Monday, May 9, 2011

Wonton Jook (Congee).....what in the world are they doing at The House of Gourmet in Toronto?

I love wonton and I love congee.

I can eat either of these anytime of the day.  I know, some of you, especially if you are non-Asian may think this is absurd, but wonton or congee is my favorite breakfast food.

On weekend mornings, I will often have a pot of congee brewing before the coffee gets started and wonton is always in the menu rotation for a quick easy meal.
It has taken a few years, but even BR (a meat and potatoes kind of Irishman!) can be caught enjoying these things for breakie once in a while.  If they aren't cooking in the kitchen, he will even go as far as suggesting we go out for them!

Until quite recently, I thought that Wonton and Congee were meant to be served "mutually exclusively".....well I'm here to tell you I have learned something new!

Do you ever end up at your favorite  congee noodle house and face the conundrum, a bowl of congee (chinese rice porridge) or a steamy bowl of savory wonton?
As far as I know, in the greater Vancouver area, you would have to make a choice between these two or simply pig out and have both.

While I was in Toronto, my cousin, took me to Toronto's version of Hon's or Congee Noodle House,
House of Gourmet, located at Spadina and Dundas in Chinatown.  They serve up the typical, good for value, Cantonese style cuisine.  The one thing on their menu that I have never encountered in the Vancouver area is what they call Wonton Jook (congee).....and it is exactly that.

6 lovely shrimpy wonton served in a steamy bowl of flavorful congee.  Who would of thought?
This is brilliant when you just can't decide.  You get the best of both worlds in one bowl.

The version below is something I made for a quick lunch one day.
I know, it sounds a bit bizzare, but try's really really good, especially if your wonton is made with prawns that are snappy and crispy or some black fungus. The textural contrast is perfect against the smooth comforting congee.

Funny thing about the House of Gourmet in Toronto....they are very happy to serve up Wonton Congee (it's on their menu), but if you decide you might fancy something a bit more "exotic" like Sui Gow (dumpling) Jook, they will give you a blank stare, as if you are totally out of your mind, and respond with "No, only wonton congee!"

If you want to have this at home, go to town......have any kind of wonton or dumpling your little heart desires.....go do it and you'll see what I mean.

I wonder if we start requesting Wonton Jook at Tsim Tsai or Mak's if it will start to catch on....
or maybe it's already being done here....anyone have this combo in the Greater Vancouver Area before?

Check back ...I'll be posting the recipes for wonton and congee in upcoming posts.

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