I’ve recently become involved in my local Wellesley alumnae club – such a great group of women, wish I had dialed in sooner. One of the regular events is a Supper Club, and this month it was at my friend Irene’s house (here’s her blog) where she taught us to make wontons.
Wontons aren’t hard to make once you master the technique that separates a wonton from a blob. But the process is time consuming, so it’s common for families or groups of friends to sit around and chat while stuffing and folding these little pockets of yum. So wontons are really an experience, not just a food.
You can stuff wontons with almost anything, although too much moisture in the filling can compromise the integrity of the wrapper. Irene advised purchasing square wonton wrappers rather than trying to make them yourself, so as far as I’m concerned store-bought is authentic.
Our vegetarian stuffing included:
- Acorn Squash, roasted and finely diced
- Shiitake and Button Mushrooms, finely diced
- Nori Seaweed, cut into small pieces
Here’s the folding technique she taught us – which is one of many styles, but I think a particularly cute one:
- Lay the wrapper in the palm of your hand and wet two adjacent edges with water using the tip of your finger.
- Scoop a “cubic quarter” of filling into the center – a tablespoon or less. Don’t overstuff or your wrapper will break.
- Fold the two dry edges over to meet the two wet edges and press them to seal.
- Wet one of the new corners created by folding. Now this is the hard part: Take the two matching corners in each hand and draw them together, crossing one over the other and press them together so that the water can seal them. I think of it like the two corners are wrapping around to hug the belly of the wonton.
Gently cook the wontons in a large pot of boiling water for about 3-5 minutes if fresh (between 5 and 10 minutes if frozen), testing as you go so as not to overcook. Scoop out with a large slotted spoon or mesh skimmer, discarding any that split open.
The wontons themselves are the centerpiece of an incredible meal. Irene had an impressive array of condiments and complements ready for us to customize our wonton bowls:
- Soy Sauce
- Rice and Red Wine Vinegars
- Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and Chili Garlic Sauce
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro
- Chopped Fresh Green Onions
- Julienned Fresh Ginger
- Strips of Fried Scrambled Egg
- Sautéed White Onion
- Steamed Baby Bok Choi
- Steamed Napa Cabbage
I can’t wait to host my own wonton party. It was a delicious meal and delightful evening – and everybody went home absolutely stuffed, some of us holding our bellies like little wontons ourselves!