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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homemade Wonton and Egg-Roll Wrappers

Not my wonton soup. Pics of that later.
I grew up on Chinese (and Japanese) food. Even now, years later, Chinese food is what I am most comfortable cooking, and the taste of soy sauce evokes memories of tummies satiated with delicious home cooked meals.
My parents were adventurous cooks, not afraid of a little hard work, so as children, we were treated to delicacies from homemade lo mein to General Tso's to beef negemaki to sushi. My father even made Sake (Japanese rice wine) and miso. One thing, though, was left to the experts and only eaten at restaurants on special occasions- wonton soup.

Wonton soup is one of the most frugal fancy dishes I know how to make. It is my go to meal when I want to pamper and money is tight. In fact, it is actually cheaper than many of my "normal" non vegetarian dishes, so I'll often make it when I'm short on cash and am not too pressed for time, even if I wasn't particularly looking for "fancy".

I'd like to teach you how to make wonton soup so you don't need to spend lots at a restaurant to be able to enjoy this treat.
In all honesty, this isn't the easiest recipe, so I'll give it to you in parts.
Today I'll teach you how to make wonton wrappers, which are the most expensive part of homemade part of wonton soup if you buy them packaged, but insanely cheap if made from scratch.
This same dough is used to make boiled wontons, fried wontons, egg-roll wrappers, spring roll wrappers, Chinese noodles and egg noodles, depending on the size you cut them and how you cook them.

Homemade Wonton and Egg-Roll Wrappers

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour (perhaps whole wheat flour would work as well but I haven't tried)
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
Less than 1/2 cup cold water
Corn starch or potato starch

Instructions
1. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour and salt.
2. Make an indentation in the flour, and pour in an egg. Mix well with a spoon.
3. Pour in half of the water and mix, preferably with a spoon, but when that is no longer an option, mix with your hand.
4. Slowly mix in a little bit of water at a time until you get a non crumbly dough that is just the tiniest bit sticky.
5. Let the dough sit for twenty minutes, covered.

The finished dough.
6. Lightly dust a flat immovable surface with corn starch or potato starch. (I prefer to use my counter, but any clean surface will work.)
7. Pull off a golf ball sized clump of dough and place it on the starched surface, lightly covering all sides.

Dough in starch
8. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough in as square (or rectangle) a shape as possible. You want the dough to be relatively thin, because otherwise it won't cook well. I usually just roll until the dough becomes semi translucent- i.e. I can make out the color of the counter beneath. Be careful, though, because a dough too thin will tear while cooking.
If, during the rolling process, the dough begins to stick to either the counter or the rolling pin, spread a miniscule amount of starch on the dough. Too much starch though, will make the dough hard to work with. (Not to mention, give you chills.)

Rolled dough. Still too thick. It's not translucent yet.
Ahh, there you go. Its translucent and ready for the next step.
9. Using a cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into squares. If you're making wontons, you probably want your squares at least 3 inches by 3 inches, and if egg-rolls, at least 5 inches by 5 inches. Alternatively, if you're making Chinese noodles for dipping in duck sauce or the like, you will want to cut these into thin long rectangles.

The cut wonton wrapper dough. The sides will be used to make fried Chinese noodles.
10. To cook, either boil for wontons or deep fry to make egg-rolls, fried wontons, or Chinese noodles.

11. If not using right away, dust with a heavier layer of corn or potato starch so they don't stick together, and stack. Cover with plastic wrap to stop moisture from escaping and wrappers drying out. I assume this can be frozen, but I haven't tried it myself.

Part two of making wonton soup, here.

Have you ever made wonton soup or egg rolls? Do you buy the wrappers or make them from scratch? If you make them at home, how do you make yours?


Linking up to vegetarian foodie friday

6 comments:

  1. sounds ez enough.. even for me. Trying them today =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Exactly what I am looking for thank you for posting this recipe and also the wonton soup recipe

    ReplyDelete
  3. how much corn or potato starch should be used?

    ReplyDelete
  4. How many ER wrappers do es this recipe make?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello
    How much corn starch is needed?
    Plz hurry making this tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I made these tonight with spelt flour, worked really well! thanks :)

    ReplyDelete

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