My bunny-loving friend, Genie, has been a big, fat, bloggy inspiration to me and we become penpals mostly because I stalked her. This is her first ever guest post, so I’m honored to have her visiting us today…..not to mention dying to eat me some wontons.
How good are these images?
Take it away, Bunster.
I picked up my wonton making skills from my Dad who owned and worked Chinese take-outs for a couple of decades. When I was old enough, wonton wrapping was one of the easy tasks that he would sometimes delegate.
Deep fried wontons are one of those Chinese side dishes that became super popular in the eighties and nineties. Easy to make and easy to sell, especially with a sweet or sour dipping sauce, these crunchy morsels are great with dinner but they’re nasty the next day and mystery meat may once have been a problem. As a Chinese foodie living in the west, I prefer to eat wontons in soup. Silky, mild and warming, they’re a great comfort food.
This wonton basic recipe makes 50 wontons which can be used immediately in soup or deep fried or frozen for future uses. You can find all these ingredients for cheap at your local Asian grocer and these days, sometimes even your normal supermarket.
Pork and Shiitake Wontons
Makes 50 wontons
- 50 fresh wonton wrappers
- 500 grams pork mince (about 1 pound)
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped spring onion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
Rehydrate the mushrooms in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes until softened. Removed stems and discard. Cut each mushroom in half and then slice thinly.
Add sliced mushrooms and all other filling ingredients to a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Using a slightly heaped teaspoon as a guide, place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Resist the urge to overfill the wontons as they will be difficult to seal.
Next, fold the wrapper in half diagonally to form a rough triangle. I avoid folding it perfect in half, because the overlapping edges are prettier.
Then make five pleats in the wrapper starting from one end and moving across until the filling is sealed. Place wrapped wonton on a plate or chopping board.
Repeat until you run out of filling or out of wrappers.
These can be refrigerated for several days or frozen. I like to freeze wontons on a tray, then transfer to a re-sealable bag or container once they have been flash frozen.
Wonton Noodle Soup is an ultimate comfort food for me and I love it when I’m sick or hungover. This travels surprisingly well and can be put together the night before or even in the morning before work. Just drain the soup into a jar and dump the rest of the contents into a plastic container. Zapped in the microwave for a few minutes, this is a great week day lunch when you don’t feel like a sandwich or salad.
Wonton Noodle Soup
- 6 wontons (fresh or frozen)
- 1 bundle dried egg noodles
- 1 bok choy
- 2 cups chicken or beef stock
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chilli sauce
Soak the dried egg noodles in hot water for 10 minutes until softened. Drain and put into a serving bowl.
In a small pot, bring the stock plus 1 cup of water to boil. Add light soy sauce and wontons and simmer for 5 minutes.
Wash bok choy, cut into half or quarter, and place on top of wontons so the bok choy gets lightly steamed for 1-2 minutes.
I like my bok choy to to still be crisp rather than soft.To serve, pour everything into the noodle bowl and top with chilli sauce.
We don’t own a deep fryer so I don’t deep fry all that often. When I do, I fry small batches at a time in a small pot of oil. I find 4-5 wontons at a time in a small pot is a good number. If you have a deep fryer, cook as many wontons as will fit easily in 1 layer. Avoid overcrowding the pot as it will lower the temperature of the oil and cook unevenly.
Deep Fried Wontons
Allow at least 4 per person as a starter
- 4-5 wontons
- 3 cups cooking oil
- Dipping sauce of your choice (sweet chilli, plum sauce, sweet and sour work well)
Heat 3 cups of cooking oil in a small pot on the stove.
To test the oil for optimum temperature, carefully lower a small cube of bread into the oil and it should turn golden brown in 20 seconds.
Using tongs, carefully lower wontons into oil with filling side down so the meat is immersed in oil and cook for 5 minutes. Move wontons around the pot occasionally to make sure all sides tun golden at an even rate.
Remove wontons from oil, shake wontons of excess oil and drain upside down in a metal basket or on paper towels.
Serve with dipping sauce.
Genie is an illustrator/graphic designer and a rabbit enthusiast who really, REALLY loves food. She enjoys playing with her rabbit Tofu, fattening up her husband (The Koala) and eating with their friends in Auckland, New Zealand. Her blog Bunny Eats Design is loosely based on food, long earred critters and graphics and she dreams of designing for a food magazine or restaurant graphics and food packaging. She likes eating exotic food in exotic places and loves the mantra: “Eat well, travel often”.