Sunday, April 15, 2007

Won tons at home

Thursday night, Joe had already gone to Cleveland, and I wasn't ready to be in an empty house. Blair and Chris from the newsroom were nice enough to come for a late dinner and help me finish the last bit of won ton mixture I had in the fridge. Blair even got her fingers into the meat a bit! :-)

Joe and I adored this little won ton shop down a nearby alley from our apartment in Taipei. Mmmm. The people who worked there knew us well. Growing up, with regular visits to my Chinese grandma's house in Chicago, I always thought won tons belonged only in a hot, clear-brothed soup with a few leaves of bok choi, some slivers of bamboo and maybe a shitake or two. In Taipei, I learned the joy of eating dumplings "dry" as they said, over a bed of lettuce or bean sprouts with a little spoonful of beef stew on top. At home in America, I recommend serving won tons --or anything in the dumpling-potsticker family-- with spicy dumpling sauce from wei chaun. It comes in a squarish glass bottle with a red cap. Most of the label is in chinese.

To make these won tons:
1 lb ground chicken
1 lb ground lean beef
4 green onions
1/2 regular onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup or so shredded cabbage

Finely chop and pan fry the veggies in a little oil, then stir them into the meat. Dump soy sauce, oyster sauce, a little vinegar, garlic salt and pepper into the mix at your discretion. :-) I'm very sorry for the ambiguity of all my recipes. I don't like to measure.

Keep a stack of won ton wrappers covered by a damp towel. Wet two adjacent sides of the a wrapper, spoon a smaller than seems necessary bit of meat into the center and press shut, squishing out any air bubbles before fully sealing. Then take the ends of the triangle and fold them upwards and pinch together like a big tortellini.

Drop about 10-15 into boiling water at a time and remove after about 5 to 10 minutes. (again, I'm not really sure about the specifics. They'll float and look all shrively when they're done).

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