Wednesday, April 6

MAKE IT: Wontons, Fried or Soup

Chinese wontons are probably one of the most recognizable dishes around the world. Found in soups, fried in bags, steamed into vegetables, these little treats are part dumpling, part wonderful, and all over yummy. They are actually quite easy to make and freeze well. So I like making 1 large batch and freezing half.

I am going to give you my base wonton recipe and then we discuss turning it into soup or frying them! I do use packaged wonton wrappers, they ate found in organic section of super market. You can make wrappers yourself, but I like the little time saver here.

Makes approx 50 wontons
Wonton time: 20-40 minutes (gets faster when practiced)
Fried wonton cook time: 20 minutes (includes cool time)
Wonton soup cook time: 30 minutes

The needs-

1 package wonton wrappers

1 lb. ground turkey (or pork)
2 tbsp dried cilantro
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

The basics-

In a large bowl mix ground meat with all spices except cilantro.

I mix for a few minutes, it is hard to see if everything is fully being incorporated so I came up with this little trick...

Now add in cilantro and mix again, look for the little green pieces to evenly disperse, if you do this 2 step mixing then your sure to have an even taste.

Line a cooking sheet with wax paper and set next to your bowl of ground meat.

Get a small finger bowl of warm water ready. This part takes a few moments but is highly worth it.

To form wonton, lay out your wrapper and top with 1 tsp mixture on the lower half.

Dip finger in warm water and run along all edges of wrapper, fold over wrapper to form a triangle and press firmly to seal.

Now re-dip finger and moisten to 2 bottom corners of triangle. Gently bend wonton around your finger and tuck one corner over the other, press firmly to seal.

Set on cooking sheet and continue until all wrappers are used. If you end up with extra meat, you can use it to create spring rolls or little meatballs for soup.

Once all wontons are formed, you have a few choices:

Freezing: cover try with plastic and stick in freezer overnight.  In morning move to air tight storage container and keep in freezer for up to 60 days

For Frying: allow to sit in refrigerator for at least an hour. In a heavy bottm pan with high sides bring 1" cooking oil to 350 in a sauté pan over medium high heat, if you don't have a thermometer place a single wonton in oil, if it bubbles on edges oil is ready.

Carefully place wontons in oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes, then flip over and repeat on other side.

Move to a towel lined plate to remove excess oil and let sit 3-4 minutes.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

For Soup: bring 6 cups vegetable, chicken, or if you have an Asian market wonton soup stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and add in wontons.

Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes.

Add in some finely chopped baby Bok Choy and cook 5-8 minutes more.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve.