I love wontons. But, I only crave the soft, boiled versions, not the fried ones. Supposedly, the word wonton means "swallowing clouds." True or not, it perfectly describes the way they look, floating in a bowl of
broth. Eating the delicate, soft pasta skins stuffed with filling is sheer bliss. I normally have them in wonton soup, but these were piled into serving bowls, with a fabulous lime dipping sauce spooned on top. Great happiness filled me as I ate these little gems. Some people think the Chinese invented pasta, and some say they didn't. I really don't care about that. I'm just eternally grateful that they invented the wonton.
I made the filling with ground turkey, but pork would have been even better. It's flavored with lots of ginger root, garlic and hoisin sauce. When you make a filling like this, you should make "test" meatballs, cooked in boiling water or the microwave. It lets you correct the seasonings--and it's a lot of fun too. That's one of the perks when you cook food. I had quite a few test meatballs.
Wonton soldiers, ready to jump into boiling water.
This recipe was made for Presto Pasta Night, created by the lovely Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. Every Friday, she posts her round-up of delicious pasta recipes from bloggers around the world. Do check it out.
Turkey Wontons With Greens And Lime Dipping Sauce
(Loosely Adapted from a recipe in Big Small Plates by Cindy Pawlcyn)
1 lb. ground turkey
1-2 Tablespoons of minced ginger root
5 scallions, white and light green part thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
About 1-1/2 cups cooked chopped greens, squeezed dry, such as spinach, chard, kale, or mustard greens
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1-2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
Mix all the ingredients together. Form a teaspoon into a little ball and cook it in boiling water or in the microwave, until cooked. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt if necessary or more ginger and garlic. Cover and place in the fridge until you're ready to make the wontons. This freezes well.
Making the wontons:
1 package of wonton wrappers
small cup of water
When time to make the wontons, place a wonton wrapper on a flat surface and place about 1 teaspoon of the filling on the wrapper. There should be a diagram of how to make make the wontons on the package the wrappers came in. However, here is an interesting site that shows 8 different ways to fold them. The simplest way is to put a teaspoon of the filling in the middle, use your finger to paint the water on the edges of the wrapper, then fold onto a triangle, making sure to seal the edges together. Keep the wontons covered as you make them. After they are made, you can cover them with plastic wrap and set them in the fridge for up to 2 hours, before you cook them. They freeze well too.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add several Tablespoons of salt. Drop the Wontons in the boiling water and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Drain them (I prefer to scoop them out of the water with a large strainer.) Serve the wontons in bowls with the lime dipping sauce spooned on top. You can alsp serve the wontons in broth as a soup.
Lime Dipping Sauce
6 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 Tablespoons fish sauce
1-2 shallots, finely sliced
2 Tablespoons sugar (use Splenda if you want--but you must add a sweetner)
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, mint, or basil
2 Tablespoons grated carrots
Mix all ingredients together.