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Tag Archives: broth

Chicken Wonton Soup

Anthony Bourdain is no more.

Never in my wildest imagination did I think that this is the way I would pay tribute to him on my blog. I have always wanted to write about Bourdain, his books, travels, shows and the stories of food cultures that he bought into our lives. But somehow I never put those thoughts to paper and now this….

It’s been an incredibly hard one to digest.

I have never been so profoundly distressed about someone’s death, especially someone who has not been a part of my personal or real life. He was not family or a friend, just a celebrity I watched on TV, so I couldn’t even fathom why I experienced that numbing ache, that overwhelming sense of sadness that sits heavy in my chest everytime I think of it.

But the truth is that he was one of those rare souls who had touched my life (and I realise so many others too) at a much deeper level.

Yes, Bourdain was all about the food, travel and culture. At least that’s how I identified with his books and shows initially. All the more, because I have always been an advocate for food…without borders, a belief or philosophy on which my blog has been founded too.

But as I got to read and watch him more, I realised that I connect with him so deeply because of our inherent restless, angry souls. His journey has been so different to mine yet somewhere I felt a sense of ‘this guy gets what I feel’ most of the time.

A restlessness to explore the world through food…..he did it through his travels; I do it through this blog. And sometimes that passion can be a burden too, because you are often misunderstood. I remember reading somewhere that most of his friends couldn’t get his relentless need to talk about food and cultures which made conversations difficult at times. And that’s a feeling I totally relate to; people around who simply can’t get my passion or think I am not doing anything worthwhile with my life.

There’s been much discussion about mental health, depression etc…. in the online world after his death but I am not going to talk about it. Not because I don’t think it’s important; because today I want to remember him again only for his love for travel and respect for food and cultures.

And I know these few lines can never completely convey the respect I have for Bourdain’s work….

Let’s get back to today’s recipe.

Dumplings, dimsims, wontons…we are just crazy about these at home. Steamed, pan fried, deep fried, we love it in all forms. But one of my personal favourites especially during winter is the wonton soup.

Chicken Wonton Soup - thespiceadventuress.com

I order it a lot while eating out at Asian restaurants but this time, I wanted to make it at home. I am not a pro when it comes to shaping wontons so I just followed this video which was really informative.

Not a complicated recipe at all but a tad bit time consuming making the wontons. But it was totally worth it as I made enough to freeze for another comforting weeknight dinner.

Chicken Wonton Soup - thespiceadventuress.com

The broth is light and simple but really flavourful and the only way to get that is to use a really good quality stock, store bought or homemade. I added the long red chillies (less heat), plenty of garlic and ginger along with soy and sesame oil to get a well balanced and moreish broth. I could just drink this broth all day long…..

This chicken wonton soup is like a hug in a bowl. It only takes minutes to prepare the broth and the wontons are boiled in the broth itself. I also added some bok choy at the end to finish off. You can add mushrooms, radish or any vegetables/greens of your choice. I wanted it to be all about the wontons, hence kept it simple.

Chicken Wonton Soup - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe adapted from Fix Feast Flair

Ingredients:

For the wontons:

(Makes 50 wontons; makes extra which is suitable for freezing)

  1. 50 Wonton wrappers
  2. 500 gms chicken mince
  3. 2 spring onions (only bulb); finely chopped
  4. 2 large garlic cloves; grated
  5. 1 ½ tbsp hoisin sauce
  6. ½ tbsp oyster sauce
  7. 1 tbsp sriracha
  8. ½ tsp black pepper powder
  9. Salt, to season

For the broth:

  1. 1 litre chicken stock
  2. 1 large red chilli (less heat variety)
  3. 5 -6 ginger slices
  4. 2 garlic cloves; finely sliced
  5. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  6. ½ tsp sesame oil
  7. ½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
  8. 1 bunch bok choy (ends trimmed and leaves separated)

Method:

To make the wontons:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the chicken mince, onions, garlic, hoisin, oyster, sriracha, pepper and salt. Mix well to combine and keep aside for 15 minutes.
  2. For making the wontons, check out this video. I made the tortellini shaped ones since it was the easiest and most preferred one for me. To create this, place about 1 ½ tsp chicken mixture in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Wet the tip of your finger in a small bowl of water and run along the edges of one half of the wrapper. Fold the wet edges over to the dry edges to get a triangle shape and press to seal. Next tuck in the two edges towards each other to get the tortellini shape.
  3. Prepare all the wontons and keep stored in an airtight container. The wontons can dry out fast so place in the container as you make each one.
  4. To make the soup broth, add the stock to a large pan. Next add the chillies, sliced ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Bring to boil and add the required number of wontons. Cook for 4 minutes; then add the bok choy and cook for one more minute.
  5. Serve immediately.

Note – The broth is best made fresh, but if you intend to store it, then remove the ginger slices before doing so or it could turn slightly bitter on sitting.

Chicken Wonton Soup - thespiceadventuress.com

 

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Mr. Ramen San (Melbourne CBD) – a Review

Located on Bourke Street inside the Mid City Arcade (Chinatown precinct), Mr. Ramen San is easily one of Melbourne’s best ramen restaurants.

Mr. Ramen San has a rather unpretentious exterior and can be a tad difficult to spot if you aren’t familiar with the Chinatown precinct. The best way is to look out for the Mid City Arcade on Bourke Street and you can find the restaurant on the ground floor. But trust me; it will be well worth the effort!

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

The moment you enter the restaurant, you will be greeted with a smile and ‘Irasshaimase’ (welcome in Japanese). Customer service is taken seriously at Mr. Ramen San and the staff is extremely friendly and willing to help out all the time.

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

We were seated immediately and the menu cards were bought out promptly. The staff took time to explain the menu and how to order the ramen customizing it to your taste preferences. The first step is to choose the main topping; you have five selections – Charsu, Teriyaki Charsu, Beef Miso, Spicy Chicken and Fresh Seafood. Next you choose the soup base and the selections for this are Tonkotsu, Spicy Tonkotsu, Shoyu and Miso.

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

The signature dish at Mr. Ramen San is the Charsu Tonkotsu Ramen and what makes it so unique is the intensely flavourful white cloudy broth that is obtained from slow cooking pork bones and collagen for ten hours. The charsu is again stewed for several hours that it becomes melt-in-your-mouth (and I can vouch for its tenderness). No MSG, no artificial stock in the stock but the purest of ingredients cooked with expertise and passion by Head Chef Roystan who has exclusively trained with Japanese ramen masters.

The style of ramen that is served here comes from Kyushu, the picturesque southwestern most island of Japan. While I have always been a fan of ramen, I wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about the different types of ramen or the geographical differences. So I asked the staff to explain this bit to me which they gladly did. Indeed wonderful customer service.

Another unique feature of the ramen here is that the noodles are made fresh each day in the restaurant. The noodles are thin and have a wonderfully soft and chewy texture which makes it a rather unique experience. The ramen comes with a generous quantity of noodles but if you want more, just ask away; it’s totally free!

The drinks menu is limited but the perfect match for the food. You can choose from some great Japanese beers, cocktail draft beers or sake. For the non-alcohol drinkers, try the Japanese rice tea. While the hubby went for Sapporo draft beer (on tap), I went for a bottle of sake. The ice cold sake and the hot, delicious ramen was a match made in heaven.

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

There is a small selection of side dishes but carefully thought of Japanese classics, all of which are easy on the palate preparing it for the ramen. It was a tad bit difficult to choose as all my favourites like Japanese gyoza and Edamame was on the menu, but the assorted Japanese mushrooms stood out. This is a cold side dish with an assortment of mushrooms cooked to perfection. My hubby who is not too fond of mushrooms loved it. A dainty looking dish with delicious texture and flavour, it worked as the perfect palate cleanser for the main meal. Totally recommended.

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

And now it was time for the glorious ramen.

I had to try out the spicy Tonkotsu Charsu ramen; if it’s got spice in it, I need to have it. And I wasn’t disappointed at all. All the painstaking work and love that went into making that broth worked wonders on my palate. It was rich, intense, packed with flavour and spicy, oh yes. Fresh noodles, perfectly cooked eggs, greens, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and the charsu which just melted on my taste buds. I loved the spicy flavour and totally recommend this one to all those who love that kick of heat.

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

The hubby, also wanting to try out the Tonkotsu went for the Spicy Chicken Tonkotsu Ramen. The broths were similar, the only difference being the ‘spice’ in mine. The chicken was light and delicious, a great non vegetarian alternative for those who do not eat pork or beef.

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

While the mum and dad were going gaga over the tonkotsu, the little fella decided to order on his own. He pointed at the menu and said he was going to have the Tsukemen ‘dipping’ ramen. I tried dissuading him as he wouldn’t do justice to the quantity of ramen served but he remained staunch. Well, the good thing was that I got to sample the much acclaimed Tsukemen but felt a tad bit guilty that he was able to only eat half.

Now are you wondering what is Tsukemen? Well, the main difference from the ramen is that the noodles and accompaniments are served in one bowl and the dipping broth in another. The broth is more meaty and intense than Tonkotsu. The staff also bought over a bottle of dashi and we were advised to pour some of it into the broth once he was done with the dipping. Then the broth gets thinned out and can be enjoyed as a light soup.

Mr. Ramen San, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Vegetarian and vegan options also available.

So make this your weekend project; especially recommended after a day of Christmas shopping in the CBD.

My rating – 8.5/10

Mr. Ramen San

Shop 12, 200 Bourke Street
(MidCity Centre)
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Tel: (03) 9042 1588

Website: http://www.mrramensan.com.au/

Timings: Open every day; 11am to 3pm, 4pm to 9.30pm

Mr. Ramen San Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – We were guests at Mr. Ramen San but all the opinions expressed are entirely mine.

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