Thursday, September 24, 2009

Making Wontons

The good thing about wontons is that they are easy to put into soup for a healthy, tasty meal...and they also go well in bento because they taste just as good cold or room temp. There is a bit of preparation time involved, but not too much. I used ground pork, which is traditional, but you could easily substitute turkey or chicken if you prefer. Season with shoyu, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic and a little cornstarch. I mixed in chopped baby bok choy because I like the crunch and the green color it adds. You can also add chopped green onions. The filling should look something like this.
Next, place a tiny amount in the center of the wrapper. I like to use square ones, because that is how my mom taught me. I thought these were square, but it turns out they were rectangular! Oh well, it doesn't matter that much, I guess.
It's important that you don't overfill them, as it will be difficult to close, and then you run the risk of them popping open later. Dip your fingertips in water and wet two adjacent edges of the wrapper. Press those edges to the other side, folding the wrapper into a triangle. Try to press out any air pockets.
You can see here that my triangle is imperfect, due to my rectangular wrapper.  If you bought square ones, you will get a nice, perfect triangle. Good for you. Oh, and make sure you use medium thickness, not thin, as they will hold up better during cooking. Next, make a pinch in the bottom edge and bring the two side corners down to meet and overlap.
Wet the corners to seal.
Repeat with the rest of the filling, till you are done! If you calculated right, you should come out even. Today, I got lucky! Filling and wrappers came out even. Yay!
Halfway done. Look how cute they look, sitting together like that. When you are ready to cook, set a pot of water to boil. Place the wontons in gently and make sure they don't touch the bottom of the pan, or they might stick there. Cook for one more minute after they float to the surface. This is how my mom taught me; she really did not give me a more specific cooking time than that. You should watch them, because it won't take more than 5 minutes or so.
All done! Drain and cool. You can serve them in a chicken broth-based soup, with some choy, onions, mushrooms, garlic and green onion, even spinach. This is what we did for dinner tonight. It was a hit with everyone, especially the kids :) The leftover wontons made it into bento for tomorrow; see my latest on my flickr photostream.


  1. Those wontons look soooo cute on that plate. Makes me want to eat them up. Two questions: do you use pre-made wrappers and do you pre-cook the pork? Oh third question: can these be pot stickers?

  2. Thanks Judy! I use premade wrappers for convenience -- I need 50-100 wrappers per batch :) The pork is not pre-cooked; the filling balls are small enough that they cook fully in the boiling water. If you wrapped them differently and fried them instead, they would be potstickers :)

  3. I've got to try these! I've made dumplings before, but they are so much work... of course I got ambitious and made my own wrappers, so premade would help things out a bit.

  4. Hi Astrid! Making the dumplings is time-consuming, but not hard...and actually best and most fun when you have some helping hands! When my kids get older, I will definitely enlist their help :)

  5. Oh how I love wontons! I never thought to pack them cold in my bento, thanks for that amazing tip! :)

    1. We love wontons cold! I've been known to eat them straight out of the fridge. You're welcome Jake n Kait! :D

  6. Love this recipe! Will definitely try it out soon. Can swap with minced chicken too ya ;-)