Sunday, January 11, 2009

In The Kitchen: Making Won Tons

A really simple and cheap thing to make during these tough economic times are won tons. They're made in virtually every Chinese household as a basic lunch dish. Most Americans are exposed to them in won ton soup, but most Chinese eat them with noodles known as won ton mein. Growing up, I had to help my mom fold all the won tons because it's one of those things that, while easy to make, can be time consuming, like empanadas!

Here is a video demonstrating how to fold the won tons, and I bet after you watch it you'll agree they're pretty easy. After I uploaded the video to YouTube, I was surprised to see so many videos demonstrating the recipe. But hopefully you'll like mines the best. :) (And sorry that YouTube froze the video in the middle where I look like a deer in headlights. Ha!)

Again, I talk so much that I couldn't keep the video to just 10 minutes, which is the limit on YouTube. So I had to break them into two parts. Here's the first part, which demonstrates how to actually make the filling and then wrap the won tons.

And here's the second part where I show how you cook the won tons and make up a bowl of won ton mein for lunch. The full recipe is below.

Here's the actual recipe for my won tons. I'm focused primarily on the won ton and the filling, but if you want to make a bowl of won ton noodles, just buy the ready-made noodles from a Chinatown store (or the refrigerated Asian section of your grocery store) and cook them in a bowl of chicken broth and you're good to go. Enjoy!

Won Tons
Copyright 2009 by Cooking With The Single Guy

1/4 lb. ground pork
7-8 small shrimp, shell removed and deveined, minced
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, hydrated, minced
1/2 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 T spring onions, finely chopped
1 egg
1 T soy sauce
1 T Xiao Hsing wine (or sherry)
1 t ground white pepper
1 t sesame oil
1 package of pre-made won ton wrappers*

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and blend well. Using pre-made won ton wrappers, assemble your won tons using about a quarter size lump of filling for each won ton skin. Fold by placing filling in the middle, then fold over one corner to the opposite end, using a tab of water to make the corners stick together, creating a triangle. Close the edges to get the air out and then use your middle finger to push down the center of the wrap while bring the two opposite corners to finish the won ton.

Bring a pot of water to boil, then drop in your won tons and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until the won tons float to the top. You can serve with Hong Kong-style egg noodles and broth to create a bowl of won ton noodle soup or serve by themselves with broth for won ton soup. Garnish with some chopped green onions.

Makes about 50 won ton pieces.

* Both the won ton wrappers and noodles can be purchased at grocery stores in Chinatown or the Asian foods aisle in your local market. It'll be in the refrigerated section because they're typically fresh. For the wrappers, be sure to buy the square versions.

TIP: You can freeze your filling and use it to make more won tons later.

FRY THEM: A treat popular with kids is frying your won tons. Bring a wok or pot filled with oil to a high heat and then drop in your won tons. It'll cook until golden brown and then float to the top when ready. Do not crowd your wok and pot with too many won tons. Give them space to fry. Bring them out with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.


SteamyKitchen said...

you ROCK on camera honey! way to go!

Single Guy Ben said...

Thanks Jaden, coming from you that's real high praise! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow Chef Ben, you make it all look so easy! Funny thing, I made gyoza over the weekend, which is a pretty similar recipe. But wonton mein soup sounds so good I might get back to wrapping again.

Kim said...

Can these be made meat-free?

Single Guy Ben said...

Hi Kim, you can sub out the pork (and shrimp too if that matters) with maybe tofu or those veggie patties. Just break up the veggie patties into bits and I bet when you mix it with the other ingredients, you'll still get some of that Asian flavor.

Kim said...

Sounds yummy. I'm intimidated, but I will try!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have a package of wonton wrappers in the fridge that need to be used. I think I just found this weekends recipe to cook!

And I'm not sure why I find it so funny, but the word verification that just came up? brains.....

Anonymous said...

Maybe now I CAN make presentable won tons. I mean, I can make them. They just don't look so perfectly formed as yours. I know: Practice, practice, practice, right?

Sarah Sabatino said...

Thanks for the recipe and video!