To make Crayfish Broth: In large stockpot, combine onions, tomatoes, ginger, cilantro and star anise; cover with 12 quarts cold water. Bring to a boil; add crayfish. Return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, skimming off any foam from top. Strain broth; reserve crayfish.In a clean pot, bring broth to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to 6 quarts of flavorful broth. Add soy sauce and red chili paste; season with salt. Shell crayfish tails; chill shelled crayfish and broth separately until needed. (Yield: 24 cups broth and 3 cups crayfish tails)
To make Sauteed Mushrooms: In large saute pan, heat peanut oil and sesame oil over high heat until hot. Saute mushrooms until browned; remove from heat. Stir in garlic. (Yield: 3 cups)
For each serving, to order: In small saucepan, bring 1 cup Crayfish Broth to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons Sauteed Mushrooms, 4 wonton triangles (1 at a time), 1/2 cup spinach and about 2 tablespoons julienned carrots. Simmer until wonton triangles are cooked. Add 2 tablespoons crayfish tails. Pour into soup bowl.
Recipe by Chef Susan Spicer, Bayona, New Orleans, LA