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Traditional Wontons

  • SERVINGS: MAKES 60 WONTONS

These wontons can be deep-fried, steamed or boiled and may be served with any one of the accompanying dipping sauces.

  1. 2 cups shredded napa cabbage
  2. 1/2 pound ground pork or chicken
  3. 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  4. 2 scallions, minced
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  7. 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  8. 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  11. 60 wonton skins
  12. 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying (optional)
  13. Soy-Vinegar Sauce, Orange Sweet-and-Sour Sauce, Spicy Fish Sauce or Spiced Salt
  1. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch the cabbage for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Then squeeze out the excess water.
  2. In a bowl, combine the cabbage with the pork, cilantro, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Toss well.
  3. Lay out 10 wonton skins on a work surface; keep the remainder covered. Place a rounded 1/2 teaspoon of filling in the center of each skin; dampen the edges and fold over to form a triangle. Press out the air and seal the edges. Dampen the two points farthest from each other and pinch them together to form a hat, or tortellini, shape. Put the wontons on a flour-dusted baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. Repeat the procedure with the remaining skins and filling.
  4. Heat the oil to almost 400° in a wok. Add the wontons in batches of 10 and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  5. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the wontons in batches and cook until they float to the top. Transfer to a colander to drain.
  6. To serve, transfer the wontons to a platter and pass one or more of the dipping sauces separately.
Notes Variation: For vegetable wontons, in place of the pork, steam 1 1/2 pounds stemmed fresh spinach until just wilted, squeeze dry and coarsely chop. In a small saucepan, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach. Add to the bowl in Step 2 and proceed.