This recipe is a bit of a departure from the usual Chinese wonton. Pork and shrimp are far more common fillings for wontons than turkey, but substituting turkey for pork makes these dumplings leaner and healthier, without any great sacrifice in flavor.
The trickiest part of this recipe is the folding of the wontons, but it is easy to get the hang of it in a couple of tries. After that, the process moves quickly.
It is important to remember when folding wontons to keep the remaining wrappers together. Do one at a time. When the wrappers are separated, they have a tendency to dry out. Once the wrapper dries, it becomes difficult to fold. Taking a damp paper towel and placing it on the remaining wrappers is a good way to keep them moist during the process.
Turkey Wonton Soup
Serves 4 to 6
For the mushrooms:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 heaping cup fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
For the filling:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1 ground ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
40 square wonton wrappers
Cornstarch, for dusting
1 large egg, beaten
For the broth:
8 cups (2 quarts) low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Braise the mushrooms: Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots, ginger, and garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine or sherry and cook until reduced by half.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue simmering for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the braising liquid to a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes. Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl and reserve for the broth.
When the mushrooms are chilled, cut into small dice (it should yield about a cup) and reserve for the filling.
Make the filling: Mix the cornstarch and Shaoxing in a large bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chopped mushrooms and remaining filling ingredients and mix well to combine. Refrigerate until cold.
Wrap the wontons: Lightly dust a baking sheet with cornstarch. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of a wonton wrapper (keep the other wrappers covered with a damp towel to keep them from drying out). Brush the edges of the wonton with the beaten egg. Turn the wonton so it is facing you like a diamond. Take the bottom point of the wonton and fold it over until it touches the top point. Press the edges together, making sure to get rid of any air pockets. (It should now look like a triangle with the tip pointing up.)
Brush the bottom points with the beaten egg. Make a small indent in the middle of the base of the triangle and press the two bottom points of the triangle together. The final result should resemble a boat. Place the wonton on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wrappers. When finished, place the wontons in the freezer for an hour to firm them up before cooking.
For the broth: Combine the broth, sesame oil, vinegar, and 1 cup of the mushroom braising liquid in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the wontons in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot, until they are cooked through and float to the surface, about 5 minutes per batch. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked wontons from the broth to serving bowls. Continue the process until all the wontons are cooked.
Pour some of the broth over the wontons and top with scallions.
Freezing: Wontons freeze incredibly well! Freeze the tray until the wontons are frozen solid, then transfer to an airtight plastic bag or container. Cook the wontons straight from the freezer, adding a few extra minutes of cooking time.