Wonton is the most commonly eaten type of dumpling in Shanghai, and is typically served in a soup as a quick meal anytime of the day. It comes in two varieties: the large wonton with meat and vegetables stuffed in a satisfyingly chewy wrapper, and the small one with a dainty dollop of meat and shrimp stuffed in a papery thin wrapper. Unfortunately it’s difficult to find the chewy wrappers in London, so I use a wrapper that’s more commonly used in Cantonese cooking. It’s much thinner than I like but until I start making my owner wrappers, that’s the best alternative I’ve found.
- 250g minced pork
- 250g green pak choi (also kknow as qin cai)
- 50 wonton wrappers
- 20g minced ginger
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- a small pinch of white pepper
- 1 tbsp of stock, optional
Making the stuffing:
Wash the green pak choi well to remove all dirt and sand. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes with 1 tsp of salt until the stems start to turn soft. Remove and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Squeeze out some of the water from the green pak choi, and chop them finely. The left bunch in the picture shows what it looks like after squeezing.
Mix all the seasoning into the meat evenly, add some of the liquid from the green pak choi if needed to make the meat into a liquidy paste. Add the chopped green pak choi and mix evenly.
Put a small teaspoon of stuffing (roughly 15g) onto the wrapper. It’s easier to wrap with less filling, so you may want to start with a smaller amount until you get the hang of wrapping.
Fold the wrapper in half and press down firmly to make sure all sides are stuck, but not so strong as to break the dough.
Gently fold up the top edge of the wrapper while bringing the two corners together.
Wet the wrapper slightly on one of the corners and press it firmly with the other corner. Viola!
Use a pot with a wide opening, fill to two thirds, and bring the water to a boil.
Slide the wontons in and gently stir them so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. I use the bottom of a laddle to swirl the top of the water which keeps the wontons moving.
Once they float up, and there’s no visible white part to the wrapper, the wontons are cooked.
Serve in a bowl with a chicken or pork stock, or some of the cooking liquid, a pinch of white pepper and a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce. The wontons are well seasoned so taste before you add too much soy sauce to the soup.