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Recipe: Wontons With Shrimp And Pork Filling

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Wonton with pork and shrimp (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
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When it comes to comfort Chinese food, wontons come to mind. These little packages of joy are so versatile, from their fillings to how you cook them. Throw them in some chicken broth and noodles for soup, boil or deep fry them—you can't go wrong.

A literal translation of "wonton" from Cantonese to English means “swallowing clouds”, and if made correctly, these heavenly little meat-filled pillows will taste just like that. Once you get the hang of folding them (which becomes rather therapeutic at a certain point), it becomes second nature and easy to do.

This recipe is for shrimp and pork wontons with green onions. Enjoy!

Recipe yields about 45 - 50 wontons

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Ingredients:

1 16 oz. package of square wonton wrappers (can be found in your local Asian grocery store) - yields about 45-50 wrappers
1 egg
1/2 lb. of ground pork
1/2 lb. of shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
2 - 3 stalks of scallions, thinly chopped
1/2 tbsp of soy sauce
3 tsp of rice vinegar
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper

Directions:

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and set aside.

Preparing the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, add the pork, shrimp, scallions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

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Wrapping the wontons: Put one wonton wrapper in the palm of your hand positioned as a diamond pointing upwards. Put half a tablespoon of filling in the center. (Do not overfill the wonton because they will fall apart when you cook them.) Using a spoon or your finger, add a thin layer of egg wash alongside the two top edges of the wrapper. Fold the bottom to the top, forming a triangle, pushing out as much air as possible, and then pressing the edges together to seal it. Then add egg wash to the two side tips and overlap one side over the other. The shape will look like a little boat with a pillow of filling in the center.

Here's a video of how to fold the wontons into the boat shape:

Repeat folding instructions until all the wrappers have been used. Put wontons in a single layer on a baking sheet until finished.

Cooking the wontons: You can either boil the wontons or deep-fry them. Here are the instructions for both.

Cooking option 1, boiling the wontons: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over low-medium heat. Add the wontons in the water (making sure there is enough room for them to move about freely) and gently stir every couple of minutes (to ensure the wontons don’t stick to the bottom of the pot) for about 5 to 8 minutes. You will know when they’re done when they float to the top. Check the wontons for doneness. When the wontons are done cooking, drain the pot and then and put the wontons in a bowl. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

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Cooking option 2, deep-frying the wontons: In a wok or a pot, pour enough oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches, and heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Add wontons in small batches to the oil, turning occasionally until they turn a golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon and drain the oil on paper towels on a plate.

Extra Notes:

How to freeze wontons: Wrap a baking sheet with saran wrap. Put each wonton in a single layer on the baking sheet (without overcrowding them so they don’t get stuck together). Leave the baking sheet in the freezer overnight. In the morning, remove the wontons and put them in a bag and keep them in the freezer. Do not defrost the wontons if you want to boil them, but do defrost them if you want to deep fry them.

What to do with excess filling: If you end up with any extra filling, a good way to use it up is to roll about a tablespoon of filling into a ball - sort of like a mini-meatball, and repeat until all the filling is used. You can boil these meatballs in soup or freeze them the same way as you’d freeze wontons to use later.