We grow up with wontons. I cannot remember when I learned how to do this or when I was first introduced to this. We make them in our home, we see them made everywhere around Singapore, and we eat them almost on a daily basis. Nowadays, when I make wontons, I will remember this encounter I had in 2017.
Masterchef Judge: what’s this dish?
Me: Wontons cooked two ways.
MCJ: what meat did u put in your wonton?
Me: pork and prawns that I cleaver chopped from the innovation test box.
MCJ: You put both? (Rolled eyes) then tasted the food… nom nom nom …
Did u say u put green apple in your dish as well? Did u put it inside or outside the wonton?
Me: Inside. To give u a crunch. (Wondering how come she could not taste it)
MCJ: It doesn’t work. And o my… it is so spicy! You taste nothing but hot peppers. Try it yourself.
Me: huh? (Tasted) Hm… it is actually not spicy for me.
MCJ: (shook her head)
In my family, we have been using pork and prawns / shrimps meat for wonton for generations, and either waterchestnut or anything with a neutral taste to give a crunch in our wontons. Our food is very spicy. I was not smart enough to adjust it for a westerner, thinking a Masterchef judge would know how wontons are made by natives (lol, is there such a thing as wonton native?).
Result? Eliminated. Lol. Thank you for years of memories after that.
A little secret to wrapping wontons: there must not be too much meat, because you want the wontons to cook quickly. For fried wontons, too much meat means your meat won’t be cooked or the juice from the meat will make your fried wontons soggy. For boiled ones, if you overcook, the wrappers become soggy and no longer like noodles.
If you want the best wontons, always make the wrappers yourself. Make them the thinnest you can. My own wonton wrappers are 1/2 the thickness of store-bought ones.
Home made wontons
- rolling pin or pasta maker
- 3 inch cookie cutter
- 200 g minced pork (more fat if you want smoother, lean is great too!)
- 200 g prawn meat
- 100 g waterchestnut from a can or freshly peeled
- 1 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Chinese wine
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 egg to make filings sticky
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup water + egg up to 2 eggs
- A pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp alkaline water (optional) this turns the white flour yellow and make the wrapper more tangy
- Some corn flour for dusting
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced chilies
- 1 tbsp black vinegar
- 1 tbsp szechuan pepper corn roughly ground
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 1/2 cup stock (can be from water and bullion powder) - optional
Toppings (optional or add anything you like!)
- Some coriander
- Some scallions
- Some sesame seeds
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying wontons
- 5 cups water for boiling wontons
- 1 tsp salt - added to water when boiling wontons
- Mix all the dry ingredients into a big bowl or mixer and stir just to mix things up. 10 seconds.
- Add the wet ingredients and knead for 5 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to as thin as possible. I don't normally rest my dough.
- Use a generous amount of corn flour for dusting.
- Place all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and stir in one direction until the mixture is sticky. About 5 minutes.
- Place 1/2 teaspoon of filings in each wrapper and fold simply and quickly. Do not attempt to put too much filings or the wontons won't cook properly and get soggy.
- Test that the oil is very hot (450F) and drop the wontons in. Done with they are golden brown.
- Boil hot water with some salt.
- Put the wontons in and keep stirring.
- Ready when wontons float.
- Heat up sesame sauce.
- Add the chopped garlic, szechuan peppers and chilies.
- When garlic are yellow, add in the vinegar and soya sauce.
- Add bullion and water. (optional, only if you want more sauce to go with rice)
- Boil and dish out.
- Pour over boiled wontons.
- Add toppings