marinara sauce and fennel ready for Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza.

With the new year upon us, we have no choice but to be hopeful for a more user-friendly year. Even though I can consider 2020 a good year, it hasn’t been without its frustrations, and for many people, it has been a year of hardship and heartache. While we can’t eat cheesy, sausage laden pizza all the time, it’s a good reminder to enjoy a few of the simpler things that we can. It’s also great fun to create homemade pizza at home with loved ones lending a helping hand.

All the best in 2021, let’s eat!

Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza garnished with fennel fronds and cut into slices on a black cutting board.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza garnished with fennel fronds and cut into slices on a black cutting board.
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Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza

Course Main Course
Keyword baked, cast iron, cast iron pizza, fennel, garlic, Italian sausage, mozzerella, olive oil, pizza, pizza dough
Cook Time 14 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 8-10 ounces pizza dough homemade or store-bought
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage about 2 links, casing removed
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce homemade or store bought
  • 3 ounces shredded mozzarella about 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced plus fronds for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Set oven rack to its uppermost position. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  • Drizzle room temperature pizza dough with 1 tbsp olive oil and press out to a 10" round. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a 10" cast-iron skillet. Add Italian sausage and cook over medium, breaking up any large pieces. Once cooked and slightly crisp remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • With the heat still on medium/low, immediately lay pizza dough in the pan, stretching out to the edges using a spatula or spoon if necessary. Top dough with marinara, then mozzarella, fennel, garlic and sausage. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and check the underside which should be starting to brown and crisp. Transfer pan to oven and bake until bubbling, about 10-14 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and fennel fronds or fresh basil. Lift out of the pan and cut into wedges and serve.

Notes

-The dough will press out better on a wooden surface such as a cutting board as opposed to granite or super-smooth surfaces.
-I prefer a thinner crust and opt for 8 ounces of dough vs 10.  It is 10 ounces pictured in the blog.
-Makes one 10" pizza, however, a 12" cast-iron skillet would work too, just use the 10 ounces of dough.  There's plenty of topping, so there's no need to adjust unless you'd like more cheese.
-The original recipe from Bon Appétit suggests garnishing with fresh basil, however, I enjoy using fresh fennel fronds instead, but it's a matter of preference and both are delicious. 

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Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce

Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce

Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh parsley.

Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce

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Every once in a while I like to remake one of my older recipes and give it a little life on the blog.  Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce get the honourable mention today! Not only because they’re tasty but because they’re so quick and easy.  A little hard cider goes a long way in making a quick pan sauce for your juicy pork chops. It adds great flavour along with the Dijon and tomato paste. It only takes a cup of hard cider so I guess the  bonus here is that you get to drink the rest.

A tray of three seared pork chops ready for sauce for Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce.

A tasty rub is smeared over the pork chops which are then pan fried golden. While they rest, a quick pan sauce with everyday ingredients and a little hard cider transpires. The key here is not to overcook the pork chops, 6 minutes per side is about all you need. If in doubt, you want a minimum of 145℉ on an instant read thermometer.

I love this recipe because you get good delicious value for the time spent. The spice rub adds additional flavour and a gorgeous colour to the pork chops. It’s a weeknight winner for sure! Enjoy!

Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh parsley.
Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh parsley.

Author: Compelled to Cook, Adapted slightly from: Williams-Sonoma Pork Chops with Hard Cider Pan Sauce.

Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh parsley.
Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce
Print Recipe
Juicy spiced pork chops adorned with a creamy hard cider pan sauce.
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    20 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    20 minutes
    Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh parsley.
    Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce
    Print Recipe
    Juicy spiced pork chops adorned with a creamy hard cider pan sauce.
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      20 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      20 minutes
      Ingredients
      Pork Chops
      Hard Cider Sauce
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      Pork Chops
      1. In a small bowl stir together all ingredients except pork chops. Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel. Rub pork chops with spice mixture, covering all sides. Add oil to a large stainless steel pan over medium heat. When oil is hot add pork chops and cook until golden, approximately 6 minutes per side or an internal temperature of 145℉ is reached. Remove from pan and tent with foil.
      Hard Cider Sauce
      1. Dab out excess oil from the same pan. Over medium heat, add hard cider scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Bring hard cider to a boil and reduce for 5 minutes. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, sirracha, and tomato paste. Stir in heavy cream, allow to return to a simmer and reduce for 2-3 minutes or until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately over pork chops.
      Recipe Notes

      -Medium heat is recommended so the spice rub doesn't burn or get too dark. The trick for a good sear with medium heat is to not move the pork chops while they cook, allowing a good crust to form.

      -The time needed to cook the pork chops will vary depending on their thickness.  The 6 minutes per side is based on an approximate 1" thick pork chop.  If your chops are thinner, adjust accordingly and use a thermometer if needed.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com