Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fried Wontons:: Make Your Own!

I've said before that I love chinese food. Since we moved away from our favorite chinese restaurant 5 years ago, and discovering not a single good chinese place around here, I have been teaching myself how to cook chinese. A few weeks ago, I decided to try making my own fried wontons. They're pretty easy to make, but be sure to start a couple of hours before you want to eat these.. they take some time to put together.

I made my own wonton wrappers-- you can buy these in the store, but at the time I wanted to make these, I didn't plan ahead and I wanted them now, so I found a recipe to make my own wrappers. If you buy the wrappers, then you've cut the prep-work in half. Here's how to make your own wrappers::

Begin with 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp of salt and 1 egg.

Don't forget to take your ring(s) off and then get your husband to put it back on for you later.

Using your hands, work the egg into the flour, then add up to about 3-4 tbsp of cold water.
Knead until it is smooth and holds into a ball without crumbling. You'll need to roll this out, so the texture is somewhat similar to a pie crust.

This is what it should look like when it's done.

Cover with a damp cloth then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, get your wonton filling started:
1/2 cup of ground pork (I use a little more--about 3/4 c), 1 clove of minced garlic, a pinch of pepper. You can add a tsp of cilantro, but I didn't have any on hand and it's optional.
Mix well then put in the fridge.

You can buy sweet and sour sauce for dipping, or you can make your own.
I made mine.
You'll need 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 3 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp of plum sauce.
Stir to combine then cook to dissolve sugar. About a minute in the microwave, 5 minutes on the stove. I used my plum jam instead of plum sauce and it tastes just like the real thing. I think I'll add cornstarch to thicken it up a little bit, but the flavor is great. It keeps well in the fridge, the last batch I made a month ago is still good.

By now, the wonton dough has been in the fridge long enough.
My recipe says to use a rolling pin and roll until very thin, almost transparent. I have a big, bulky rolling pin, so instead, I used my pasta maker. Did the job just fine! I started at the largest thickness and worked my way to the 6th level. There is one more notch to make it thinner, but 6 was just right.

If you rolled it with a rolling pin, cut 3 inch squares, flour lightly and stack.
If you used a pasta maker, I trimmed the really wavy ends and eyeballed it.
Don't worry if your squares are not perfect, it'll still taste good.
Before there were chinese restaurants with their perfect pictures of food on the wall, chinese food was made at home, after a long day of working, so I'm pretty sure they didn't hack off someones head if their wonton wrapper wasn't perfectly square!
Anyway, keep rolling and cutting until you've used all the dough and you have a nice stack of wonton wrappers. It makes a lot!

Take a small amount of pork mixture-- like 1/2 a tsp or less; you can't use more because if there is too much, then the meat won't cook before the dough burns in the oil. Who wants blackened wontons with raw meat in the middle???
Put the meat smack dab in the middle of the wrapper...

Fold it like so...

Turn it around...

Dunk a finger or a thumb in cold water...

Wet one corner of the dough then bend it towards the other corner til they meet in the middle.
Takes practice.. after you do a couple, you'll get the hang of it.

Press the two corners together to seal it and it should look like:

Repeat, repeat, repeat, until all the meat is gone or you run out of wrappers.
If you run out of meat, you can cut the wrappers into strips and fry them for those nice crispy strips they use for toppings in chinese restaurants. The kids love them!
If you run out of wrappers, you can use the meat for something else, cook it into the meal you're making or freeze it for another time.

This is one batch of wonton dough. It makes a lot, I tell ya! I ran out of meat, so there were 4 wrappers left, which I fried up into strips.

Get your vegetable oil hot, and fry up a few of these at a time.. about 30-45 secs on each side.
Remove and drain on a paper towel or newspaper.

Ready for eatin'!

Serve with your meal and the sweet and sour sauce on the side.
I made chinese chicken and potatoes for dinner and we had the wontons as a side.
Delicious!! The kids gobble this up!

Don't forget to get your husband to put your ring back on!!
"Will you marry me?"
"Yes! Again and again!"

"Mwah! I'm so happy! C'mon, let's go on our honeymoon!"
Excuse me, gotta go folks!


DJ Kirkby said...

O absolutely love tha tyou get your husband to put your ring back on! Great idea, I'll start doing that too, it just makes sense.

Karen Mayes said...

OH, oh! Thanks for photo-reciping the fried wontons!

I will make that soon... good thing that I have the pasta maker as well and I never thought about it until you mentioned it.

Many thanks!

Carol said...

Awww!! Thank you for sharing the recipe...I shall definitely have a go at making them!! My Dad has spent a lot of time in China over the years doing research for his books and he's picked up some amazing recipies over the years...if you click on his website and look under recipes you will find THE best recipe for chinese ribs!!

C x

Ecocheapo said...

I just came across your blog and it is fantastic! We love to make homemade Chinese and I have yet to try these, which are my kids favorite! Guess what's on the menu this week? Thanks!

Tonya said...

This is GREAT!!! I live in a small town and cannot find wonton skins. When i do go out of town, i forget. i am going to try this tonight. thank you.

jenny said...

Tonya-- Glad to help! It's really very good! I'm in a small town also, so I was amazed my local food store sells wonton wrappers, but like you, I always forget to pick some up. I'm not driving 18 miles one way just for wonton wrappers! Enjoy! :o)