Superb Soups

Hototay Soup

Hototay Soup | casaveneracion.com

Hototay is a soup dish that you’ll find it in the menu of most Chinese restaurants and eateries in the Philippines. It isn’t uncommon to find it in the menu of restaurants serving Filipino food either. Whether the name hototay is Chinese or the Filipino adaptation of a similar-sounding Chinese word, I am not sure. It is curious though that hototay is nowhere to be found in the menu of Chinese restaurants in other parts of Asia — at least, not by that name.

What exactly is hototay? It is a meat, wonton (meat dumplings) and vegetable soup. Every restaurant has its own version — the combination of vegetables varies, mushrooms are optional, the meat can be chicken, pork, chicken or pork liver, or all of them, but the wontons are never absent. Sounds like some generic Chinese soup? Hototay is served with raw egg. The waiter stirs the egg into the very hot soup (so that it cooks without forming large solids) before ladling into bowls.

I guess it is that ritual of breaking the egg that makes hototay exciting especially for young children. It has been one of my personal favorites since I was a child. When I was in the second grade and I needed retainers on my teeth (I really hated those things), every time that thing needed adjustments — which was every weekend — my father would cajole me with the promise of lunch at San Jacinto in Chinatown after each visit with the dentist. Much as I hated going to the dentist, the thought of steaming hot hototay and the crisp wrapper of lumpiang shanghai with its sweet and sour dipping sauce would always win. And my brother who didn’t need anything from the dentist would come along. Where my brother went, so went my mother. So, the dentist thing and the accompanying Chinese lunch was kind of a family weekend affair.

How hard is it to make hototay at home? Not very although it takes more than little bit of involvement.

Hototay
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
This is an updated version of a recipe originally published on June 1, 2004.
Author: Connie Veneracion
Ingredients
  • bone broth (must be well-seasoned)
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 1/2 head of cabbage cut into strips
  • 1 small head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 cup boiled chicken meat (torn into bite-size pieces)
  • 12 to 16 wontons steamed
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 eggs
  • scallions finely sliced, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the broth to simmering.
  2. Add the vegetables and cook for about five to seven minutes or until done but not overcooked.
  3. Add the chicken meat and the wontons. Cook just until heated through. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
  4. Pour the very hot soup into a tureen.
  5. Crack the egg(s) directly into the soup.
  6. Garnish with scallions.
  7. Hototay is a meat, wonton and vegetable soup. The combination of vegetables varies, the meat can be chicken or pork, or both. Wontons are never absent.
  8. To serve, break the egg(s) into the very hot soup and stir gently to allow them to cook with no large solid masses forming.
  9. Hototay is a meat, wonton and vegetable soup. The combination of vegetables varies, the meat can be chicken or pork, or both. Wontons are never absent.
  10. You want the egg to turn the very clear broth into something cloudy but not opaque.
  11. Hototay is a meat, wonton and vegetable soup. The combination of vegetables varies, the meat can be chicken or pork, or both. Wontons are never absent.
  12. So stir gently until no raw egg is visible.
  13. Ladle into bowls and enjoy.

Hototay is a meat, wonton and vegetable soup. The combination of vegetables varies, the meat can be chicken or pork, or both. Wontons are never absent.

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