shava23 (shava23) wrote,

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Gung Hay Fat Choy!

You can put anything in a wonton wrapper.  Back in the late 70s or very early 80s, out in Sunderland, we had a couple wonton wrapping parties where we'd make a cup or a pint of different kinds of fillings, boil some, eat some, put some in the freezer for each flavor, and have them for months from the freezer.  I loved it.

Today, I made wontons with minced scallion, ginger, garlic, sichuan shredded vegetable (hot pickle), sesame seeds, minced fried tofu, maitake mushrooms, egg, shredded then minced napa, and grated daikon, along with a bit of soy, wine, sesame oil.  I forgot, but meant to put in, sichuan pepper.

They were a little bland.  I'd normally make them with pork, but Joseph's food allergy doesn't deal with supermarket pork (I have to get the spendy stuff at Whole Foods), and I honestly really missed the meat.  If I do them again this way, there will be more rich bits and more umami (savory) so there's something like the fat juicy savory bundles you get with the pork.

You wrap them kind of like a burrito.  If you have round wrappers, it's almost exactly like, but if square, you start by setting the wrapper like a diamond, putting the filling (no more than a teaspoon or so) near that bit, roll the wrapper toward the center about a third of the way, fold the sides (points in this case in toward the center, and roll it tight -- then you either smush or glue it shut with a little egg white.

If you want to be more authentic, you can put the filling in the center, roll over double just once (which should leave about 1/3 of the wrapper free) and take the two points to the sides and glue them to one another.  But for a beginner, that leaves less engineering tolerances for sloppy work. 

If they don't fall apart in the boiling water, you did it right!

The water should start out in a big pot no more than 1/2 full.  This is because you cook them by dropping them singly into lightly boiling water, then stir so they don't stick perhaps a dozen at a time -- then wait for them to float.  (roll more wontons while you wait!) When they float, put another cup of cold water in the pot, and wait until it comes to a boil again.  (rolling more wontons) Scoop the cooked wontons out with a mesh or slotted spoon, and then repeat with another dozen wontons. 

Eventually if you cook a lot at once, you'll have to scoop some water out, but generally, that's more than you're going to be able to eat with a small crowd!

We made little dishes of dipping sauce with about 3 parts soy, 1 part sesame oil, and hot sauce to taste.

The way I learned was to make a rich chicken broth, put fresh spinach leaves in the broth to wilt, pile in freshly cooked wontons (NEVER cook them in the broth!) and then garnish with a bit of minced scallion and a dribble of sesame oil.

Happy year of the bunny!

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