Wontons are one of those magical foods that are both easy to make and extremely impressive. The whole process takes far less time than you’d expect, and it’s fun! Like many things, the trickiest part can be actually deciding that you’re going to go ahead and do it. Once you do, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making them forever. So let’s dive in to everything you need to know about wontons!
If you’ve never made wontons before, give it a try sometime soon. You’ll find that they are extremely versatile. So versatile that you might just want to keep a pack in your fridge all the time. The name sounds very Asian, and, of course, wontons are Asian—Chinese, to be specific. Some of the most traditional recipes have fillings of meat or seafood along with Chinese spices and vegetables. We’ll happily eat wontons filled with shrimp, pork and shrimp, pork and green onion, chicken and cabbage, or cabbage and vegetables, but it’s fun to play around with the fillings, too.
Wontons offer a blank canvas for culinary creativity. Flour, water, eggs and salt are the only ingredients in these handy wrappers, and so pretty much anything tastes good inside them. Oh, and don’t think that you need to start from scratch. Wontons can be an excellent way to repackage leftovers! Some fun filling ideas include:
- Meatloaf mix
- Mushroom risotto
- Reuben: (pastrami or corned beef + sauerkraut)
- Cream cheese mixed with citrus zest and juice
- Chopped dates and nuts
- Fruit compotes and pie fillings
- Use about one teaspoon of filling per piece.
- Pick a filling that’s moist, but not too moist. Meat ragu might work, for instance, but plain old spaghetti sauce would be too wet.
- Don’t let the wrappers dry out. Keep filled wontons and unused wrappers under a moist paper towel.
- Fill and fold wontons one at a time.
- Smooth out any air bubbles around the filling.
- Fold, pinch and press firmly for a tight seal.
- Wet wonton skin with a dab of water or egg wash before crimping to help get a better seal.
As we said, making wontons is easy! This little visual guide will help you master a couple of basic shapes, and two snazzy ones as well. Of course, there’s dozens if not hundreds of methods out there, so explore and try what’s fun for you!
Now that you have everything you need to know about wontons, it’s time to get started! What kind will you make? Let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to experiment and have fun. And if you need a little recipe inspiration, check out our Chinese New Year eBook! In addition to traditional wontons, you’ll also find recipes for things like Garlicky Chinese Long Beans, Lucky Fruit Salad, and Sticky Tangerine Chicken Wings. Happy cooking!