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How to Cook Wonton

meishiWonton

Wonton (pronounced "hún tún" or "hún tun" in Chinese pinyin, pronounced "wěn tēn" in Cantonese, and "wonton" in English) is a traditional regional pasta of the Han nationality in China. Originating from northern China, wontons are similar to dumpling and are usually served in soup.

Origin

Wontons can be dated back to the Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago. Wontons arecrescent shaped and were originally used in activities of sacrifice and worship. During the Winter Solstice Festival of the  Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), shops would close temporarily ehilr every family made wontons as sacrificial offerings for ancestor worship. Afterwards all the family members shared the wontons.

A plate of sacrificial wontons in wealthy and honored families called "Hundred Flavor Wontons" included dozens of flavors with different fillings After the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279), wontons became popular amongordinary people.

Ancient Chinese regarded wontons as a kind of sealed steamed bread. At that time, wonton s were no different from dumplings.

For thousands of years dumplings showed little change, but wontons slowly became different especially in southern China. Wontons were distinguished from dumplings and got their own name since Tang Dynasty (618 -- 907).

It is said that in Han Dynasty (202 B.C. – 220 A.D), the Xiongnu, an ancient tribe  in northern China, always harassed the border area so that local people suffered a lot. Hunshi (浑氏) and Tunshi(屯氏) were the two leaders of the Xiongnu .

Because of their cruelty local people hated them but had no way to kill them. So people began to call their dumplings "Hun" and "Tun" and pretend they were eating the flesh of the two warlords.

Allegedly this took place on the Winter Solstice Festival, so after that, people always eat wontons on that festival.

In the past, there was a saying in Beijing  "Eat wontons in theWinter Solstice Festival and eat noodles in the Summer Solstice Festival".

Wonton Described (Compared with Dumpling)

A piece of wonton wrapper is a 6×6 cm square, or a 5×7cm isosceles trapezoid; and a piece of dumpling wrapper is a circle 7cm in diameter.

Wonton wrapper is thinner than dumpling’s and looks crystal after cooking. If you cook the same amount of wontons and dumplings in boiled waterthe wontons will cook  easier and faster.

The soup of wanton is the key of its flavor, while the dip is all-important to dumpling.

Different Names of Wonton

Beijing (northern China): wonton.

Sichuan: Chaoshou, Sichuan people like spicy flavor, so there is a famous dish named "Red oil (chili-made soup) Chaoshou红油抄手/hóng yóu chāo shǒu".

Hubei Province: it is called "boiled dumplings (Shuijiao)" in Wuhan region, and called "Baomian /包面 bāo miàn" in other regions of Hubei.

Anhui Province: Baofu /包袱bāo fú.

Regions in the south of the Yangtze River: Shanghai, south Jiangsu, Zhejiang province call it "wěn tēn", which is similar to the pronunciation in Cantonese.

Jiangxi Province: known as "Qingtang/清汤 qīng tāng", also "Baomian" and "Yuntun".

Guangdong Province: in Chinese, the two words of "wen tun" were infrequently written, and in the past, few people knew how to write them. So "wen tun" was generally written into "yunton" (in Cantonese), where its English name "wonton" originated from.

Fujian Province: known as "Bianshi /扁食biǎn shí", "Bianrou /扁肉biǎn ròu". The of meatfilling is usually hammered together by mallet.

How to Cook Wonton

Ingredients

175g minced pork, 340g chopped fresh vegetable (Chinese cabbage or celery), 24 (3.5 inch square) wonton wrappers, 1 green Chinese onion, 2 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon chopped green onion, and ginger, moderate soy sauce, chicken powder, oyster sauce, five spice powder to taste. Water should not be added into ingredients.

Preparation

In a large bowl, combine pork, sugar, salt, wine, soy sauce, green onion, and ginger. Blend well, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Direction

The way of making wonton varies from regions to regions. The easiest way is to place, roll it up with a chopstick, and press the top corner and the bottom to seal it.

Or, you can place about one teaspoon of the filling at the center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten all 4 edges of wonton wrapper with water, and then pull the top corner down to the bottom, folding the wrapper over the filling to make a triangle. Press edges firmly to make a seal. Bring left and right corners together above the filling. Overlap the tips of these corners, moisten and press together. Continue until all wrappers are used.

For soup

Bring some chicken soup to boil. Carefully place wontons (usually 10 – 15 wontons for each person) into boiling soup without crowding, and cook for 3 – 5 minutes till the wontons float to the surface. It’s best to serve with some white pepper powder, several drops of sesame oil, and oyster oil.

Wonton Menu

English

Chinese

Characters

Chinese cabbage and pork stuffing wontons

báicài xiānròu húntún

白菜鲜肉馄饨

Fragrant-flowered garlic and pork wontons

jiǔcài xiānròu húntún

韭菜鲜肉馄饨

Preserved egg and pork wontons

xiānròu pídàn húntún

鲜肉皮蛋馄饨

Beijing wontons

jīngwèi húntún

京味馄饨

Jade wontons (with green vegetable stuffing)

fěicuì húntún

翡翠馄饨

Yuanbao wontons (look like shoe-shaped gold/silver ingot)

yuánbǎo húntún

元宝馄饨

Tea aroma wontons

chá xiāng húntún

茶香馄饨

Deep-fried wontonsStation

zhà húntún

炸馄饨

Ham and pork wontons

huǒtuǐ xiānròu húntún

火腿鲜肉馄饨