I have decided to share some of my favorite Asian inspired recipes this week. I love Asian food. I made a giant batch of wontons last week just for me while the hubby was camping with the boy scouts (in Colorado in February!). I figured I was celebrating the Chinese New Year, satisfying a craving, and keeping myself busy while he was away all at once. So here's my wonton recipe. My mom got this recipe from a college room mate of hers and it became a family favorite of ours. WARNING: these are highly addictive. I ate half a batch all at once without batting an eye. So yummy! These are a great appetizer/finger food or I usually eat them as a meal with rice or chow mien on the side.
3/4 lb. lean ground beef (or if you're feeling frisky, use chopped, raw shrimp)
1/2 package tofu (I have found firm works best)
3-4 scallions, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup chopped bean sprouts
1/4 tsp. or so of salt, pepper, garlic powder each
2-3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 package wonton wrappers (found in the produce section by the tofu and refrigerated salad dressing)
-Mix the first 6 ingredients together with your hands.
-Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pan and heat over medium heat. I have found that a big soup pot works best because then the sides of the pot catch most of the oil splatters.
-While the oil is heating, lay out the wonton wrappers on a clean, dry counter (start with 1/2 the package or less). Spoon a small lump of the filling onto the middle of each wrapper. Using your finger dipped in water, wet two adjoining sides of each wrapper and fold in half to make a triangle shape. Make sure they are sealed all the way around. If you get a hole in the wrapper, tear off a small piece in the corner to patch it.
-Once you have several wontons prepared, gently put one in the oil. You know the oil is ready when the wonton starts to bubble and sizzle. Once the oil is ready, cook 4-5 wontons at a time.
-Cook until golden brown (3-4 minutes on each side). I wear an oven mitt and use a spatula for flipping and removing wontons. Watch your oil carefully. If it starts to sizzle a lot and the wontons are browning quickly, turn down the heat. If the wontons brown too quickly, the filling will not be cooked. You probably want to cut open the first couple right away to make sure the filling is cooking through all the way.
-Put wontons on paper towel lined plate to cool.
-Serve with sweet and sour dipping sauce.
-Makes about 3/4 a package of wontons (I think that's around 30-40)
Filling in the middle
Seal the edges
Pan fry until golden
Dip in sauce and devour!
Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
Heat jam in microwave in 30 second intervals until runny enough to push through a fine mesh strainer. Strain out the chunks and add soy sauce to taste. I like mine sweeter, so I usually only add a couple table spoons of soy sauce to 1 cup strained jam.