Friday, February 18, 2011

Wonton Dumpling Soup aka "My Wonton Soldiers"

Left, Right, Left, Right, Get in Line, Get in Line, 1, 2, 1, 2, Left, Right, Left, Right....

Fill, Wet, Fold, Press, Wet and Cross the ends; Fill, Wet, Fold, Press, Wet and Cross the ends; Fill, Wet, Fold, Press, Wet and Cross the ends; Go, Go, Go, Go.....

I felt like a soldier marching, disciplined, precise like a machine when I was folding my wonton dumplings. I have made wonton dumplings before but I never learned how to do a perfect wrap. I just use to fold, squeeze together and hope that the filling won't come off. So, one nice day, I decided to do some research on youtube to look into various videos on how to wrap wonton dumplings the right way.

As always, the Internet is simply amazing. There were so many videos, I went back and forth looking at all the different methods till I got slightly confused. Heck, this should be simple enough - Fill, Wet, Fold, Press, Wet and Cross the ends. This is the method I decided to follow. Surprisingly, it turned out really well and before I knew it, I had a tray of nicely wrapped wonton dumplings.

Infact, I realized I can wrap more of these dumplings and just freeze the extras to use whenever needed. I used store bought dumplings wrappers. It is easily available at any Chinese Grocery stores. Too much trouble to make it at home.

Simple Ingredients :

1 Packet of Dumpling Wrappers (Square shaped)

Filling -
1 pound of minced pork
1 big onion - diced small
1 sprig of scallion - diced small
1 egg
Salt, Pepper, Oyster Sauce, Soy Sauce to taste.

If desire a slight crunch in your filling, you can add some diced Waterchest nut.

Simple Steps :

1. Mix well all of the fillings ingredient together. The egg should help to filling to bind together. 2 extra tricks I use when making the filling -
i ) I like to stir fry the onions first with some oil. This allows the onions to be a lot more fragrant when mixed together with the fillings. Be careful not to brown the onions and do let it cool down before mixing together.
ii) Also to make sure that the taste of the filling is just right, after mixing, I will pinch a some of the filling and just microwave it until cook (which usually is less than a minute - depending on how much meat you microwave). At least I get to taste and make sure that it is enough seasonings before I fill up the dumplings.

2. Wrap the dumplings. I made my first little "How To" video. My first attempt so it is very amateurish. No sound, I am too shy but I think it is pretty clear what I am doing. Just repeat until you get it :)

Once you get the rhythm of wrapping the dumplings, you will feel like a soldier machine. Fill, Wet, Fold, Press, Wet and Cross the ends; Fill, Wet, Fold, Press, Wet and Cross the ends..... and behold, you will have a full tray of wonton soldiers gleaming back at you :)

3. Get your soup base ready. You can use any type of soup base you like. I prefer chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and put in the dumplings one by one. Let me come to a boil and when the dumplings float up, they are ready. When sure you don't put too many dumplings in at one time as they may stick together and also stir the dumplings around to avoid them sticking.

Another method I use when I am "not lazy". I will boil a fresh pot of just water and let the dumplings boil in that first. I will drain the dumplings out and then only put into the chicken stock. I do this especially when I am making a lot of dumplings. This is to get rid of some of the flour on the wrappers (which will tend to thicken and cloud my soup) and also quicken the boiling process when in chicken soup.

4. Add any green leafy vegetable you like into the soup or just add chopped scallions. And serve it hot.

There is something comforting about a bowl of wonton dumpling soup. Hmmm, bliss.

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