December is here! I’ve tested so many Christmas cookies so far this year that my taste buds have already moved on to the New Year’s Eve party foods. I had a pound of frozen ground pork that I was looking to use and decided on making some wontons. I LOVE wonton soup, it was one of the foods I missed most when I was vegetarian. I especially love it how the local Chinese Canadian restaurants serve it, with wontons, scallions, bok choy and sliced Chinese barbecue pork (char siu) in the yummiest broth (which I have no idea what it is made from and probably don’t want to). Of course, when I was at the market getting ingredients I couldn’t even get bok choy, so I decided on doing a test run with a simple broth, wonton and green onion version. Of course, some were going to end up deep fried as well…
I break out my deep fryer about twice a year. While I’d love to brag that it’s for health reasons, it’s not. I hate the smell. So when it comes out, I fill it up with new oil, fry as much as I can in a 1 to 2 day span, then clean it out really well, put it away and air out the house. Having to do so much work each time keeps me from frying up spur of the moment doughnuts though, which is a good thing for my wardrobe 🙂
These wontons came out more stuffed than I am used to, but I liked them even better that way! They are also a bit more compact because of the way I folded them, so you can fit more in the pot or the fryer at once… also a good thing. These freeze incredibly well and are a speedy snack for drop in guests over the holidays, as long as your deep-fryer is more accessible than mine.
My Super-Stuffed Pork Wontons
Makes approximately 50
1 lb ground pork
4 green onions
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp Chinese 5-Spice powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 pkg Wonton Wrappers (approx 50)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
To make the wontons, combine the pork, onions, seasonings and soy sauce in a food processor. Let process until the onions are well chopped and the pork is very well ground (it should be almost paste-like).
To make the wontons, take a wonton wrapper (cover the rest with a damp kitchen towel if not working quickly, so they don’t dry out), and put a tsp (I use a regular eating spoon for this, so it is actually more than a teaspoon… if you like more authentic looking wontons, use a measured teaspoon, but you will need another package of wrappers) in the middle of the wrapper. In a small bowl or cup, mix the water and cornstarch, and with your finger (or a small brush) dip in the cornstarch slurry and run it along 2 edges of the wrapper (like the letter L). Fold the wrapper in half, making sure that air is not trapped inside with the meat (air will make them more likely to burst if deep fried) and push the edges together firmly. As shown in the collage above, fold one corner of the triangle over and then the other, forming something that looks like an open envelope… with a slurry-dampened finger, push the edges down so that they don’t unfold. That’s it! Now do this 50 or 100 more times.
If you want to freeze the wontons at this point, just lay them on a baking sheet and put in the freezer for half an hour or so and then move them into a sealed freezer bag until ready to use.
To cook in soup, cook from fresh or frozen and drop into simmering chicken (or your choice) broth and let cook until they float and the filling is cooked (about 5 minutes at the most).
To deep fry, fry at 365 degrees, up to 2 1/2 minutes from fresh or up to 3 1/2 minutes from frozen. Serve with sweet & sour sauce, plum sauce or sweet chili sauce.