Wonton Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh Recipe)

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  • Preparation: 25 mins
  • Cooking: 25 mins
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Servings: 6

Description Wonton Vietnamese Noodle Soup Recipe (Mì Hoành Thánh)

Wonton Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh) are often on the menus of Vietnamese noodle shops, but they are seldom as nuanced as those prepared by Chinese cooks. Years ago, while living in Southern California, I wanted to find out the Chinese secret to good wonton noodle soup, so I asked my friend Victor Fong. Born and raised in Chinatown, Los Angeles, he took me to the local Mayflower Restaurant, a tiny locals-only establishment on a side street. Wonton Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Mì Hoành Thánh)  had a perfect chewy-tender texture, the crinkly wontons encased a toothsome pork and shrimp filling, and the golden broth was complex and not darkened by too much soy sauce.
The owners and their chef turned out to be ethnic Chinese from Vietnam, and though friendly, there were coy about what went into their noodle soup. After eating many bowls at Mayflower and some trial and error at home, I came up with my own version of this noodle soup classic.

Ingredients

  • 48 square wonton skins (1-pound package)
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) Noodle Soup Broth, with ¼ cup dried shrimp added during simmering
  • 1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
  • Salt
  • 1 pound thin Chinese egg noodles, cooked in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes until tender yet chewy, drained, and flushed with cold water
  • ¾ pound baby bok choy, sliced on the diagonal into ¾-inch-wide pieces, cooked in boiling water for about 1 minute, or until tender and bright green, and drained
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 or 3 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
  • White pepper
  • Mellow Chile-Garlic Mix, optional
  • WONTON FILLING
  • ½ pound boneless pork shoulder, chopped by hand or machine to a coarse texture
  • ½ pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into pea-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 scallions, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method Wonton Vietnamese Noodle Soup Recipe (Mì Hoành Thánh)

1, To make the filling, in a bowl, combine the pork, shrimp, cornstarch, salt, pepper, scallions, and sesame oil and use chopsticks or your fingers to mix well.
2, To shape the wontons, use your favorite method or use these instructions to guide you. Work in batches of 6 to 8 wonton skins. Place them on a work surface, such as large cutting board, inverted baking sheet, or tray. Using 2 teaspoons or demitasse spoons, place a scant teaspoon of filling (about the size of a ½-inch marble) in the center of a wonton skin. Dip a pastry brush in water and lightly brush the entire edge of the skin. Pick up a corner of the wonton skin and fold it over, enclosing the filling and forming a triangle. Press the edges of the triangle firmly with your finger to seal. Fold one of the outside tips of the triangle back over the filling, dab with water, and overlap with the opposing tip, pressing lightly to seal. Place the finished wonton on a large plate or tray. Repeat until all the filling is used up. Cover with a light dish towel to prevent drying while you ready the other ingredients.
3, Pour the broth into a large saucepan, add the soy sauce, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Taste and season with enough salt to create a strong savory flavor. Lower the heat to keep the broth hot while you ready the bowls.
4, To cook the wontons, fill a large pot half full with water and bring to a rolling boil. At the same time, fill another large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil, for reheating the noodles.
5, Cook the wontons in 3 or 4 batches, dropping each batch into the pot of boiling water and stirring to separate them with a slotted spoon or wire skimmer. As soon as the wontons float to the top, let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the skins are translucent.
As each batch of wontons finishes, reheat the noodles for a couple of bowls by placing a portion on a large vertical-handle strainer (or mesh sieve) and dunking the noodles in the boiling water. After 5 to 10 seconds, pull the strainer from the water, letting the water drain back into the pot. Empty the noodles into a bowl and position some bok choy to the side of the noodle mound.
Scoop the cooked wontons up with the slotted spoon or wire skimmer, pausing briefly above the pot to allow excess water to drain. Divide the wontons among the noodle-filled bowls. Repeat for the remaining wontons, noodles, and bok choy.
6, Top each bowl with a light drizzle of sesame oil, a sprinkle of scallion, and a pinch of pepper. Raise the heat and bring the broth to a rolling boil. Do a final taste test of the broth, adding more salt, if necessary. Ladle about 2 cups broth into each bowl, distributing the hot liquid evenly to warm all the ingredients. Serve immediately with the chile-garlic mix for diners who want some heat.

Chef's Note

To keep uncooked wontons overnight, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cover with a light dusting of flour. Lay the wontons on the prepared baking sheet, making sure that they don’t touch. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. To prevent the wontons from getting sticky, be ready to boil them immediately when you remove them from the refrigerator. Or, freeze the wontons on the baking sheet until frozen solid and transfer them to an airtight plastic container. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month and thaw halfway at room temperature (lay them out flat on a baking sheet) before cooking.
If you want to dress up the bowl, add bite-sized slices of Char Siu Pork when you add the bok choy.

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