We were a wonton family – we never really made potstickers or jiao zi but wontons, wontons we always had in the freezer. What’s the nuance? If dumplings are the broader category for dough that is wrapped around a filling in a pocket-like form, then wontons fall into the dumpling family. the primary difference between wontons and other Chinese dumplings, jiao zi (饺子), is their thinner skin. When buying wrappers, you’ll also notice that wonton wrappers are usually square in shape while jiao zi wrappers are round.
Growing up, all four of us would get into the kitchen and make wontons together – it was a family activity. We would crowd around my mom to ‘help’ taste test and laugh about the dumpling fails we had; some had too much filling, others, too little, and sometimes, they just ripped.
Folding a wonton is now something I can do with my eyes closed but it’s incredibly hard for me to explain the step-by-step process to someone. There’s a variety of different folding techniques and there is no right or wrong technique, it really just depends on which one you grew up using in your family. My family uses the rectangular ingot technique (TY YouTube for giving this name) but you’ll find videos describing all the (7+!) methodologies on YouTube.
- 1 pack wonton wrapper
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup cilantro, tightly packed, chopped
- 1 bunch scallion, thinly sliced
- 2 shittake, minced
- 7 tsp soy sauce (equivalent of 2tbsp + 1tsp)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp chili oil
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until fully incorporated.
- Fold wontons, with the technique of your choice. For these wontons, I recommend either a rectangular or triangular ingot.
- To cook the wontons, bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, bring to medium heat, add the wontons, and bring to a boil again. Add 1 cup of water and bring to another boil, let simmer for 5 minutes. Floating wontons are a sign that they’re cooked and ready to be served.
- Serve with sauce of choice – I like to mix a 2:1:1 ratio of black vinegar, soy sauce, and chili oil.
Freezing wontons: I like to set them on a non-stick tray in the freezer. After they’ve frozen and set, I throw them into a Ziploc bag.
Quantity: These should make about 45-50 wontons, depending on how plump you make them.