How to Make Wontons
Making The Perfect Wontons with School of Wok
Wontons, also known as Chinese dumplings, are a fantastic food for anyone interested in convenient and straightforward Asian cooking. The great thing about wontons is that they are easy to make, super versatile, and can be cooked in several different ways to suit your tastes.
Another handy thing about cooking wontons is that you can also make them in advance, freeze them for up to six months and you don't have to defrost them to cook them either, making these delicious Chinese treats ideal for a hassle-free dinner party appetiser, a quick and easy lunch or just as a satisfying snack at any time of day.
The filling for Wontons is also extremely versatile, meaning that if you're a veggie, you can adjust the recipe filling to ensure that you meet your or others’ dietary requirements.
Making Wonton Braised Noodles with Tobiko - The ingredients
For The Pastry & Noodles
25 fresh wonton pastries 400ml classic Chinese broth - or chicken stock 300g fresh, fine egg noodles (swapsies: dried fine egg noodles soaked in hot water for 3 minutes and drained) 1 tablespoon oyster sauce ½ tablespoon light soy sauce 20g orange tobiko, optional (flying fish roe, from sushi specialists)
For The Filling
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked overnight or for at least 2 hours and drained 1 spring onion ½ thumb sized piece of ginger 200g raw, peeled and de-veined prawns 100g minced pork
For The Marinade
1 tablespoon oyster sauce ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon sesame oil ½ tablespoon cornflour
Making Wontons - The Preparation Method
Soak the shiitake mushrooms in hot water overnight or for a minimum of 2 hours.
Once the mushrooms have been well soaked and drained, finely chop them along with the spring onion and ginger and place in a mixing bowl.
Lightly bash the prawns with the side of your cleaver or knife, keeping them still whole, but making them more flexible to help wrap the wontons. Lastly, add the minced pork, along with the prawns and the marinade ingredients to the bowl and mix everything together well.
Traditionally, the mix is pounded into a uniform paste by cupping one hand, picking up the mix, and throwing back into the mixing bowl. This helps to tenderise the meat and knock out air pockets in the paste. You can also use an electric mixer for the same effect; using the k-hook attachment, place the marinated mix into the mixer and beat on a low-medium speed for 2 minutes.
To make the jelly fish shaped dumplings you will need to use what I call the croc fold. This gathering technique is a very traditional way to fold a dumpling, and once you are used to the movement, will become one of the fastest ways to help appease your dumpling cravings.
Place a wonton pastry on a flat surface, positioning it in a diamond shape straight ahead of you. Place 1 teaspoon of mix in the centre of the pastry.
Fold one corner vertically, over the opposite corner, to form a slightly lopsided triangle. Hold the dumpling up by the top of the triangle with your non-dominant hand. Shape your dominant hand into a “crocodile jaw” shape, where your thumb is the lower jaw and your index finger is the upper jaw.
Start to feed the pastry into the jaws of the croc, squeezing the pastry together into the webbing of your thumb, creating rough pleats as you gather the excess pastry together in your croc’s jaws. Continue feeding until the dumpling is fully closed. Then pinch the pastry tightly along the top of the filling. Do not be scared to clamp down hard, so that the filling is well and truly sealed inside the pastry.
Cooking The Wontons
Now bring the broth of your choice (or alternatively 400ml water with 1 teaspoon salt) to the boil. Drop in your noodles and blanch for 1 ½ minutes then fish them out carefully with tongs and place in a bowl.
Next boil the wontons (usually 5-6 wontons per serving) in the same water or broth for 4 minutes until they all begin to float. Remove the wontons to a separate bowl using a slotted spoon or Chinese skimmer and then bring the water or soup back to the boil.
Just before serving, dunk the noodles (either fresh or dried and soaked) back into the soup or boiling water for 30 seconds, then put them back into their bowl and add the oyster sauce and light soy sauce. Mix well, then divide the noodles between individual serving bowls (they will be the base of the dish). Place the hot wontons on top of the noodles and scatter 2 teaspoons of flying fish roe over the top of each portion. Garnish with finely slice rings of spring onion.
Serve with a bowl of broth on the side and some lightly blanched green vegetables, such as lettuce leaves or any type of Chinese greens.
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Use the above recipe to make perfect wontons every time! If you want to learn more about Asian food and practice your cooking skills why not book a class with us today?