Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Comfort Food: Wontons, Egg Rolls and Wonton Soup

Well, I'm pretty sure that this isn't most people's idea of comfort food, but I'm including it anyway. I didn't grow up eating this (I don't think we ever had Chinese) but Father did. This recipe is his mother's and I don't know where she got it. She's been making it since he was a child. Our kids love it. I guess one thing I want to get across is that this is easy. I mean it.

Wonton filling*

1 can chunk light chicken
1-2 cans ham
3-4 green onion stems, sliced thinly
soy sauce - enough to dampen meat mixture and turn it light brown (How's that for imprecise? I think this is about 1/2 - 2/3 cup but I'm not exactly sure. You add it until it "looks right".)

**I use this for egg rolls too but most people will prefer having a greater variety in their filling - like adding egg, for instance. (c; Feel free to use whatever filling recipe you want.

Dump the chicken, ham, green onion and soy sauce into a large bowl. Mash with a fork until the chunks are broken up and the ingredients are mixed together. Add more soy sauce if necessary (see above).

(This is not dark enough although some of that is the flash's fault.
 I added more soy sauce.)
Directions for constructing egg rolls:


Put the egg roll wrapper in front of you turned like a diamond.
Brush water onto the wrapper from 9 o'clock around the top to 3 o'clock.


Place some filling in the center, shaping it like a sausage.


Fold the bottom corner over the filling. Don't bother to tuck the end in under the filling.


Then fold the sides in toward the center.



Then roll the egg roll up toward the top corner, wrapping the tip around the roll.



That's it!

Making a wonton is pretty similar:

Start with the wonton wrapper in front of you and brush water on all four edges.


Put a small amount of filling in the center, less than you would think you need.


Fold one lower corner up to the top opposite corner. Press the edges together firmly.


Then, picking it up and holding it point down, fold the two corners up toward each other:
  

Overlap the top corners and press together firmly.
[This is hard to do one-handed for picture-taking purposes!]


And there you have it! 


Fry the egg rolls and wontons in hot oil, just like you would fry anything. (No, I don't have temperature recommendations.) Turn them once and let them drain on paper towels. 

 
That pale thing next to it is a strip of wrapper used to test
the oil temperature. Obviously is hadn't been hot enough.

Now you can follow these construction steps and put just about anything in the wrappers. You can do deserts this way! Just make sure that whatever you put in is already cooked or ok to eat raw.

And really quickly, wonton soup:

This is the most elementary recipe ever. Combine chicken broth (two containers), a few spoonfuls of wonton filling and about a Tbsp of soy sauce. Heat on the stove until just about boiling. Drop in a few (however many you want) uncooked wontons and let them cook for a few minutes. They'll look like the consistency of cooked noodles. Scatter some thinly sliced green onion over it in the bowls for garnish (don't cook the green onion).

5 comments:

  1. Those are so pretty and do look very easy! Two of my children have an aversion to the smell of fried food (shocking I know!) so I've been tempted to fry things on my deck... remember Mom frying outside?

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  2. Rebecca, I sure do! She used to make the best fried chicken in that electric fryer, putting it on the back steps and using a fork to open the lid since the handle had long-since fallen off. And the house wasn't saturated with the smell of frying!

    Of note, this doesn't generate very much frying smell since the items aren't in very long and the bottom of the pan isn't exposed.

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  3. The beginning of your post made me laugh out loud because Wonton Soup IS one of my favorite comfort foods. We have a local Chinese restaurant that makes amazing Wonton Soup. I've never made it myself, especially since I am the only one in the family who eats it.

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  4. I'm glad you like your local restaurant! That way you can have the soup all to yourself. We used to live next to a spectacular Chinese place and we sure do miss it! That's one reason why I had to actually buckle down and get good at this.

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