My previous blog post was full of celebration for Chinese New Year and I kicked off the weekend with one of our favourite take away dishes – Chicken Chow Mein! I love combining sweet, sour and salty flavours and using ingredients such as ginger, chillies and fresh spices. It is one of the reasons why Chinese food is one of my favourite cuisines. There are so many delicious dishes of slow cooked meats in a sweet and sour sauce or steamed noodles in a hot and spicy broth and fresh fish grilled with a hot and citrus infused salad, yet I just can’t seem to keep away from the much loved take away style options such as Chicken Chow Mein or one of my other favourites, Wontons.
While I am a big fan of steamed wontons that make for the most delicate of dumplings my real favourite is of course the crispy kind. There is just something so satisfying about biting into a crispy wrapper to reveal a savoury filling packed full of flavour. The standard filling is to combine both pork and prawns but in my opinion the pork works better on it’s own as the prawns can become overcooked and ruin that soft, juicy middle. I then add finely chopped spring onions, fresh grated ginger, soy sauce, chilli flakes, lime juice and garlic. Some deep fry their wontons but I find that these end up a little too close to burnt and the filling still raw so I shallow fry mine in order to get that light crispy outside and a succulent, flavoursome filling.
For me though, it is the sauce that makes these wontons so delicious. I am a big fan of hot and spicy food and is why I like to make my own chilli sauce where I can decide exactly how much heat to add. I simply add a bit of tomato puree, fresh ginger, lime juice, soy sauce and plenty of chilli flakes. This perfect sweet, sour and salty sauce is absolutely heavenly and fiery to dip those finely crispy wontons in!
A simple filling makes these the perfect recipe to make at any time. They also freeze well so perfect to make ahead. I always make a big batch and then bag them up in small portions ready to keep in the freezer. To stop them from sticking together in the freezer I lay them out on a tray and then freeze first before placing them in freezer bags.
- 50 wonton wrappers (can be purchased in most Asian stores)
- 500g minced pork
- 3 spring onions (finely chopped)
- 1 and half tbspn size fresh ginger (grated)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- Light soy sauce
- 2 tbpsn tomato puree
- Juice of 1 and half limes
- 2 tbpsn and 1 tpsn of hot, dried chilli flakes
- Small bunch fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- Sunflower oil
- 1 tbpsn sesame oil
- 1 egg (beaten)
- In a mixing bowl add the pork, spring onions, half of the ginger, half of the garlic, juice of 1 lime, 1 and half tpsn chilli flakes, coriander, sesame oil and 1 tbpsn of light soy sauce. Mix everything together so that it is well combined.
- Take a wonton wrapper and lay it out flat. Place about 1 tpsn size of the pork mixture in the middle. Then fold the wrapper in half into a rectangle. Brush the ends with a little of the egg to seal the edges. Hold the bottom corners and then bring them together and seal again with a little egg. Repeat until all the wontons are made.
- Heat a generous amount of sunflower oil in a non-stick frying pan so that the oil covers the base of the pan. Once hot add the wontons and cook on each side for 2-3 mins or until golden and lightly crispy.
- For the sauce: add the rest of the ginger and garlic, tomato puree, 2 tbpsn light sauce sauce, juice of half a lime and 1 and half tbpsn of chilli flakes to a small mixing bowl. Whisk until mixed together and then pour into a serving bowl.
- Plate up the wontons with the dipping sauce and serve!