Chinese dumplings are probably one of the most convenient and versatile foods to keep around.
1- They go from frozen to appetizer or dinner in just a few minutes.
2- You can pan fry/steam (like potstickers/gyoza), deep fry, boil or steam.
3- They’ll store in the freezer for months. Dumplings are my emergency food (unexpected hungry visitors!), midnight snack (shhhh….don’t tell anyone) and my emergency dinner (crap! what can I make for dinner that takes 15 minutes?)
4- You can use any type of ingredient your little tummy desires. Shrimp, beef, lamb, tofu, mushroom, kale, spinach, carrots, etc. etc.
And if you make it a “dumpling party” where you invite your friends and family to fold up a crazy batch, it’s also entertainment 🙂 Not only can you eat them the same day, but everyone gets to take home a batch to store in the freezer.
I don’t deep fry the dumplings much, but if I’m frying up a batch of My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls (and here’s a vegetable version), then we most definitely make double duty use of the oil to make Chinese Fried Wontons.
In this batch below, I used kale from the garden and ground turkey. But have fun, throw in whatever chopped vegetable that you like, whatever meat (or not) that you have on hand. Make up a big batch and save some for the freezer!
Servings: 50 wontons
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
In a large bowl, add the meat, ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, oyster sauce, curry powder and kale and mix well to combine. To make the egg wash, in a small bowl, add the water and egg and whisk with a fork.
To assemble the wontons, place a wonton wrapper flat in the palm of your hand. If frying, add 1 teaspoon of mixture to the center of the wrapper. If boiling, add 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Dip a finger in the egg wash, and paint all 4 edges with the wash. Fold the wonton in half, corner to opposite corner to make a triangle. Seal tightly all around. Make sure there are no air pockets or holes in the wonton. Fold the longer two triangle points together and seal to make the wonton shape.
Place folded wonton on a clean, dry plate or baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap to avoid drying out. When wontons are all folded, you can store or freeze.
To fry wontons, add 1 to 1 1/2 inches of cooking oil to a wok or pot. Heat the oil until it reaches 375F. Add a few wontons to the oil to fry, turning occasionally until they are golden brown. Remove them to a draining rack placed over a baking sheet so they can drain excess oil.
To boil wontons, see the recipe direction #6 from the Pork and Spinach Wontons recipe.
- If you want to freeze the wonton, place all the UNCOOKED wonton flat on a plate. Do not crowd. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Once the wonton are frozen, you can gather them up and store in freezer bag. This ensures that the wonton freeze individually (otherwise if the wonton froze and stuck together, it would be nearly impossible to cook.
- When ready to cook frozen wonton, they can go from freezer to simmering broth. Follow exact same cooking instructions. Since the wonton is frozen, it will take longer time for the broth to return to a simmer -- so it's self timing!
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