Little wonton dumplings are simple to make, very versatile, and fun to eat! They can be boiled, steamed, or fried and are most commonly enjoyed in a hot bowl of soup!
My Chinese girlfriend taught me her easy homemade quick version wonton using ground pork and an unusual green Chinese vegetable called Shepherd’s Purse. She said it is a “weed” in China. I found out that in Japanese it’s called nana kusa no sekku. In my neighborhood, we found this “weed” in the frozen section at the Chinese supermarket. But, when I wanted to make this again, I went to a different Asian market, and I couldn’t find it. I figured frozen spinach would do, but they didn’t have that either, so I opted for fresh spinach instead. If you’re going to substitute the spinach, just find any green vegetable with a fine stem. For example, the stalks of kale are too big and the leaves are too firm to make good dumplings.
For the ground pork, when we used the one pound pre-packaged packet, we ended up with too much filling and we ran out of wrappers. You can always use the remaining filling in a stir-fry, so not to worry about waste.
The most challenging part is probably wrapping the wonton. I took a lot of pictures to break it down. Hope you can follow this, but if you have questions please leave a comment.
- One packet of wonton wrappers
- ¾ lb. ground pork
- 1 bunch spinach or 1 packet frozen Chinese green vegetable or 1 packet frozen spinach
- 1 stalk green onion
- ¼ cup stock (anything will do; ie. chicken, fish, vegetable)
- I teaspoon mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
- ½ teaspoon – 1 teaspoon white pepper
- For the filling:
- For frozen Shepherd's Purse or spinach.: defrost and squeeze out all the excess water. After squeezing, I like to leave the greens in a colander because there always seems to be more liquid that needs draining.
- For fresh spinach: In a pot of boiling water blanch spinach for a minute, strain and run cold water over the leaves to stop the cooking. Squeeze all excess water.
- Chop green vegetable into small pieces
- Wash and chop the green onion into fine, small pieces
- In a bowl, combine the ground pork, cooked green vegetable, and spring onion and combine well.
- Add the ¼ cup stock, 1 teaspoon mirin and ½-1 teaspoon white pepper.
- Mix well.
- Important tip: The consistency should be rather soft and runny. If it still feels ‘dry’, add more stock. This will make the wonton juicy when cooked.
- How to Wrap a Wonton
- First get a small bowl with water or if you prefer water with a little cornstarch and set it aside. This is your ‘glue’. Make sure your counter or board where you wrap is dry.
- Place wrapper down and put filling in the center, horizontally across wrapper.
- The wrapper will be folded into thirds
- Fold the bottom half up.
- Using your index finger, dip in the ‘glue’ then across the folded wrapper edge to seal the upper flap to the lower flap.
- Next, fold the top half down
- Flip the wonton over, so the folded side is faced down
- Bring the two edges together, cross over and seal with ‘glue’
- The end result looks like a money bag!
- To Cook
- Boil: Heat a pot of water until you have a running boil. Drop wonton in pot. They will sink to the bottom. When done, they will float!
- Pan fry: Heat a frying pan. When hot add oil, then place wonton in pan. After 2 minutes or so, pour about ¼ cup of water into pan and immediately cover with a lid. Let the wonton steam. Cook until all the water evaporates.
- Steam: Place in steamer and steam until done
- For wonton soup, have chicken stock hot and ready, then add the boiled wonton and sprinkle with green onions. Adding vegetables or noodles will make this a good meal.
In our house, we like to boil the wonton and dip it in ponzu! Very refreshing!