Happy Chinese New Year! As we head into year of the goat, I’m sharing one of our family’s favorite cooking activities…wonton making!
I lived in Singapore for several years when I was a kid, which cemented my affection for Asian cuisine. I remember making wontons with my mom! We would also swing by this adorable little dim sum shop to pick up these delicious gems after school in Singapore! Ironically, my husband has a similar memory. He had a Chinese grandmother who taught him how to make wontons as a little boy; she instilled in him this intuitive ability to make incredible Asian food! Yum!! We love these – they are delicious, and fun to make as a family!
Cooking with kids is time well spent. Not only is it fun togetherness, it is one way to encourage healthy eating, increased food repertoires, and interest in non-kid food. (Also a good way to spend some hours in those never-ending snow days). It also teaches skills and builds confidence for children who will one day (hopefully) cook for themselves and others. Check out my assistant’s little demonstration video here:
Although wonton creation takes a little seeking and gathering, the actual process of making them could not be easier. First, you are going to need a bamboo steamer. Your bamboo steamer will sit inside a pan filled with water (see below). It is important that the bamboo doesn’t touch the flame/heat of stove. I use a 12-inch saute pan with an 10-inch bamboo steamer inside. See picture below. You can purchase a similar bamboo steamer for $19 on Amazon. This recipe requires some ingredients typical in many Asian dishes. If you don’t cook a lot of Asian food, build your pantry/fridge with these ingredients, and you can venture out into the delicious world of Asian cuisine!
Petite Nutrition’s Chicken Vegetable Wontons
(Makes approximately 24 wontons)
24 wonton wrappers (in refrigerated section near tofu)
8oz ground skinless, boneless chicken breast
¼ cup bok choy, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
¼ cup scallions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
2 Tbsp shitake mushrooms, finely chopped
1 Tbsp soy sauce (reduced sodium)
1 ½ Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice wine
1 egg, beaten
Parchment paper (for lining bamboo steamer)
1. Prepare saute pan and bamboo steamer. Add 4 cups water to 12-inch sauce pan. Cut or rip a circle parchment paper to place in the top portion of bamboo steamer.
2. Mix all ingredients (except wonton wrappers and egg) in a large bowl.
3. One at a time, take each individual wonton wrapper (keep the others in a sealed bag, so they don’t dry out). Add one teaspoon of chicken mixture to the center. Brush egg on perimeter of wonton wrapper. Seal package bringing four corners together, or fold them as you wish. (My husband just smushes all sides together!) Place in bamboo steamer.
4. Continue making wontons until top level of bamboo steamer is full with one layer of wontons. Make sure you help kids practice food safety, and wash hands well after handling raw eggs and chicken.
5. Cover steamer. Bring to a boil, and steam for 12 minutes once water starts boiling until cooked through. (Inside of wonton should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit).
6. Off heat, uncover and let cool. Remove wontons, and serve warm with soy sauce for dipping*.
*You can also make delicious Asian soups with these. Enjoy!