This was a reunion with a difference. Chris Toy had volunteered in the previous reunion to demonstrate how to cook a typical Chinese dish. This idea was received with great enthusiasm, an offer we could not refuse.
The meeting was started promptly as those who were cooking along with Chris had their broth on the stove and ingredients prepared and ready to go. A list of ingredients and method had been sent to all the participants in advance, so that we could all purchase all the necessary ingredients and prepare. See below.
Chris started off by telling us that the Chinese Wonton translation is that they are like floating clouds, because they float in the soup. Chris showed us the many kinds of broths one could use if you didn’t want to make your own.
He told us that ginger, garlic, and scallions (spring onions) are the 3 main base ingredients in Chinese cooking, and he showed his expertise in using a meat cleaver. He demonstrated how to smash the garlic and ginger, and how one uses the knuckles to stop the cutting off one’s fingers. Oooch! In making the wonton filling, Chris said that one can add further ingredients such as chillies for those who like it hot. Shrimps can be added to the chopped/minced pork and even soya sauce. (Or for vegans one can substitute with vegetables etc).
Chris used a baseball metaphor to describe how he folded the wonton wrapper around the wonton filling. He placed the wonton wrapper like a baseball diamond – the bottom is Home base and working anticlockwise Base 1, the top being Base 2, and Base 3 on the right. During his demonstration he showed us 3 ways to fold the wrapper – as a triangle, a Bishop’s hat, and the latter, where he turned up the ends like ears and twists. I think the latter is one that would take a little practice.
Those who cooked along with Chris were able to sample their own creations, leaving those that had opted to watch feeling very hungry!
We had time at the end to ask Chris a few questions such as how to best store garlic and ginger.
Serena then did the group screen shot and a 10-minute break was called.
On our return we went into Breakout rooms. The theme for discussion was what food memories were triggered by cookery demo and one person was elected to speak on behalf of each group when we came back.
There was a very short discussion on the practicalities and ideas of a Book Club, which Chris had mentioned at the previous meeting. As time was running out it was put to everyone to give their ideas direct to the committee for next time.
A request was to try and fix up another international reunion before the Christmas break and it was left to be considered.
Debbie thanked both Kate & Sue who arranged the reunion.
A big Thank You to Chris and for everybody who attended.
Chris’ recipe: Basic Wonton Soup
2 quarts (2 litres) broth * Use prepared chicken or vegetable broth made from bouillon or stock cubes/powder, but you can use your grandmother’s secret recipe!
½ ounce dried sliced mushrooms – fresh can be used as well.
20 wonton wrappers * Remove the wonton wrappers from the fridge ten minutes before you intend to use them, to allow them to warm up.
(Seal and freeze unused wrappers or make extra wontons and freeze them for later!)
¼ lb. ground pork or favorite ground/chopped protein meat/seafood/vegan
1 clove fresh garlic crushed and minced (1 teaspoon of paste garlic is fine)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger crushed and minced (paste ginger is fine)
1 cup sliced bok choy/Pak choi or napa cabbage
2 scallions (spring onions) or chives minced (finely chopped)
¼ cup of water in a shallow cup or bowl – for sealing wontons
Note: For the cooking class have the broth ready and simmering in a large pan.
1. Place dried sliced mushrooms in simmering broth.
2. Make wonton filling by combining ground pork crushed garlic, and crushed ginger in a bowl.
3. Place a wonton wrapper so it looks like a baseball diamond with you sitting behind home plate.
4. Wet around the baselines with the water.
5. Place a teaspoon of the filling in the center, where the pitcher’s mound would be.
6. Bring home plate up to second base, folding the wrapper into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and seal the edges.
7. Bring the simmering broth to a rolling boil and drop the wontons in one at a time and cook for 1 minute.
8. Add and stir in the bok choy for 1 minute.
9. Squeeze the minced scallions and stir them into the soup.
10. Serve immediately
There are many different skills among HKAN members. Chris has
demonstrated his cookery skills but what talent do you have that
you’d like to share? Even if you don’t want to do a practical demo,
you could talk about your hobby or interest, maybe accompanied
by some photographs. You can take anything from 4 to 40 minutes.
DIY SEWING DRAWING SINGING
PHOTOGRAPHY DANCING WRITING
GARDENING KNITTING MODEL MAKING
DOG GROOMING MECHANICS TRAVEL
You name it – we want to hear about it
Chris Toy Demonstration Video
This is a big file so please be patient for it to download no more than about 10 mins