Friday, February 08, 2008

Wantan 101

The fried wantans I make have turned out to be rather popular among the Yorkies, and since I don't participate in pot lucks all that often, it's usually the dish I churn out when I do. So much so that people probably think it's all I know how to do.

Though I suppose in terms of food I dare to serve to others, it's not too far off from the truth. Definitely the best item in my repertoire, anyway.

What most people don't seem to realise is how easy it is to make. I picked it up from my mum and brother, so you can say it's a family recipe, but it's not really much of one. It does take some time, mainly in folding the wrappers, but the ingredients and steps are actually easy enough.

1) Filling. I don't actually have a recipe for this, I just mix stuff up in estimated proportions until I get what I want. The main ingredients are minced pork and diced garlic, mixed in with sesame oil, light soya sauce, and pepper. I usually throw in other stuff to excite it up, like prawns, shitake mushrooms and (spring) onion. There're probably many other possibilities, actually, just choose whatever makes you happy.

2) Wrapping. I don't actually know how to make the wantan skins from scratch, and if I included the steps this wouldn't be a 101 topic. But anyway, just use some pre-bought ones, put the filling in and fold them into halves. Some people pre-cook the filling before wrapping it up, but I find that since it's all minced/diced, it cooks pretty quickly anyway so there's no real need to do so.

Before frying
Again there are many variations, some people like minimal filling for the excessive crispy goodness, I personally like a bit of substance in my wantans. I usually fold it into rectangular halves, but some people swear by the triangular form. No they don't taste different, though it's a handy way of differentiating them if you're using different ingredients (like some with prawn and others without).

3) Frying. You can just deep-fry them, it's pretty easy. For the health-conscious, you can use less oil and shallow fry (though I doubt that actually makes any difference), or boil them in soup. I've not actually tried that, though - probably will soon!

Final product
And then you're done. Pretty easy, huh? Really good, too. Mmm.

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