Well, it's been an interesting few weeks. Time to break out the frozen wontons and make near-instant dinner. Maybe next month we'll take the plunge and make our own filling, at least.
So I bought some frozen wontons only to discover the packaging is complete genius. Check it out: they kept the wontons separate by putting each one in its own compartment. Hey, I have awfully similar ice cube trays hiding in the back of the cupboard! Whatever could I do with those in the near future, when I perform exciting wonton and/or dumpling-making experiments?
In the meantime, frozen wontons work just fine.
This method will work with any Asian wrapped dumpling or wonton intended for soup, so just use your favorite. If you're looking for vegetarian dumplings, I recommend that you check the ingredients list before you buy, to ensure that you don't fall prey to "vegetarian food=just vegetables" syndrome. For instance, instead of picking a wonton with corn, carrots, and peas, I picked one with spinach, tofu, and shiitake mushrooms. Much better.
rice wine vinegar
sriracha/other hot pepper sauce
premade frozen wontons
Asian-style broths compatible with wontons are actually really easy to cook. You just need to make a few additions to the standard vegetable broth procedure, and you're set.
First, while cooking the broth, add big chunks of ginger, smashed lemongrass stalks, or asian hot peppers (fresh or dried) to your standard water and vegetable base. If you don't have every one of these, it's ok; just use what you have. After the broth is cooked, remove the vegetables and reserve the liquid.
Season the remaining broth with your desired amount of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, mirin (i.e. sweet Japanese cooking wine), and a hot pepper sauce or jam such as sriracha or sambal oelek. The amounts really depend on your taste. I recommend starting with small amounts, tasting as you go. Leave the broth a bit undersalted, as you're going to evaporate liquid in a minute.
Now bring the broth back up to a boil. Slide your wontons into the broth, along with any fresh vegetables you might want in your finished soup. I chose finely sliced green onions and purple carrots. Other good additions: mushrooms, Chinese chives, various Asian greens, tofu cubes.
Simmer for about five minutes, or until the wontons are cooked through. You might want to check your package directions to estimate the time more accurately, depending on the kind of wonton you use.
When your wontons are cooked, taste the soup, correct for seasoning, and serve.
We had our soup with extra bits of green onion, for ultimate flavor punch. Yes!