08 December 2012

Christmas Traditions

Every family has their own Christmas traditions.  One of our traditions is that the SandCastle doesn't do Christmas cookies!  We fry up wontons, "Because nothing says Christmas like fried wontons!  It helps if you understand our sideways sense of humor*.

This tradition started several years ago following a disappointing experience at a local Chinese restaurant.  We ordered fried wontons and were served wonton skins with tofu filling.  I explained my disappointment to the SCQueen "I can do better fried wontons that this!" and she decided we should do just that.

An internet search turned up a recipe.  Sorry, I don't recall where it was found or who to credit.  But the nice thing about wontons, is that it's hard to go wrong.  Feel free to adjust to your taste.  The items in bold are the the ones we added and the strikethrough are the ones we deleted.  I learned to fold wontons growing up when mom took some Chinese cooking classes.  Christmas season is a rare break where we can put in the time to do a proper job.
2 pounds ground pork
1 lb ground pork
1 lb finely chopped shrimp
1 lb finely chopped chicken
1 cup sliced water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped bamboo chutes
3 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsp. minced scallions
I hate onions
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice wine, sake or rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil
Suggest olive oil in place of sesame seed oil
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
70 wanton skins
Cooking oil for deep fat frying

Put pork in bowl and chop with a knife to allow for even mixture with other ingredients. Squeeze chopped water chestnuts in a paper towel to remove moisture and then add to pork. Add remaining ingredients except for wanton skins and cooking oil and stir well until completely mixed.

Place about 1 tsp. of the mix in the center of a wanton skin and fold the skin over to make a triangle. Pinch edges of wanton skin together while moistening with just a little water on your fingers. The water helps hold the wanton skin together.

Heat oil to 350 degrees in a wok or a deep fat fryer. Cook wantons only about 3 or 4 at a time to make sure you do not lower the cooking temperature of the oil too much. Maintaining the heat of the cooking oil will keep the wantons from absorbing too much oil. Remove wantons with a slotted spoon or frying strainer when they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. You can keep the cooked wantons warm in the oven while you cook the remaining wantons.

Serve with sweet and sour sauce, duck sauce, plum sauce and/or hot Chinese mustard. You can substitute ground shrimp or turkey for the pork or even use a combination of all three.

The basics of folding wontons is simple:  Place a dab in the center of a wonton skin.  Fold an opposite corners together creating a triangle with the filling in the center.  Fold the 90deg corner forward and draw the two 45 deg corners back to each other.  Apparently this last step has a lot of nuance that I cannot describe and even demonstrating, the SCQueen has trouble duplicating.  Heh... checking out YouTube, I see several ways to fold them, none of which is what I was taught 40 years ago.  Still check out the videos and find something that works for you.  Once you're eating them, the original shape doesn't matter!

Putting the "fried" into "fried wontons"!
The recipe above made something between 250-300 individual wontons.  Between the SCCrew & the SCSIL, we folded and fried these all in a couple hours after Saturday night dinner.  The actual folding took about 90 minutes.

Theses are great snacks.  They freeze well and a nicely warm up in the microwave.  It only takes a couple minutes to warm up 4-6 plus mix up some Chinese hot mustard.

* I think Robb is on our frequency:
I thought “Dammit. I should have bought some 20,000 lumens tactical light and let her use that.  I gave myself the giggles thinking about someone having a flashlight that lit up the entire cafeteria and gave the kids in the front row 3rd degree burns.
Um Yea... I LOL'd that "mee too" LOL!
Update:  It's true!  Bacon makes everything better!  partway through the run I had the brainstorm to mix in some crumbled bacon bits.   nom nom!


Old NFO said...

Oh... with hot Chinese mustard, THOSE sound oh so good! :-)

Strategy Consulting said...

Thanks for the recipe! Been planning to try cooking this one. It looks so god. Hmmmmm.... :D

BobG said...

Looks good.