Food & Wine (January 2009)
Dumplings were one of the very first dishes we made on The Bitten Word, although they were small Turkish dumplings called manti.
For that recipe, we hand-rolled the homemade dough, cut it into exact squares with a ruler, and formed each dumpling into a perfect little star.
It was meticulous work, but a rewarding and enjoyable way to spend a few hours in the kitchen.
But let's get real -- sometimes you need a down-and-dirty version that can be made on a weeknight. That's where these Asian wontons come in.
Okay, this dish isn't exactly Chinese-take-out fast. But it's pretty darn close (and, we're sure, a whole lot better for you).
Using store-bought wonton wrappers makes preparation a snap. The spinach-and-pork filling comes together in no time, folding the wontons isn't terribly time-consuming either, and these little pockets of goodness cook in a matter of minutes.
And these dumplings taste fantastic! They're nice and airy, and the ginger, scallions are great complements to the pork and the spinach. And the cilantro sprinkled at the end sends a great zing into the whole dish.
This recipe also makes a dipping sauce with soy sauce, chile oil, peanut oil and garlic. But to be perfectly trashy honest, we would have liked a simple soy sauce just as much.
Overall, these wontons have a light, clean taste that's perfect for a midweek meal. And the two of us were able to make these from start to finish in about 30 minutes. Not even our favorite Chinese place delivers them that fast.
Food & Wine (January 2009)
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- In a skillet, cook the spinach, stirring, until wilted; transfer to a colander and squeeze dry. Finely chop the spinach.
- In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, the sesame oil, sherry, salt, sugar and white pepper. Mix in the pork, scallion, ginger and spinach. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Dust a large baking sheet with cornstarch. Arrange 4 wonton wrappers on a work surface, keeping the other wrappers covered with plastic wrap. Brush the edges of the wrappers with water and spoon 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each. Fold the wrappers diagonally over the filling to form triangles; seal. Bring the two opposite corners of the triangle together; press to seal. Transfer to the baking sheet and cover. Repeat.
- In a large saucepan of boiling water, simmer the wontons over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. When they float, cook for 3 minutes longer. Drain the wontons well.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining soy sauce with the chile oil, peanut oil and garlic. Add the wontons and toss. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.