WONTONS bring back fuzzy warm memories of Singapore itinerant hawkers, peddling home-made noodles door to door. They often come with nuggets of meat encased in juicy wonton skins dunked in soup. Serve with rice or handmade egg noodles. Home-cooked goodness at its best!
Total time: 1½ hours
Makes: 40-45 pieces
A: Meat Filling
250g minced pork
150g prawns, peeled and roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 water chestnuts, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
C: Wonton Skins
40-45 pieces square yellow wonton skins
Prawn heads and shells
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed
1 litre chicken stock and 500ml water
30g dried anchovies (ikan bilis) washed
1 stalk spring onion or Chinese coriander, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Romaine lettuce leaves, optional
1. In a large bowl or plate, combine A ingredients except sesame oil and soy sauce.
Pour in sesame oil followed by soy sauce. Using a large spoon or a pair of chopsticks, mix well to incorporate the oil and soy sauce.
Cover filling with cling wrap. Refrigerate while the broth is cooking.
2. To cook broth: Panfry prawn heads and shells in oil with garlic until they turn red and aromatic. Pour in chicken stock and water. Next, add in anchovies. Allow soup to come to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 45 minutes.
3. To wrap dumplings: On each piece of wonton skin, place 1 teaspoon of filling. Fold skin diagonally over to form a triangular pockets. Dip finger into water and dab edges with it to seal the dumpling. Using your thumb and forefinger, press wonton skin around the filling to release any air pockets.
Alternatively, wontons can be wrapped as purse pouches. Place <1 teaspoon filling in the centre of wonton skin. Dip finger into water and dab wonton skin around filling. Press it at the neck to seal and twist it.
Repeat until filling is used up. Set aside and cover with a tea towel.
4. To cook dumplings: In a medium pot, pour in chicken stock. Bring it to a rolling boil and then add in ikan bilis, prawn shells and garlic. Reduce heat to medium. Allow stock to simmer for 45 minutes.
5. Lower heat, using a sieve, remove ikan bilis then discard. Bring heat up. When broth comes to a boil, gently drop in wontons, one by one – do not overcrowd pot. Cook until they float.
6. To serve: scoop a few wontons into a small bowl with some soup. Garnish with spring onions or coriander and lettuce if desired. Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil over wontons. Serve piping hot with egg noodles, steamed rice or enjoy them without any carbs.
Wontons can also be deep fried.
BUYING TIP: Wonton skins, yellow from the addition of egg yolk, are usually cut into squares. They are different from round white skins which are used for dumplings.
HOW TO FREEZE: Lay wontons on a flat tray or large platter. Place it in the freezer until wontons are frozen. Transfer them to a ziplog bag. They keep well for up to 1 month. To cook, drop wontons into boiling soup. Scoop them up when they float; pour in some soup and garnish with spring onions or coriander.
TECHNIQUE: Wrapping wontons in triangular pockets ensures they cook evenly and speedily in boiling soup. In addition, they freeze up faster.
Photos: Evonne Lyn Lee
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