shanghai wontons

wow! our 100th post! thanks for all the support.

making wontons have always been a family affair. our fondest memories were seeing all of the women in the family gather in the living room, chatting and wrapping these little nuggets of deliciousness. The men, on the other hand, would sit around the house, waiting patiently to eat them. but seeing how that it’s just the two of us now, we both had to pitch in and help.

so apparently there is a difference between shanghai and guangdong wontons. i’m (jun) used to eating guangdong style wontons. priscilla decided to show me how to make her shanghai style this time. with shanghai wontons, the filling has veggies and the wrapper is not egg based. the shape of the wonton is also different. shanghai wontons are shaped like the old fashion chinese gold bullion.

if you’ve never wrapped wontons before, don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it after several tries. when boiling the wontons, it’s best to cook them with a low boil. too high heat and the wrappers might burst. one trick is to add a little bit of cold water as soon as the water boils, this helps bring the temperature back down.

if you don’t like watercress, napa cabbage is also a very common veggie.

serves about 50

square wonton wrappers 50 sheets
ground pork belly 1 lb
watercress 1 large bundle
soy sauce 1 tbsp
salt 2 tsp
white pepper powder 1 tsp
cornstarch 2 tbsp
sesame oil 1 tbsp
olive oil 4 tbsp

meat veggie filling

  • in a large bowl, combine the ground pork with soy sauce, salt, cornstarch, white pepper, and both oils. mix well and set aside
  • in a large pot of boiling water, blanch the watercress for a couple of minutes.
  • strain the watercress and let it cool. save the blanching liquid, it will serve as the soup base for cooking the wontons
  • once the watercress is cooled, finely chop them into small bits, similar in size to the ground pork
  • squeeze all of the water out of the watercress, as best as you can. combine the watercress with the ground pork, mix well. (save the squeezed watercress water and add it to the blanching liquid)
mix the ground pork with the seasonings

mix the ground pork with the seasonings

chop the watercress similar in size to the ground pork

chop the watercress similar in size to the ground pork

squeeze the liquid from the watercress, save the liquid!

squeeze the liquid from the watercress, save the liquid!

combine and mix everything well

combine and mix everything well

wrapping wontons

  • set up a wrapping station with the bowl of filling, the wrappers, and a large plate dusted generously with cornstarch or flour (this prevents the folded wontons from sticking to the plate)
  • place a sheet of wrapper on one hand and scoop about a tablespoon of filling onto the sheet
  • fold the wrapper in half, squeeze any air pockets from the center, and press the folded sides together
  • roll the filling up towards the top edge, placing your index finger in middle
  • while maintaining the rolled shape, bring the bottom two corners together (you may slide your index fingers out)
  • press the two corners together to seal the shape of the wonton, or dab a little water on the corners and then press to seal
set up the wrapping station

set up the wrapping station

place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper

place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper

fold the wrapper in half, squeezing any air pockets present

fold the wrapper in half, squeezing any air pockets present

roll the filling up towards the top edge of the wrapper, placing your index fingers in between

roll the filling up towards the top edge of the wrapper, placing your index fingers in between

bring the two bottom corners together

bring the two bottom corners together

press the two corners together and press hard

press the two corners together hard to seal the wonton, or dab with a little bit of water

cooking wontons

  • reuse the blanching liquid as the soup base
  • bring the liquid to a boil in a pot
  • add the wontons to the pot, about 10-15 pieces, turn heat to low-medium and cook for about 10 min
cooking on high heat may rupture the wrapper

cooking on high heat may rupture the wrapper, so keep heat low

serve with a little bit of soup and vinegar

serve with a little bit of soup and vinegar on the side

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39 responses to “shanghai wontons

  1. These look really good. Your description is so good it makes me think I might even be able to manage it. Can you use any pork mince, or do you need the fattiness of pork belly for this to work?

    • yes you can use lean pork. however, fatty pork is preferred because lean pork can be a bit dry when the wontons are cooked. it’s really just a textural thing. if using lean pork, add a bit more oil.

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  3. Happy 100th Post! I’ve always wanted to make wontons but finding wonton wrappers is difficult and I don’t think my fingers are agile enough to make pretty wontons like yours ๐Ÿ™‚ These look light and fresh as well. I don’t eat pork, so how do you think this would work with minced chicken?

    • oh they don’t require much agility to make, as long as you can fold and press, you’re good to go. and yes, minced chicken is definitely a great alternative. we prefer dark meat since it’s a little fattier. if using lean meat, it tends to be a bit dry when cooked. but that’s just a textural preference.

  4. We haven’t made won tons for such a long time, but you’ve reminded of how good home made ones are – I also have fond childhood memories of sitting around a big table with aunties and more aunties! Thanks for a great post and for bringing it to fiesta Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚

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