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Crispy Fried Wontons with Sweet and Sour Sauce

It’s crunch time

Happy Year of the Rat!

Chinese (Lunar) New Year is upon us once again, and this time we’re celebrating with a little nibble that is loved all over the world. I defy anyone to not enjoy a crispy, crunchy, golden deep-fried wonton!

Fried wontons have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Not only because I love eating them, but also because it was always my job to help make wontons at our parents’ market stall. Wonton wrappers usually come in blocks, and sometimes the individual sheets can stick together. That’s where my miniature, 4-year-old dextrous fingers came in handy. I had a knack for peeling the wrappers away neatly, which made fewer ripped wrappers and less wastage. It always made me feel proud to see our customers enjoying a brown paper bag stuffed full of wontons.

The recipe that we’re sharing today is a tribute to those awesome market wontons, with a filling that makes a star out of the humble cabbage. Cabbage is a really underrated vegetable, but you’ll see it cropping up in loads of traditional dumpling recipes, as well as recipe menus. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First, there’s a wonderful delicate sweetness to cabbage that works very well with that other favourite Canto ingredient, pork. Second, finely diced cabbage sits just on the right side of juicy – not so juicy that it waterlogs the filling and makes the wonton difficult to wrap, but juicy enough that it keeps the filling nicely moist. Have you ever bitten into a dumpling to be greeted by that gorgeous, almost brothy trickle? That’s the work of a vegetable like cabbage, releasing it’s juiciness, and mingling with the pork.

If the image of cabbage juice mingling with pork hasn’t convinced you to try these wontons yet (if not, why not?) then I’ll just leave these words here: sweet and sour sauce.

Fried wontons are definitely a treat, and there’s no better time to treat yourself than Chinese New Year! Go on, we know you want to!

Serves
36 pieces
Ingredients

250g wonton wrappers (approximately 36)
vegetable oil, for frying

For the filling
200g pork mince
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp sesame oil
400g white cabbage, finely diced

For the sauce
4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Happy Year of the Rat!

Chinese (Lunar) New Year is upon us once again, and this time we’re celebrating with a little nibble that is loved all over the world. I defy anyone to not enjoy a crispy, crunchy, golden deep-fried wonton!

Fried wontons have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Not only because I love eating them, but also because it was always my job to help make wontons at our parents’ market stall. Wonton wrappers usually come in blocks, and sometimes the individual sheets can stick together. That’s where my miniature, 4-year-old dextrous fingers came in handy. I had a knack for peeling the wrappers away neatly, which made fewer ripped wrappers and less wastage. It always made me feel proud to see our customers enjoying a brown paper bag stuffed full of wontons.

The recipe that we’re sharing today is a tribute to those awesome market wontons, with a filling that makes a star out of the humble cabbage. Cabbage is a really underrated vegetable, but you’ll see it cropping up in loads of traditional dumpling recipes, as well as recipe menus. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First, there’s a wonderful delicate sweetness to cabbage that works very well with that other favourite Canto ingredient, pork. Second, finely diced cabbage sits just on the right side of juicy – not so juicy that it waterlogs the filling and makes the wonton difficult to wrap, but juicy enough that it keeps the filling nicely moist. Have you ever bitten into a dumpling to be greeted by that gorgeous, almost brothy trickle? That’s the work of a vegetable like cabbage, releasing it’s juiciness, and mingling with the pork.

If the image of cabbage juice mingling with pork hasn’t convinced you to try these wontons yet (if not, why not?) then I’ll just leave these words here: sweet and sour sauce.

Fried wontons are definitely a treat, and there’s no better time to treat yourself than Chinese New Year! Go on, we know you want to!

GET THE METHOD →

Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Half fill a small bowl with cold water.
To wrap a wonton: place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wrapper. Dip your finger in the bowl of cold water and use this to wet all four edges of the wrapper. Fold it into a triangle shape. Finish off each wonton by bringing the two opposing, pointiest corners of the triangle together and pressing one corner over the other, dabbing a little water between the layers to ensure a good seal.
OUR
TIP!
At this point, you can freeze the wontons for cooking at another time. To do this, arrange the wontons on a baking tray in a single layer to stop them sticking together whilst freezing. Put the tray in the freezer. Once fully frozen, you can transfer the wontons to a ziplock bag. Cook the wontons from frozen, adding an extra 2-4 minutes of cooking time to ensure that they are piping hot all the way through.
In a medium-sized saucepan or a wok, pour in vegetable oil to a depth of 4-5cm and place over a medium-high heat. Test the oil by dropping in a small piece of wonton pastry; it should sizzle and float to the top immediately. If the wrapper browns instantly, the oil is too hot.
To deep fry, carefully lower the wontons into the hot oil, being sure to not overcrowd the pan. You many need to do this in batches.
Fry the wontons for 2-3 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Drain on a wire rack or kitchen towels.
For the sauce, simply combine the sweet chilli and Worcestershire sauces.
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