Friday, April 25, 2014

How to Make Pork and Shrimp Wontons...

If you've been reading my posts, you'll know that wontons is the ultimate food for me created by fond memories growing up preparing and eating it with my family. In fact, I titled a previous post "My Heaven in a Bowl... Wonton Noodle Soup." In it, I explained how to create a delicious pork bone soup to go with my all-time favourite wontons and noodles, but I didn't talk about making the wontons; I was using previous homemade wonton dumplings that were frozen. There are two kinds I often make-- one that is wrapped smaller with mostly pork, plus shrimp, black mushroom fungus and chives, and the other is shrimp dumplings, called "sui gow" in Cantonese, made mostly of shrimp, pork, black mushroom fungus and bamboo shoots . Here is my recipe for the first version.

Pork and Shrimp Wontons
Makes about 70 dumplings

1 lb. lean ground pork
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
2 tsp. fish or chicken bouillon powder
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
300 g raw shrimp, shelled, cleaned, rinsed and chopped
1/3 cup dried black mushroom fungus slice, rehydrated in water for 1 hour, drained and chopped
1 handful Chinese chives, finely chopped or 3 green onions, finely chopped
1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 package of wonton wrappers (I like the Hung Wang brand)

Season ground pork in a large bowl with salt, pepper, seasoning powder, soy sauce, sesame oil and cooking wine; incorporate well. Add shrimps, mushroom fungus and chives and mix well. Add cornstarch and mix again. Wrap and chill at least one hour for flavours to meld.


Assemble dumplings right before cooking. Place 1 Tbsp. filling in centre of wonton wrapper. Wrap the skin upwards to encase the filling and pinch at the top to seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Cook immediately and freeze the remainder (see tip). Do not refrigerate or they will get moist and stick to the plate.

TIP: Place a plastic wrap on the bottom of a Tupperware or reusable plastic container. Lay the wontons in a single layer. Then, cover with plastic wrap to add a second layer. Place another plastic wrap before closing with lid. Can be frozen for two months if properly sealed.

Cook fresh egg noodles by bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Loosen noodles before placing into the water. Cook for two minutes, stirring with chopsticks. Drain and place immediately in cold water to stop the cooking process. Place noodles in strainer and pour boiling water over to reheat when ready to serve. Drain well before placing in bowl/plate.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tsp. chicken seasoning to flavour the wontons during cooking. Carefully add the wontons and cook for three to four minutes or until all the wontons are floating. Remove with a large slotted spoon or strainer.

The wontons are served on the side with noodles and oyster sauce- a popular Cantonese dish called wonton lo mien, as an alternative to soup. I topped the noodles with chopped green onions and cilantro and dip the wontons in red vinegar. A side of stir-fried snow pea leaves in garlic rounds out the meal. Wontons is a regular in my house and my kids love it as much as I do! 

Classic wonton noodles in soup...

This is also a great recipe for your kids to help with the dumpling wrapping and build on their finger dexterity. My kids love helping me and they feel extra special when they boast during dinner how they prepared our meal together :). 

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