Monday, August 15, 2011

Chinese Wontons

Chinese symbol for "dumpling"

Chinese wontons are meat-filled dumplings that are boiled, steamed, pan-fried, or deep fried, depending on the application.   I love them every which way and think they should be called Chinese bonbons, because they're like meat candy!

When I was a young, single working woman, a co-worker friend and I decided to take a Chinese cooking class. This recipe is the best one that I took away from that class almost 30 years ago.  These little morsels are positively addictive and are insanely popular in my family, probably because I only make them once or twice a year.

The trickiest part of this recipe is folding the wontons.  It's really not difficult, just a little time-consuming.  My teenaged daughter likes helping me with this, so we do it together.

Method #1
  • Put about a teaspoonful of the pork filling (recipe below) on the lower part of the wonton that you have placed like a diamond on your work surface.
  • Moisten the edges of the wonton wrapper and fold the bottom point up to the top, making a triangle.  Press firmly to adhere all sides.
  • At the base of the triangle, fold the left corner under the right corner, dab with a little water, and pinch to seal.
  • The wonton should resemble a little hat.

This time,  I tried a different folding method, one that I observed that they use at Pei Wei (sister restaurant to PF Chang).  I think that this is a better method because you can get more filling in the wonton and it seems to be a more structurally-stable design.  Plus, it looks prettier!

Method #2

  • Put about a teaspoonful of the pork filling in the center of the wonton that you have placed like a square on your work surface.
  • Moisten the edges of the wonton wrapper and bring the corners to the center of the wonton.  You can either do this by working side-to-side or by going diagonally.  I showed both options below.  Pinch all the seams together well .
  • The wonton should kind of resemble an envelope.  My daughter thought it looked like a star.

Here's what you'll need for these delicious little nuggets:

Chinese Fried Wontons
(click here to print)

1 lb. reduced-fat ground pork
1 egg
2 Tbsp. green onion, finely chopped (use all of the green tops for color)
4 tsp. dry sherry
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp. oriental sesame oil (pure)

wonton wrappers (usually found in the produce section)
48 oz. vegetable oil for frying

Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven.  I used my enameled cast iron pot because it holds the heat well.  Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat until thermometer reaches 375 degrees.

Combine all filling ingredients and mix well.  Assemble the wontons as shown above.  Fry about 6 at a time so that the oil temperature doesn't drop too quickly.

Turn them around so that they're golden brown on all sides.  Remove to drain on paper toweling.

Keep warm in a 200 degree oven while you fry the remainder of the batch.

Serve wontons with sweet and sour sauce, plum sauce, hot mustard, a soy sauce/garlic/ginger blend, or whatever you desire.

Chinese symbol for "delicious delicacy"

Linking to:

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Nap-Time Creations


Abby said...

Mmmm... these look fabulous. I have yet to attempt Asian food, but you make these look so easy! I might have to try them.

AudreyO said...

We also like wontons stuffed with shrimp or with cream cheese and crab.

Therapist San Francisco said...

These look great! I can't wait to try them with some orange chicken :D

Carrie B said...

mmmm These sound so good. We do an Asian night every few weeks... but I never do pork filled wantons. We always do a crab filling or sometimes a cabbage egg roll filling. I will be trying this one out!

Lara {simply irresistible} said...

This look so good! I've never made wontons but you made it look so easy!

Andrea said...

Yummy, yummy. Can't wait to try these.

Ali said...

Thank you so much for sharing this at Recipe Sharing Monday. The new party is now up and I'd love for you to link up again :)

Emily Thompson said...

Hi! Just wanted to let you know I will be featuring you on Tasty Tuesday tomorrow. Stop by and grab a featured button. Hope you can link up again this week!

Paula said...

Oh my, these look so good. Love the new way of folding wontons. Wondering if I could make wonton soup with these.