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Making wonton's - advice needed for a beginner!

p
pootle May 22, 2007 10:37 AM

If you make steamed pork wontons:

- Do you cook the filling first?
- How long do you cook for?
- I was planning to freeze on trays and then cook straight from frozen - will this work okay and how much to adjust the cooking time?
- Planned on putting in ground pork, spring onions, ginger, splash of soy + sherry - anything else I should be adding?

  1. p
    pootle May 23, 2007 12:05 AM

    Thankyou so much for your advice everyone
    I will experiment tonight!

    2 Replies
    1. re: pootle
      m
      monkfanatic May 23, 2007 12:44 AM

      it will taste a lot juicer if you mix water in slowely into the filling and a pinch of pepper

      1. re: monkfanatic
        Pei May 24, 2007 12:43 AM

        It will taste even better if you use some chicken stock instead of water!

    2. mochi mochi May 22, 2007 12:14 PM

      I don't cook the filling and I boil them in chicken stock. I usually add finely minced water chestnut, little bit of oyster sauce and a drop of sesame oil to the brown onions, green onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bind with cornstarch. My daughter likes sweet and sour sauce with her fried wontons and we like shoyu and hot mustard.

      1. c
        cheryl_h May 22, 2007 11:57 AM

        Agree with Melanie W. about adding some starch to the filling. I usually use cornstarch, about a teaspoon per cup of ground pork. I don't put ginger in the filling, but I like a little sesame oil. I usually use dried shrimp as well, soaked until soft and ground finely..

        You can make the filling, then cook a single teaspoonful to see if you like the overall taste. I don't pre-cook the filling, just fill the wrappers, dust with cornstarch and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once they're frozen, you can put them into bags for longer storage. When cooking, don't defrost or the wrapper will become soggy and fall apart. Drop the dumplings into boiling water.

        I've never had steamed wontons, perhaps this is some other dumpling? Shui mai perhaps?

        3 Replies
        1. re: cheryl_h
          Melanie Wong May 22, 2007 12:00 PM

          Thanks for mentioning the tip about tasting a little bit first. I just pop a spoonful in the microwave for a few seconds. Mostly to see if there's enough salt.

          Steaming wontons is a new one to me too. Seems like the wrappers would be gummy from the starch and burn your tongue from the alkali.

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            d
            Doreen May 24, 2007 07:44 AM

            When you do steam them, make sure to add a layer of cabbage leaves, especially if using a wooden chinese steamer, it will keep them from sticking to the wood. Probably wouldn't need any greens as a base if using a stainless steamer.

            1. re: Doreen
              Melanie Wong May 24, 2007 10:48 AM

              That's a good tip for steaming dumplings. You still need a base in a stainless steamer unless you oil the dumplings.

              But I still wouldn't steam wontons. I want the extra hydration that boiling brings to get the fluttery texture and clean taste in the wrapper.

        2. hannaone May 22, 2007 11:38 AM

          Wonton and Korean mandu are similar but have a different taste/texture, somewhat like potstickers.

          You can try this recipe:
          http://hannaone.com/Recipe/mandu.html

           
           
          1. b
            BuggySer May 22, 2007 11:34 AM

            Hi, my Mom and my sisters used to do this all the time when I was small...we used to make huge batches and freeze them on trays and then keep them frozen in plastic containters...great for a quick snack, so definitely go for it!

            You do not cook the filling. You may want to add garlic to your filling and maybe a little salt and pepper...if you want it spicy make it spicy....

            We used to cook them a few ways. If you deep fry them, until they are golden brown in colour and the inside is usually cooked (and as some other people said, you can always test first in any of these methods). You can also steam them in a steamer, about 10 minutes should be fine....we used to boil them (covered)in a chicken stock and garlic sauce until the sauce was a bit thick...those come out really well...and is very popular in Trinidad where I"m from....you can also add hot peppers to the sauce to make a spicy dish....it's also been used this way as an appetizer, good for unexpected company ;)

            Hope it was some help.

            1. Melanie Wong May 22, 2007 11:32 AM

              Boil instead of steam. This is necessary to rinse away the alkaline in the wrappers and the cornstarch dusted on the outside. They're done when they float to the surface of the water.

              Add a spoonful of tapioca starch to the filling. It acts as a binder in lieu of egg, and also makes the meat retain its juices and feel smoother on the palate. My mom always adds shrimp and fresh water chestnuts, minced.

              1. lunchbox May 22, 2007 11:20 AM

                Does anybody else use any egg in their fillings as a binder?
                For Meaty fillings, I've used whole eggs, and in seafood fillings, I was taught to use a soft meringue- folded into the mousse of shrimp and scallops to bind it and to create a less dense filling.
                Is that the French training creeping into an Asian recipe?

                3 Replies
                1. re: lunchbox
                  c
                  cheryl_h May 22, 2007 11:30 AM

                  I've never used eggs for a Chinese dumpling of any kind. I think it would make the filling more solid, not less dense.

                  1. re: lunchbox
                    b
                    BuggySer May 22, 2007 11:35 AM

                    We used to use egg to seal it if we needed to, but usually only a little water was necessary. I know quite a few people that put egg in the actual filling htough, so I don't know if it's westernized but it doesn't taste bad at all....

                    1. re: lunchbox
                      Sam Fujisaka May 22, 2007 11:38 AM

                      If you, ahem, beat your meat (with a wooden spoon as I mentioned above), you won't need a binder.

                    2. d
                      Diana May 22, 2007 10:46 AM

                      Don't cook the prok first. You put only a little filling in each wonton, so it steams up fast.

                      Steam till don is the way I do it. It takes less than 12 minutes, usually. Cut a tester open to be sure.

                      I would par-steam them first, then freeze, then steam the rest of the way before serving. You could even finish them off like potstickers, but putting the mostly steamed wonton on s skillet with a little oil, tossing in some wine or water, covering, and letting go for a minute or two. Then uncover and let brown (a few seconds)

                      For the filling, I would use the pork, spring onions, ginger, soy, sake or soju instead of sherry, garlic, a little sugar. Process everything fine in a blender or food processor. You really only put about a teaspoon or so's worht of filling in each one. Use a dab of water to bind the skin together.

                      Make a great dip of soy, garlic, ginger, spring onions and sugar!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Diana
                        Sam Fujisaka May 22, 2007 10:59 AM

                        Diana's advice is spot on. Nothing more to add, other than I "'beat" my mixture with a wooden spoon rather than use a blender or processor. Provides me with exactly the texture and consistency I want.

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                          Candy May 22, 2007 11:13 AM

                          I usually make 50- 100 at a time and freeze them. I do not steam before freezing. I put them on baking sheets, dusted with corn starch, and not touching each other and freeze and bag. I do the same with spring rolls and egg rolls, ravioli, tortellini etc.

                          1. re: Candy
                            ccbweb May 23, 2007 07:58 AM

                            Seconding Candy's method, though I skip the cornstarch and put them on parchment to freeze, then bag.

                          2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                            Melanie Wong May 22, 2007 11:57 AM

                            The classic way would be to chop with a heavy cleaver in each hand on top of a butchers block for the mix of textures and to have some of the meat pulverized to paste.

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