Huan's Shrimp Wontons in Chili Oil

 

When it’s raining and cold outside, digging into a steaming bowl of wonton soups is a sure fire way to warm the soul and lift the spirit. Wontons are one of my favorite foods in the world and that love was cultivated at a young age thanks to my grandparents. Growing in Sichuan, China, I spent all my school breaks with my grandparents who opened a dumpling business in their retirement. My grandparents own the OG food truck in the form of a dumpling tuk tuk. Yes, I might have been one of the luckiest kids on the planet.

 

Unlike it’s more robust cousin, the dumpling, wontons are softer, folded in a different shape and often served with a soup base. My grandmother used to park her tuk tuk right outside government buildings at the start of the evening rush hour to feed hungry hoards of civil servants on their way home. She started with dumplings but soon added wontons to her menu for the children of these workers. Apparently, the silky soft texture of wontons were perfect for toddlers and small kids. 

My grandmother used pork as the main filling. Overtime, I’ve adapted her recipes and expanded upon the filling options. This particular wonton recipe uses a combination of shrimp and bamboo shoots. I love the satisfaction of using a whole pack of an ingredient and this recipe uses a full bag of shrimp and a full pack of wonton wrappers to make roughly 50 wontons which is around 4 servings. 

 

 

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Ingredients
WONTONS
American shrimp, diced (thawed overnight if frozen)
12 oz
Wonton wrappers
1 pack (51 total)
Ginger, finely diced
1 Tbsp
Bamboo shoots, finely diced
1/3 cup
Salt
1 tsp
Sugar
2 pinches
White pepper
2 pinches
Cornstarch
2 tsp
Sesame oil
2 Tbsp
SOUP BOWLS
Chinese style chili oil
1 Tbsp
Chinese dark vinegar
1 Tbsp
Light soy sauce
1 Tbsp
Scallions, finely sliced
For garnish
Sichuan peppercorn (optional)
Few drops
Wonton cooking water
2 large ladles

 

 

1. Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl, mix well and marinade for at least 30 minutes.

2. Prepare your wonton making station with a cup of water, your packet of wrappers and a tray or cutting board for your finished wontons. 

3.  Position your wrapper as a diamond shape. Scoop one heaping teaspoon of filling in the lower half of the diamond. 

4. Use a finger to dip into the water and trace the lower half edge of the wonton wrapper in a thin layer of water. The wrapper should be just damp and not soggy. 

5. Fold the wonton in half and press all around the edge to seal. You should have formed a triangle shape. Try not to have too much air in the filling area or else your wonton might break open while boiling. 

6. Place the wonton in your non-dominant hand with the diamond point facing towards you. Slightly wet the outer corner of the wrapper with some more water and fold the inner corner to meet the outer corner. Squeeze tightly to seal the two corners together.

7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently slide your wontons into the water. You can use a spoon to help slide the wontons in so you won’t get splashed with boiling liquid. Gently swirl the water to make sure the wontons don’t stick to each other or to the bottom of the pot. 

8.  Once the wontons float to the top of the boiling pot, add one cup of cold water and wait for the water to boil again. This process ensures your wontons are fully cooked. 

9.  Add soup ingredients, except for the wonton water, into a large bowl. Once the wontons are cooked, add 10-12 wontons into the bowl. Add two large ladles of wonton water and serve immediately.