Learn how to fold wontons with me!
This is a family recipe that I think most Chinese families have. Wontons are versatile and freezer-friendly, and wonton folding is a great weekend activity. I learned this recipe from my 婆婆 and my mom when I was a kid - it brings a lot of good memories along with it.
1 lb ground pork
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
Optional 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, hydrated and minced
Optional 1/2 cup chopped shrimp
Optional 1 tbsp chopped green onions
When you are looking for wonton wrappers, try and get the thinnest kind you can find. They are usually near the tofu in a normal grocery store. One package should be almost perfect for the above filling recipe. If you have leftover filling, you can make little meatballs to put in a stir fry or soup. If you're unsure about how the filling tastes, you can fry off a small bit in a pan before you move forward!
Set up your workspace
Before you start, put the bowl of filling, a small bowl with water, and a baking sheet lined with parchment/a silpat on your work station. You're not going to be able to touch anything in the middle of this, so set up your favorite Netflix show too ;)
Especially if you are using thawed wonton wrappers, you might want to pre-separate the wrappers before you start folding wontons. I find that the easiest utensil to use is a butter knife for managing the filling and sealing. Put the wrapper in your non-dominant palm, and use the knife in your other hand. You want to put a ~tablespoon-sized amount of filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper, and use that same butter knife to wet two adjacent edges of the wrapper using the water bowl. You can also do this with your finger if that's more comfortable. Fold it over, making sure to seal out all of the air. The two edges that are wet will match up with the edges that are dry so it completely seals.
Now, for the part that some find intimidating. First, place the triangle in your palm with the point facing your body. Wet the right corner with water (ok this might be the left-handed way to do this, but it's about time a whole section of the population learns something the "wrong" way, just like I was taught to play sports right-footed). Then, make an indent in the middle of the filling with your index finger.
Next, fold the left corner in with your thumb.
Now, put the wet right corner on top of the left corner and press to seal.
I usually do this all in one hand (and while still holding the butter knife), but work up to that! Make it a speed challenge :) If all of that is STILL too overwhelming, you can leave them as triangles and they will still taste just as good. When I was really young, that was how I made them.
If you want to freeze them, do so on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This makes sure that they don't stick together when they are in the process of freezing! After they are frozen, put them in a bag and store.
Wontons are great to serve with noodles, box choy, and a broth. A mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sriracha is a great dipping sauce. Alternatively, they are AMAZING appetizers when fried and paired with a chili crisp. Just make sure you salt them when they come straight out of the fryer.