There must be hundreds of variations on wonton, but the first version I tried was a winner and I have stayed faithful to it, more or less. You can't go wrong- it smells good even before you cook it, something rarely said about raw pork. Some people make flawlessly beautiful wonton, some people just squish them together, but they all taste good. My children LOVE making these and would be insulted if they weren't allowed to participate in this.
When we made this last night it made about 60 and served 7, but they were so good I think everyone at the table would have eaten more. My five year old ate like a trucker, and my seven year old skipped the rice to make sure he could fit in all the wonton he wanted. I made a huge stir-fry of cabbage, fresh corn, and green onion seasoned with soy sauce, mirin, and pepper to go with it.
1 pound ground pork
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons of minced or grated garlic
1 package of round wonton wrappers (about 60)
oil for frying (I used lard I had rendered and it was mouthwatering)
more soy sauce for dipping
white vinegar or rice vinegar for dipping
Mix the pork, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, cornstarch, scallion and garlic in a bowl. This is your filling. Take one wrapper, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center, and wet half the edge of the wrapper with a drop of water. Using either a plastic wonton mold or your fingers, fold and press the edges together. There are many ways to do this. Too much filling and it will explode, too little and it's a disappointment when you go to eat it. You'll get the hang of it. Take a look at the picture above.
Heat a non-stick skillet and generously coat the bottom of the pan with oil (or tallow or lard). Place a layer of wonton in the pan and fry them until they are well browned on the bottom. Pour in about 1/4-1/3 cup of water in the pan and cover it quickly with a lid because it will hiss and spit like crazy. Set a timer for three minutes and allow the dumplings to steam. After three minutes, scoop them out with a slotted spatula and transfer them to a plate. You will have to do multiple batches if you are cooking all the wonton. Try to get the frying pan decently clean between batches or you may run into problems like soggy wonton or burnt nasty bits.
Next make the dipping sauce. Again, there are many variations on the same theme out there, but here is an easy one I use. Pour some soy sauce into a jar, and add white vinegar, then add a little water to thin it out. The amounts vary tremendously depending on what brands you use. If you use rice vinegar and a soy sauce that isn't brutally salty you might not need to add any water. You can also add chopped scallion, a drop of sesame oil, chili oil, or whatever else you like.
During an introspective moment (with an audio recording of Peter Pan playing in the background) I realized I had more in common with Captain Hook than any of the fun-loving characters found in Neverland. I bark orders, I occasionally resent the light-hearted children around me, and I do my best to run a tight ship.
When my son's history book suggested having a Moorish feast, I instantly recognized a chance to redeem myself. I would be light-hearted and fun, I would not spend hours researching and shopping for authentic paella recipes, and I would not take myself too seriously.
I got a little aggravated during the preparations and didn't come off as cheery as I'd hoped, but the kids had a great time in spite of me. We played flamenco music and ate by candlelight on the floor. It was lovely, and I will do it again.
This activity was suggested in The Story of the World Activity Book Two: The Middle Ages, edited by Susan Wise Bauer. The whole meal cost no more than $15.
Spanish Rice style Rice-a-Roni
one supermarket rotisserie chicken, cut in pieces
1 -14.5 oz. can Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes, strained
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
Dump it all in a pan, bring it to a boil, cover it, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve it on a plate with the chicken on the rice.
The Moors ate at long, low tables with cushions. We played flamenco and discussed bull fighting and soccer in hopes that our kids would make the connection, but it turns out we shouldn't have bothered. My son thought we were pretending to be in Pompeii.
I never knew Rice-A-Roni could be so good.
"Most disquieting reflection of all, was it not bad form to think about good form?
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!