I did very little cooking before I have my own home. I never have to worry about food on the dinner table all my life because both my parents are excellent cooks, and my dad also knew where to find all the good food outside. Besides instant noodles, the only other dish which I learned to cook well back then was fried wontons, also known as wrapped dumpling with meat fillings. I usually prepare the marinaded filling myself, after which my mum & I will wrap the wontons together. Then she will help me deep fry the wontons while I hid far away because I was scared of oil splatters. Now that I am on my own, I have to do everything by myself including the deep frying. This was the one and only so-called “proper” dish which I can make when I had zero experience in cooking back then and I still enjoy making it now. One difference between home-made and outside version is that the latter is often without water chestnut, which to me is so important to me because of the nice crunch it gives to the dumplings.
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In this recipe, the technique shown for folding the wontons is the easiest one – a half diagonal triangle fold (see step-by-step photo guide below). You can try out other ways of folding (such as twisting the ends to form a nice pouch) or use round wonton skins instead of squares. The most time-consuming part of making this dish is the wrapping, so you can enlist the help of your family for some special bonding time :p In case you are wondering if these wontons can be boiled instead of deep fried, yes you can. I frequently make wonton soup or wonton noodles with them and they are great. I will feature a recipe for the soup base in future.
Fried wontons dips – I’m using Dancing Chef chilli sauce and Japanese mayonnaise
- 120g minced pork or chicken
- 100g fresh water chestnut, peeled and chopped (not too finely)
- 150g square wonton skins (for making triangle wontons)
- 6 prawns, shells and veins removed, diced (optional)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 stalks spring onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- a small pinch of salt
- a few dashes of Chinese white pepper powder
1. In a bowl, mix minced meat and water chestnuts with marinade; leave for 10 minutes.
2. Place 1 tsp of the mixture in the center of the wonton skin, and add a piece of prawn (if using) on top of the filling.
3. Wet the edges with water, fold down diagonally to form a triangle (see photo guide above). Press gently on the edges to seal (see step-by-step photo above).
4. Heat oil in wok and when it is hot enough, deep fry the dumplings for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. If using a deep fryer, preheat oil to 180°C /350°F before adding the wontons. Drain on kitchen towels/tempura papers before serving.
1. Make sure the oil is hot enough before you add the dumplings – as an indication they should sizzle gently once they enter the oil. If they sizzle violently right away, then the oil was hot. It will take some experience to get the temperature right.
2. Cook the wontons in batches and do not overcrowd the wok or deep fryer at any one time.
3. Run leftover oil from deep frying the wontons through a sieve and store the filtered oil in an air tight container for re-use. You can re-use the oil until it becomes too black or when it smokes too soon, showing the oil has spoiled and should be discarded.
4. If you have leftover wonton skin wrappers, deep fry them on their own for a crispy and delicious snack.
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