One of my favorite childhood memories is helping my mum wrap wontons in our tiny kitchen. I looked forward to the steamy hot soup with silky wontons, each one packed with a punch of flavor.
Wrapping wontons as a kid was really fun. I didn’t have high standards back then so I was quite pleased with my deformed and asymmetric wontons where the filling would bulge at odd angles. I often had to double wrap them because I tore the wrappers so easily with my clumsy child fingers. It was messy and imperfect and an exercise in patience. But it was always worth the long wait and hard work.
Usually, wontons are either pork or shrimp. I like pork a lot but I also love shrimp. Dilemma. So, I make my wontons with both. I love finding a piece of shrimp in each wonton. It’s like winning a little prize with every bite. This recipe rigs the odds in my favor by stuffing each wonton with many shrimp bits.
It may seem intimidating to prepare the ingredients and wrap each wonton individually. But stick with it and you’ll be glad you did. This is a heart-warming recipe is worth the time and effort. Invite a friend or two over to help you chop and wrap. You’ll discover it’s a pretty easy recipe and one you’ll make again and again.
Our new friend Mike came over to dinner. We learned how to make wontons together. He helped us significantly with wrapping the wontons and you can even see his hands in some of the process photos embedded in the recipe. Thanks Mike!
Each little wonton acts like an orchestra of strong flavors, each vying for your attention, and yet blending cooperatively together to create a mouthful of umami deliciousness. Most wonton recipes don’t call for the shiitake or wood ear mushrooms. But I like adding both to my recipe because they add the additional savory taste I’m looking for to create a burst of flavor. I also really enjoy the texture they add. Plus, it’s good to plump up each wonton with a bit of fungus to cut down on the meat. Don’t be grossed out 😛
I hope these wontons serve as the foundation upon which you too can build your memories with loved ones.
- 80 Wonton wrappers
- 2/3 pound Ground pork (The fattier, the better)
- 2 cups Shrimp (Defrosted, shelled and deveined)
- 1/2 inch Ginger
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 4 bulbs Green onion
- 1 Egg
- 5 Shiitake Mushrooms (Optional, dried and fresh mushrooms both work well.)
- 1/4 cup Wood Ear Mushrooms (Optional, dried and fresh mushrooms both work well, though dried is easier to find.)
Seasonings for wonton filling
- 3/4 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine (Or sherry)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Sesame oil
- Cornstarch (Optional)
- 4 tablespoons Soy sauce (To taste)
- 1 Carrot
- 3 cans Chicken broth (12 oz.)
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- 6 tablespoons Chili sauce (LGM 🙂 or other chili sauce)
An hour before cooking
- Boil water in a kettle. Rinse the dried shiitake and wood ear mushrooms to clean them. Put in a heat-resistant bowl. Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms and allow to rehydrate. Skip this step if you not adding them.
Prepare wonton filling
- Finely mince the green onions. Add to a large bowl.
- Finely chop the rehydrated wood ear mushrooms. Add to bowl.
- Finely chop the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms. Add to bowl.
- Peel the ginger. Finely chop the ginger. Add to bowl.
- Roughly chop the shrimp. Add to bowl.
- Squeeze garlic with a garlic press. Add to bowl.
- Add the ground pork to the bowl.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl. Beat the eggs until the egg yolk and white are mixed. Add to the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Pour all the seasonings, rice wine, salt, pepper, and sesame oil, into the big bowl with the pork and shrimp mixture. Mix with your hands (or spatula if, like me, you don't like to get your hands dirty).
Prepare wonton wrapping
- Dust 2 baking sheets with the cornstarch. This is optional as the wonton wrappers usually have surplus cornstarch. But it's a good idea to stop your hard work from being ruined in case the wonton wrapper sticks to the baking sheet and tears.
- Fill a small bowl with water.
Wrap the wontons: Sycee shape
- To make the sycee-shaped wonton, take a wonton wrapper and place it in the palm of your hand. With your free hand, scoop up some water from the water bowl and wet the wonton wrapper on the side facing up.
- Using chopsticks or a teaspoon, pick up a small teaspoon of pork and shrimp filling. Drop it in the middle of the wonton wrapper.
- Fold the diagonal edges across from each other. Gently seal the edges by pinching them closed.
- Bring the other two corners together and pinch the two corners so they stick together.
- Place the wrapped wontons on the starched baking sheet.
Cooking the wontons
- Boil a big pot of water. Add a pinch of salt. This water is for the wontons.
- While waiting for the wonton pot to boil, boil the chicken broth in a separate pot.
- Once the water in the wonton pot is boiling, use a serving spoon to gently place the wontons in the boiling water. You won't be able to cook of all them at once. Wontons need to cook in a lot of water or else they stick together and the wrappers become gummy and sticky. It's best to ensure they have plenty of room to swim in the pot and to bob up and down when they are cooked. Place just enough wontons to loosely cover the bottom of the pot.
- While waiting for the wontons to cook, grate the carrot. Divide the grated carrot evenly into each serving bowl.
- Separate the cilantro leaves from the stems. Discard the stems. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves.
- The wontons are cooked when they float to the top of the water. Turn off the heat and transfer them to the chicken broth pot.
- To serve the wontons, ladle each serving bowl with a few scoops of wontons with broth. Sprinkle generous amounts of cilantro, soy sauce, extra sesame oil and chili sauce.
- Enjoy the pork and shrimp wontons.
- You can buy wonton wrappers at an Asian grocery store. They normally live in the refrigerated section, next to the tofu and noodles.
- You can add wonton noodles to the wonton soup to make this a super comfort food. Find the wonton noodles next to the wonton wrappers at the Asian grocery store.
- I really like dried shiitake mushrooms and wood ear mushrooms. I think they add a lot of flavor and texture. But you can skip them if they're hard to find or gross you out.
- Why don't we cook the wontons directly in the chicken broth? You could if you prefer to reduce the steps. Personally, I don't like to drink the excess starch from the wonton wrappers. But if you want to be lazy, you're welcome to add the wontons directly into the boiling chicken broth.