Today we are sharing another recipe to bring warmth to those of you who are facing the freezing temperatures sweeping the United States. It comes from the book A Common Table: 80 Recipes and Stories from My Shared Cultures by Cynthia Chen McTernan, author of the blog Two Red Bowls. Cynthia’s recipes marry her own cultures’ cuisines — Southern and Chinese — with her mother-in-law’s Korean cuisine. The end result is a fabulous cookbook with recipes like this week’s Collard Wontons. Cynthia uses store-bought wonton wrappers to make relatively quick work of preparing an entire batch. They also freeze well, which makes it worthwhile to do the full batch even if you aren’t eating them all in one meal. It’s always nice to find such treats in the freezer! —Kristina
About Cynthia: Cynthia Chen McTernan is a lawyer and the self-taught home cook and photographer behind Two Red Bowls, winner of the 2015 Saveur Blog Award for Most Delicious Food. She has been featured in Food & Wine, Saveur, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, and Huffington Post, and has collaborated with West Elm, Crate & Barrel, King Arthur Flour, Food52, Urban Outfitters, and more. Cynthia graduated from Harvard Law School in 2013, and currently practices law in Los Angeles — when she’s not cooking. She lives with her husband, the patient taste-tester and the original owner of the two red bowls, and their baby, Luke. You can find Cynthia (@tworedbowls) on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
For a chance to win a copy of A Common Table, respond in the comments section below by February 14, 5PM EST to the following question: Which combination of cuisines would you really like to taste? Maybe you’ve already combined them to make your own favorite dishes? Share it with us! We will announce the winner in the comments section, so be sure to check back!
Image above: A Common Table: 80 Recipes and Stories from My Shared Cultures. All photography by Cynthia Chen McTernan.
Image above: Cynthia Chen McTernan
Image above: Filling the wontons
Image above: Folding the wontons
Image above: Serving the wontons
- For the Wontons
- 1⁄2 pound collard greens, roughly chopped
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced scallions (2 to 3 scallions)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger root
- 3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine, dry sherry, or sake
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
- 70 to 80 wonton wrappers (15 to 16 ounces, or about 1 1⁄3 packages; keep unused wrappers covered in plastic wrap, sealed in a Ziploc bag, and frozen for later use)
- For the Broth
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce, for serving
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil, for serving
- 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced scallions (2 to 3 scallions), for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the greens and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the greens are bright green and beginning to turn tender, but still have some bite, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and add to a food processor. Pulse until finely shredded.
In a large bowl, combine the greens, pork, scallions, ginger, rice wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar (if using), salt, and white pepper. Using chopsticks or a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and the filling forms a thick paste.
Prepare a small bowl of water for sealing the wrappers. For each wrapper, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Dab a bit of water on one edge and fold the wrapper in half, taking care to seal the wrapper well around the filling. Dab water on one corner of the folded seam and bring the two folded corners together to form a small bundle (see image above). Place on a tray and repeat. You should end up with 70 to 80 wontons. To save them for later, freeze on the tray, then place in a Ziploc bag. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to cook the wontons, in a large pot, bring the water and chicken broth to a boil. Add about 20 wontons, stirring gently to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the water comes back to a boil and the wontons float to the surface, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the wontons to plate. Repeat with the remaining wontons until they’re all cooked, or freeze a portion of the uncooked wontons for later. To cook from frozen, use the same method, but boil for 4 to 6 minutes, until the wontons float.
To serve, divide the wontons among several small bowls and ladle a bit of the cooking broth over each bowl. Drizzle lightly with soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil, and top with scallions. Enjoy immediately.
Recipe from A Common Table: 80 Recipes and Stories from My Shared Cultures © 2018 by Penguin Random House LLC. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.