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thekitchenman: Wok's Taste-inspired wonton soup

thekitchenman loves his Chinese food, especially the soup inspired by Guelph's own Wok's Taste on Carden Street

Ever since my dad gave me my first taste of an egg roll at age three, thekitchenman is always on the hunt to find the best Chinese Food.

On my road trips here in Ontario, British Columbia and east coast through to Newfoundland I found there are hundreds of Asian style restaurants. Finding one that serves consistently good quality fare is what searching was all about. When I find a new diner it's good to know if the food served is Cantonese Yue Cuisine style, which involves lots of seafood both fresh and dried meats, barbecued or wok fried with sweet and sour subtle flavourings. Mandarin dishes that pair mild spices, lots of colourful vegetable ingredients that are crisp, spicy and alive with aromas and colours. Szechuan my favourite comes with bold flavours and particularly the pungency and spiciness. 

I will order the same simple four items letting me know if the meal is worth another visit.

Well Wok's Taste on Carden Street has been pumping out good Chinese food for years in the same spot. It's a neat and tidy restaurant and well organized. This restaurant has been running for many decades being one of the first Chinese eateries in the city. I remember coming here when it was then the Golden Star and the China Chop Suey House. I loved the dome covered dishes that was the style back then.

I started with the chef's version of hot and sour soup. It sure was loaded with lots of the tasty tid-bits of shrimp, bean curd, mushroom fungi, lotus root, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. The broth was scrumptious. My sweetie really enjoyed her special wonton soup. It was chock full of tasty dumplings, bbq pork, veggies in a bone broth. The chefs' egg rolls were one of the best filling of five spice flavoured crispy veggies, bean sprouts. A nice lunch item with the soup. The chef's plum honey sauce was also very flavourful and was made in house.

I tried the general chow chicken with fried rice. One of the best versions of sweet, sour and spicy wok fried dishes served. I love when the chef hand cuts the chicken thigh meat for that extra flavour hit. The sauce was made with care and was simple with a mild punch of spiciness. The fried rice was deluxe. I was wanting to try the dim sum pork shumai dumplings that were served piping hot and mouthwatering hit the spot as an appie.

First class lunch fare for $30. I'll let you know about my next visit in which I will be taking a few guests to try a few more of the chef's special hot pots and savoury dishes.

Cantonese wonton soup

Those tasty large oval or round melon globes are found in the Chinatown markets and are usually recognizable by the dusty, “frosted” white coating found on the green exterior shell of the melon.

Winter melon is seen as nourishing and cleansing to the body. I add whichever ingredient I have on hand in the fridge and pantry. The prepared canned melon is convenient and easy to use.

Now I prepare this great tasting soup at home using this simple recipe. Once you have tried it you'll be hooked.

You will need:

3 dried Chinese mushrooms

Half pounds winter melon pulp, canned or fresh

1 1/2 litres unsalted chicken bone broth

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1/2 cup diced smoked pork belly.

1/3 pound raw shrimp, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 pound Chinese style barbecued pork, cut into 1/4 inch dice

1 small carrot, peeled and finely sliced

1/4 cup tinned bamboo shoots, rinsed and cut into slivers

8 Chinese wonton dumplings store bought

1 egg white, slightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

chopped cilantro or green onions, for garnish

Soak the mushrooms in hot water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain. Discard the woody stems and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Remove any seeds and stringy fibres from the winter melon pulp. In a large soup pot, bring the chicken broth and minced ginger to a boil.

Add the mushrooms, winter melon, ham, shrimp, pork, carrots and bamboo shoots; cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about eight to 10 minutes. Now add the wonton dumplings and reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Stir in the egg white, white pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce just before serving.

The most delicious and satisfying soup. If you don't have the time or ingredients on hand a simple phone call to Wok's Taste will have you dining at home enjoying some of Guelph's best Chinese foods.

Life is good! So Let's Eat!