This recipe for Homemade Wontons features large, plump and juicy dumplings filled with pork and shrimp, enveloped in a silky, smooth wheat wrapper.
What are wontons?
Wontons are a Chinese dumpling traditionally consisting of a mixture of pork and/or shrimp, wrapped in a silky and smooth, thin square-shaped wheat wrapper.
In Cantonese, wuntun 雲吞 is translated as "swallowing cloud."
Cantonese-style wontons are one of the most widely recognized type, and are filled with minced pork and shrimp.
Due to the delicate nature of the dumplings, wontons are boiled in water or deep-fried.
Wonton soup is a popular light meal consisting of dumplings served in a hot soup made from shrimp shells and dried fish (flounder) powder.
Serving the wontons with thin egg noodles in soup turns the dish into a more substantial meal.
What's the difference between wontons and dumplings?
Wontons are a type of dumpling, typically smaller than Chinese dumplings (jiao zi), and are wrapped with a square or trapezoid wrapper.
Chinese dumplings (jiao zi) are made with a circular, round wheat wrapper, and are pleated or folded in a half-moon shape.
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What's the difference between wonton wrappers and Chinese dumpling wrappers?
Wonton wrappers are made with flour, egg, water, salt and alkaline water (lye water/kan sui or potassium carbonate).
Chinese dumpling wrappers are made with flour, water and salt.
The addition of lye water to the wonton wrappers gives it its silky, chewy texture, similar to Chinese egg noodles or ramen noodles.
Wonton wrappers (cut into a round circle) are also used to make Cantonese-style siu mai.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for homemade wontons is:
Easy to make: using store-bought wonton wrappers simplifies and streamlines the process.
Delicious: think of large, juicy, tender morsels of ground pork and shrimp, accentuated with green onions and seasonings in each bite.
Made with a few ingredients: ground pork and shrimp are the main stars of these dumplings, with a few aromatics and seasonings added in for great flavor.
Freezer-friendly: you can make a larger batch of wontons and keep them on hand in the freezer for a quick meal.
Ingredients you'll need
- ground pork: regular ground pork
- raw shrimp: chopped into chunks
- pork lard: optional, but adds moisture and tenderness to the wontons; you can also use chopped pork fat
- aromatics: green onion, ginger
- soy sauce: for flavor
- Shaoxing wine: optional
- sea salt
- chicken bouillon powder: optional; adds umami flavor
- sesame oil: toasted, for aroma
- wonton wrappers: square wrappers; you can find them in Asian grocery stores sold in packs in the refrigerator section. I used larger 4" x 4" wrappers, but if you find smaller wrappers, you can use those.
You can find these ingredients at your local Asian grocery store or large supermarkets.
How to make them
Make the filling:
In a large mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the ground pork, shrimp, pork lard (if using), green onion, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sea salt, chicken bouillon powder (if using) and sesame oil.
Turn on the mixer on low speed and mix for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is well combined and long strands start to appear.
Arrange the square wrapper on your work surface as a diamond shape.
Place about 1 tablespoon of filling (use less if your wrappers are smaller) in the center.
Bring the bottom corner of the wrapper over the filling, tuck and pinch in the sides firmly expelling any air, and seal firmly.
Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a plate lightly oiled with sesame oil.
Repeat with the remainder.
At this point, you can freeze the uncooked wontons, or cook the wontons in boiling water.
Bring a pot of water up to a boil.
Add wontons into the water and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until they float and the filling is cooked through.
Remove with a slotted spoon into serving bowls.
How to serve
Serve the wontons in wonton soup, or with thin egg noodles in wonton noodle soup.
Enjoy the wontons with fragrant chili oil.
Additionally, you can deep-fry the wontons in oil for crispy-textured wontons.
How to store & reheat
Place the wontons in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, allowing a little space between each wonton.
Freeze for 1-2 hours, until partially frozen.
Transfer the partially frozen wontons into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.
Cook the wontons from frozen, without defrosting.
For cooked/boiled wontons, remove with a slotted spoon, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For wontons cooked in broth, store each element separately in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat the wontons in boiling water or broth over the stove top, until heated through.
Add chopped cilantro, chives, or use ground chicken in place of pork.
Expert tips & notes
If you don't have a stand mixer, you can add the ingredients to a large bowl and stir in one direction using a pair of chopsticks.
The meat mixture should hold together on its own.
You can seal/pleat/pinch the wontons in any manner you like.
Try an ingot shape or "folded arms" shape.
Any sealing method works fine, as boiling the wontons gives them a silky, wrinkled appearance.
I personally prefer a chewy wonton, so I like to bunch up the wrapper to seal.
Wonton wrappers are square and not round.
The wrappers will have a light dusting of cornstarch (to prevent them from sticking).
The wonton wrappers I used (4" by 4") would be considered large or extra large.
Typically, wonton wrappers are anywhere between 2-3" in diameter. Adjust the filling (you may only need 1 tsp) according to the size of your wrappers.
If you have extra wonton wrappers, you can make crab rangoons, or cut them into rounds and make pork siu mai.
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For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 200 g ground pork
- 100 g raw shrimp chopped
- 1 tablespoon pork lard optional
- 2 stalks green onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ pkg (½ lb) wonton wrappers (4" x 4" wrappers) if using smaller wrappers, you will yield more wontons
Make the filling:
- In a large mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the ground pork, shrimp, pork lard (if using), green onion, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sea salt, chicken bouillon powder (if using) and sesame oil.
- Turn on the mixer on low speed and mix for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is well combined and long strands start to appear.
- Arrange the square wrapper on your work surface as a diamond shape.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of filling (use less if your wrappers are smaller) in the center.
- Bring the bottom corner of the wrapper over the filling, tuck and pinch in the sides firmly expelling any air, and seal well.
- Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a plate lightly oiled with sesame oil.
- Repeat with the remainder.
- At this point, you can freeze the uncooked wontons, or cook the wontons in boiling water.
- Bring a pot of water up to a boil.
- Add wontons into the water and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until they float and the filling is cooked through.
- Remove with a slotted spoon into serving bowls. Serve with hot soup, noodles, or with chili oil.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.