Fried Shrimp Won Ton Soup With Smoked Ham and Chicken

Course : Chinese
Serves: 6
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36 sheets fresh shrimp won ton
8 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon light soy sauce -- or to taste
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/3 -- cup water
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
2 large egg whites
2 medium green onions -- trimmed and minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons minced Smithfield ham or -- prosciutto
1 cup peanut or corn oil for -- deep-frying

Preparation / Directions:

Heung Tao Yee Foo Won Ton is rarely seen on the English side of the Chinese menu. The dumplings are deep-fried then covered with broth garnished with lacy shreds of egg white. The finished soup gets a sprinkling of chopped cilantro, green onions and Smithfield ham. To deep-fry won ton: Preheat a wok or deep saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add at least 2 inches oil; heat to 365. Deep-fry the won ton in batches, without crowding and turning occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a skimmer, drain on paper towels. Put won tons in a shallow 3-quart soup tureen. Bring chicken stock, soy sauce, sherry and white pepper to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook until soup thickens, about 15 seconds. Fold in sesame oil. Remove stockpot from heat. Lightly beat the egg whites just to break them up a bit. Stir soup in a circular motion while slowly and in a steady stream pouring in the egg whites. The whites should set within seconds into a lacy pattern. Pour soup over won tons, garnish with chopped onions, cilantro and Smithfield ham. Serve hot. Joyce Jue, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/15/92.

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