I believe in most Cantonese Chinese households, girls (and possibly some boys) grow up helping their moms make wontons. I remember making wontons as a kid growing up. I love making wontons! It’s so therapeutic, almost as therapeutic as cleaning squids (or maybe it’s just me 😉
We would sit around the table with a big bowl of meat mixture made up of ground pork and shrimp wrapping away. The inexperienced ones (usually the younger kids) would stuff too much mixture into the wrapper causing the wontons to burst. We always thought there wasn’t enough meat in there. We forgot we still had to close the wrapper after putting the meat in.
If you have witnessed professionals wrapping wontons, it’s like watching a Chinese Speedy Gonzales. You see the beginning and before you know it, it’s finished. Everything in between is a big blur. If there was a video camera to capture this action, it would go something like this (imagine viewing this in slow motion.) Wonton wrapper in hand. The other hand scoops the meat mixture with a knife or chopsticks. Then fast as lightning, smears the meat gingerly onto the wrapper. As soon as the meat mixture leaves the knife or chopsticks, the hand holding the wrapper closes and at the same time pinches the wonton shut.
The people in our family, of course, are not professional wonton wrappers. We would do it at normal speed and sometimes break the wrapper with too much meat or not handling the wrappers delicately enough. It took me about 45 minutes to wrap the whole package of wontons by myself. (You can easily speed up the wonton-wrapping process by recruiting other members of your family or friends.) However, this Memorable Dish tastes so much better than the professional ones because it’s made with love. You can serve wontons by themselves with soup or noodles added.
- 1 pound of Ground Pork
- 1/2 pound of Shrimp, cut into small pieces
- 2 tsp of low sodium Soy Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp White Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Water
- 1 egg
- 1 package of Wonton Wrappers (small thin ones)
- 6 to 8 cups Chicken Broth (if you’re serving noodles with it, you’ll need more)
- 1-2 stalks of Scallions, diced
- Small bowl of Water for sealing wontons
- Water for boiling wontons
- Mix the ground pork, shrimp, soy sauce, salt, sugar, cornstarch, white pepper, sesame oil, water and egg in a big bowl.
- Place a sheet of wonton wrapper on the palm of your hand.
- Scoop about 1 teaspoon of meat mixture onto the wrapper.
- Lightly wet the edges of the wrapper with a bit of water with your finger.
- Close the wonton wrapper by lining up one of the corner to the other, creating a triangle. Then bunch the other corners to the middle creating a small pouch.
- Fill your large pot 3/4 full of water and bring it to a boil.
- Put the wontons to boil a few batches at a time. Be sure not to overcrowd them.
- Once the wontons float to the top (approximately 3 minutes), they are done. Use a slotted spoon and scoop them out. Finish boiling the rest of the wontons. Set aside.
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
- Place the wontons in a bowl and put hot chicken broth on top. Garnish with scallions.
- You can also serve the wontons with noodles. Prepare noodles according to package. Place noodles in a bowl, top with wontons. Scoop hot broth over it and garnish with scallions.
Note #1: Sometimes the wrappers stick together, be careful not to tear them.
Note #2: You can make the wontons ahead or make extras and freeze them on a tray. Put them into bags after they’re frozen. You don’t need to defrost them when boiling. Just boil them a little longer since they are frozen.