The filling for boiled wontons should have dried sole (大地鱼, aka 铁脯). The fish is toasted till brown, crisp and fragrant, then chopped into little bits. If it's not available, deep-fried shallots are a good substitute. With either of these ingredients in the filling, wontons cooked in soup would have a rich, intense aroma they wouldn't have otherwise. In Hong Kong, the motherland of Wonton Soup, the stock used is made with dried sole, amongst other things.
Fried wontons, on the the hand, don't need any dried sole or deep-fried shallots because the fragrance from the golden brown wrappers is sufficient.
Boiled wontons may be any size so long as the seams don't burst. Fried wontons, however, have to be quite small. If there's too much filling, the wontons would be brown before the inside is cooked. How much is too much? It depends on the mix of meat – use less if there's more pork, more if there's more prawns, and chicken would be somewhere inbetween. If you like your fried wontons big and meaty, 100% prawns would be the way to go.
If you hate deep-frying because of the mess it may make, fried wontons would be good news. The wrappers are dry, so the oil doesn't splatter at all. Having your deep-fry and no cleaning is better than having your cake and eating it too!
|FRIED WONTONS (炸云吞)|
(Makes 50 pieces)
150 fatty coarsely minced pork
250 g prawns
peel, devein, wash and dice 5 mm3 water chestnuts
peel, wash and dice 3 mm2 tbsp thinly sliced spring onion
1 tbsp finely minced ginger
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp Shaoxing wine
2 tsp white sesame oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground white pepper
50 wonton wrappers
water for sealing wrappers
oil for deep-frying
To make filling, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Gather mixture in one hand and throw back into the bowl, hard. Repeat till mixture is sticky, 3-4 minutes.
To wrap, please refer to video below but use only 1 rounded tsp filling per wonton. Wrappers may be sealed with beaten egg as in the video, or water.
Alternatively, you could put some filling in the middle of the wrapper, dab some egg/water on the edges, fold to form a triangle/rectangle/semi-circle, then press edges to seal. (Click here if you need 12 photos (!) to show you how to make triangular wontons. But I'm assuming you are quite intelligent . . . .)
Wonton wrappers brown very easily. Do not use too much filling, oil that's too hot, or fry the wontons when they're chilled. Otherwise, the inside may still be raw when the wrappers are brown.
To fry, use moderately hot oil. Test by dipping wonton (or an uncoated wooden chopstick) into the oil. Temperature is just right when oil bubbles softly. If there's rapid bubbling, let oil cool down slightly before testing again. If there's no reaction from the oil, continue heating till bubbling softly. When oil is at right temperature, fry wontons over medium heat till golden brown, about 90 seconds. Drain and serve immediately with garlic or sweet chilli sauce on the side.