Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wonton of Fun


I don't make homemade wonton often enough. I think only because it seems like a lot of effort. My Mom usually makes them on weekends when she has more time to cook and when I lived at home, we would have them with mein (noodles) and soup for lunch. Wonton mein.

I bought a twelve ounce stack of wrappers at Mitsuwa Japanese market and used only about a dozen or so for our Christmas Eve foodie fest. They are thin, delicate, and almost translucent. There must have been about a hundred wrappers in the stack when I started, all individually dusted with a thin layer of flour to prevent sticking. This was a good opportunity to finally make some homemade wonton and attempt to use up all the ingredients I had left over.

Making them is actually quite easy and not much of a chore once you gear up for it. The fold, for the most part, is very similar to, if not the same technique used to make Italian tortellini. Wonton are generally bigger and stuffed with more filling than tortellini, but don't let that stop you from stuffing these wrappers with ricotta and calling them jumbo tortellini if you're having an Italian night. I've also heard of a Taiwanese restaurant in Alhambra that makes wonton the size of your fist. *note to self: gotta try place in Alhambra*

For the filling I combine minced shrimp and pork, some minced green onion, minced water chestnuts (for a once in a bite crunch) and a little garlic puree. To this, I add some soy sauce, some fish sauce, a pinch each of white pepper and sugar, and a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Everything gets incorporated and the mixing bowl gets placed in the fridge to stay cool while I prepare my work surface for the wrappers.


First, lay out the wrappers assembly line style on a cornstarch dusted cutting board and plop a teaspoonful of filling in the center of each wrapper.

Fold 1

Next, bring two corners together and seal along the two edges with a little water.

Fold 2

This next part is easy once you get the hang of it and gives the wonton their characteristic shape. Bring the two lower corners together, overlap at a slight angle and "glue" together with a dab of water. While pinching the overlap together, use your thumb to nudge the filling to the other side. You'll see what I mean. There you have it. You're a "won" man or "won" woman wonton factory.

Wonton Waiting for the Hot tub

Keep a damp dish cloth over the finished wonton while you continue making more so they won't start to dry out. Like all fresh pasta, wonton taste their best when they're cooked right away. They also freeze pretty well if you happen to make more than you can use. Spread them out on a cookie sheet and freeze them individually so they won't all stick together before transferring them to portion sized freezer storage containers.

Wonton with Green Onion, Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Chili Oil and Togarashi Pepper

To cook, all you do is bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop them in. At first, they will all sink to the bottom, but after a few minutes, one by one, they'll each float to the surface and when they do, they're done cooking. Eat'em hot with or without noodles or soup, with your choice of condiments.

1 comment:

The Death Metal Soccer Coach said...

Those bad boys are just ASKING to be deep fried. Then dipped in the garlic sauce from your previous post.