Won tons are among the easiest dim sum items to make at home. In this recipe, a simple mixture starring ground white-meat chicken gets its kick from a generous helping of diced spring onions or scallions. White-meat chicken makes a lighter, softer filling, but dark meat can be used.
The won tons can be boiled and added to soup; steamed or pan-fried and served as dumplings; or deep-fried for a crispy appetizer. Forming the won tons is a bit difficult at first, but it takes only a few tries to get the hang of it. The most important step is to make sure the won tons are sealed. There are many different won ton and dumpling wrappers out there. All of them work, but you will soon have a favorite.
Servings: 45 wontons
- 1 pound ground chicken, preferably white meat
- 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions or scallions, white and light green parts (about 3 to 4 spring onions)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger root
- 1 tablespoon egg white
- 45 to 50 won ton wrappers
In a bowl, combine the chicken, spring onion, cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and egg white. Use your hands to mix everything together.
Fill a small bowl with water. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. On a clean counter or one covered with a large piece of aluminum foil, lay out a won ton wrapper. Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Holding the wrapper in one hand, use the forefinger of your other hand to brush water around the top rim of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half on the diagonal and press the edges together to seal. (It does not matter if they don't match up perfectly.) Once the edges are sealed, you will have a won ton in the shape of a triangular hat or, if the wrappers are round, a half-moon. Bring the left and right corners together and press to seal. Now the won ton should look a lot like a fortune cookie. Place the won ton on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until all the won tons are formed.
At this point, the won tons can be cooked in lightly salted boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes; steamed; sauteed in oil; or deep-fried. They also can be frozen: Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer; when the won tons are frozen, place in resealable plastic food storage bags and keep frozen until ready to use. The won tons should be cooked directly from the freezer; do not thaw.
To serve in soup, garnish with additional chopped scallions or spring onions. To serve as a steamed or pan-fried appetizer, garnish with scallions and drizzle with a little sesame oil and soy sauce. Deep-fried won tons can be dipped in duck sauce.
From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.