One of my favorite ways to spend an evening with friends is cooking together. Last week as the temperature dropped in Toronto, a good friend and I decided to spend our planned evening of quality time and catching up by reprising what was a most successful cooking evening last year: making fresh wontons.
After reading through a few different recipes and settling on pork and shrimp as the main fillers, we doubled the recipe, wrote out a shopping list and headed out to the grocery store together. You’ll see that the ingredients are simple and lean and the recipe couldn’t be any less demanding: just throw all of the chopped ingredients into a bowl and mix. While years ago it may have taken a trip to Chinatown to get wonton wrappers, they are available in your most basic of grocery stores around town now – just take a look in the refrigerated tofu areas, usually near the produce and fresh herbs.
To fill the wontons, we used a rounded teaspoon of filling for each wonton and then used a mixture of cornstarch and water to seal the wonton shut. How you fold the wonton is a matter of personal preference (we opted for a triangle simply because we could fit more filling into that shape!). Once you have a bunch of wontons made, place them flat on a baking sheet and pop them into the freezer for 15 minutes or so to flash freeze them so they don’t stick together.
The recipe below is already doubled and got us about 115 wontons. We placed 5 or 6 of them into individual ziplock bags, which will make handy dinners on cold nights. It took us a little over an hour to make all of the wontons, but with good company and a couple of glasses of wine, it was all a pleasure. And now we each have a dozen or so dinners tucked away into our freezers. Simply add some vegetables and noodles to your broth for a hearty and warming meal. My favorite ingredients to add to the broth include bok choy, cilantro, green onions and mushrooms.
Ingredients:1 lb of lean ground pork 1 lb of peeled, deveined raw shrimp, chopped 3.5 tsp grated fresh ginger 4 chopped green onions 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp cornstarch 4 tsp rice vinegar 0.5 tsp salt 0.5 tsp pepper 1 package, wonton wrappers
- Place a single wonton wrapper on a flat surface and place about 1 rounded teaspoon of filling into the centre.
- Dip your finger into a mixture of cornstarch and water, and trace along all edges of the wonton wrapper to moisten the edges.
- Fold to enclose the filling, pinch to seal.
- If eating fresh, place in a pot of boiling chicken broth for about 5 minutes (boil for a couple of minutes longer if they are coming out of the freezer).
- If freezing, place fresh wontons on a cornstarch dusted baking sheet for about 15 minutes before transferring to individual containers for freezing.