The Magic of Wonton Wrappers

I first discovered the magic of wonton wrappers because of (who else?) Deb, the goddess food blogger who runs Smitten Kitchen.

I wanted to make her Pea & Ricotta Stuffed Tortellini in Parmesan Broth (recipe from her cookbook, not online) but I didn’t want to make pasta by hand. I searched far and wide for wonton wrappers at all the stores around my house– which she recommended for a speedier project– but I couldn’t find them. Instead, it took me a few hours to make, roll and pinch tortellini by hand that night.  They were delicious but I was exhausted.

A few weeks later, Sean and I went to the Asian market in Seattle’s International District. As we were checking out, I walked by a veritable mecca of wonton wrappers. I bought one pack and put them in my freezer. Last week, I finally de-thawed the glorious dough squares and hot damn– homemade pasta was never so easy!

We made 2 things with the wonton wrappers:

Ricotta & Italian Sausage-Stuffed Ravioli in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Or “Hell yeah homemade pasta.” Serves 5.

IMG_1627

  • 1 pack of wonton wrappers
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 T bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • pinch of oregano, red chili flakes, salt and pepper
  • egg wash (1 egg, whisked with 1 t water)
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T heavy cream
  • 1 cup pasta water, reserved
  • Parmesan cheese & fresh basil, for garnish

Cook the sausage over medium heat until brown and crumbly. Put in a medium bowl, then add bread crumbs, egg, ricotta, salt, pepper, red chili flakes and oregano. Stir to combine.

Unwrap the wonton wrappers and lay two side-by-side. Dip your thumb in the egg wash and moisten the outside edges of both wrappers. Put a small spoonful of the sausage and ricotta mixture in the center of one wrapper, then place the other wrapper on top and slowly pinch all the edges together. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers and filling.

Boil water and cook the ravioli for 3 minutes, or until they float. Strain. In the same pot, add tomato paste, heavy cream and pasta water (start with 1/2 cup, then add more as needed). Whisk to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste.

If you don’t want to eat the ravioli right away (this will make enough for several meals), place the ravioli on a lightly greased baking sheet and pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes, making sure none of the ravioli are touching. Then transfer to a zip lock and store in the freezer for 1-2 months. To cook, simply boil directly from frozen for 5-8 minutes.

Ginger Chicken Wontons

Or “Fancy AF homemade drunk food.” Sorta adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Serves 5.

IMG_1730

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1.5 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 t fish sauce OR 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T sweet thai chili paste (or 1/2 t dried red chili flakes)
  • pinch of black pepper
  • egg wash (1 egg, whisked with 1 t water)
  • 1 pack of wonton wrappers
  • optional: miso broth (thanks, Trader Joe’s), hoisin sauce, Sriracha, toasted sesame seeds

In a bowl, combine chicken, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, ginger, green onions, garlic and chili paste in a bowl. Stir to combine.

Lay 6 wonton wrappers out and use egg wash to moisten the edges of each. Add 1 t of the chicken mixture to each wonton, then fold them diagonally to make a triangle. Press the air out as you seal it shit, then bring the two corners on the wide sides of the triangle down and use a dab of water to seal them together. I promise it’s easier than it sounds.

You can make these two ways: pan fried, or in wonton soup. If you want soup, simply bring broth to a boil, add wontons, and let them cook for 5 minutes. If you want pan fried wontons, add 1 t oil to a medium high heat pan, swirl it around, then add the won tons and let them brown. Using tongs, rotate them to the opposite side gets browned, too. Then add 1/4 cup broth to the pan, cover the pan with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium. Let steam for 3 minutes. Garnish with hoisin, Sriracha, and toasted sesame seeds.

Same as above: If you don’t want to eat the wontons right away (this will make enough for several meals), place them on a lightly greased baking sheet and pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes, making sure none of the ravioli are touching. Then transfer to a zip lock and store in the freezer for 1-2 months. Your future self will thank you.

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