It was another stuck in the house, the kids are sick, kind of weekend. Which meant I watched a fair bit of TV (relaxing), stayed in my PJs till rather late in the morning (awesome), and spent quite a lot of time tending my poor sick little ones (kinda stressful). I also managed to get in a bit of extra stuff type cooking. My husband has been after homemade wontons, and homemade hot wings for ages. I kinda hate frying things (messy, smelly, oily!), so I’ve been putting off making them for a while now. I actually borrowed my mother in law’s fryer a few weeks ago, meaning to make both dishes. Still I’ve been putting it off. Anyhow, you can see where I’m going with this. I finally made both wontons, and wings this past weekend. Both of them turned out really well, and my husband was happy as a pig in mud. (Isn’t that the strangest expression?)
I’m actually pretty happy I finally gave the wontons a try. I don’t know about you but when we order Chinese we almost always add an order of crab cheese wontons. But, it seems like no matter how many we order there are never enough to make everyone happy. I think wontons are just one of those totally awesome accompaniments to your Chinese main dish that pretty much everyone loves. It’s hard to have enough. The other thing that’s been happening is that we’ve been ordering less and less Chinese as I’ve discovered how to make homemade versions of some of our favorite dishes. (Peanut noodles!) Cue making a big old batch of them at home!
The recipe for most types of wontons is actually very simple and doesn’t take many ingredients. Prepping your ingredients takes about two seconds. The bulk of the work is in the folding, and the frying.
I personally don’t mind the folding. It isn’t particularly hard, and I find it easy to get into a rhythm and zone out a bit. It’s actually very zen. (If you haven’t ever worked with wonton wrappers before you may find it a little frustrating at first. Stick with it and it will get much easier/faster after a little while.)
You already know how I feel about the frying… but this time I actually did use my on loan deep fryer to make the wontons, and let me tell you, frying in an actual fryer… so much better then frying in a pan. It’s waaayyy less messy. It also somewhat contains that oil smell that can permeate the whole house after you fry something. Plus, way less tending then frying in a pot! While I honestly am not going to start frying things all the time, I actually don’t think I’ll mind turning out the occasional batch of wontons or wings now and again.
If the frying is what’s keeping you from making some of these things at home I highly recommend buying a little home deep fryers. Totally awesome. However, if you don’t mind frying in a pot, by all means go ahead, the wontons will turn out perfectly lovely this way as well.
All this to say, it’s more then worth putting in the energy to make wontons at home! For once, we finally had enough to satisfy everyone in the house.
Two more things I want to mention before I get to the recipe. One, the wontons, before you fry them, freeze really well. Meaning you can make a big batch of them all at once. Reserve what you want to cook that day for frying, and freeze the rest for the next time your craving Chinese. Or they make a super classy appetizer when your having friends over! It’s kind of nice when all you have to do is pull them out of the freezer and cook them.
The second thing is that while I usually order crab cheese wontons, I decided to make straight cream cheese wontons at home. The reason being that crab is expensive in Colorado, and you don’t get a strong taste of it in crab wontons. I figured if I’m going to spend the money on crab I want to make sure I can really taste it. If you want crab in your wontons, I’ve included a note in the recipe on how to add it. Ok recipe time:
Cream Cheese Wontons/ Crab Cheese Wontons- Yields about 24 wontons.
- 1 package of wonton wrappers
- 1 8 oz block of regular cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoons garlic powder, to taste (Note: I’ve adjusted the amount of garlic in this recipe down to one teaspoon based on feedback saying there was too much garlic. My apologies if you tried the recipe prior to the adjustment and found the garlic overpowering. If your a garlic freak like me feel free to add more!)
- optional: 12 oz crab meat
- water for sealing the wontons
- oil for frying (peanut tastes best, but canola, or vegetable will work as well)
1. In a medium sized bowl mix together cream cheese, onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, using a whisk or hand mixer. If adding crab fold in by hand using a fork. Taste and add additional garlic powder if desired, mix again.
2. On a flat surface set up for assembling wontons. You will need a small spoon, the filling, the wonton wrappers, a small bowl of water, a plate of clean work surface for wrapping, a small towel to clean your fingers, and a tray to set aside wrapped wontons.
3. Wrap the wontons. Place a wonton wrapper in the center of your work surface.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the center.
Dip your finger in water and place a drop on the other edge of the wrapper in between each corner.
Place your fingers under the wonton wrapper where the four drops of water were placed.
Lift and press together sealing the wonton.
Pinch gently to ensure the wonton seals completely.
Set aside on a tray. Keep the completed wontons covered with a light layer of saran wrap to prevent them from drying out as you wrap.
4. To fry the wontons, add 2-3 inches of oil to a deep pot. Heat to 345.* Add four of five wontons to the pot at a time. Fry for about one minute. Flip the wontons and fry the other side for about a minute. If the wonton is not a nice golden brown fry for an additional 30 seconds or so. Drain on a paper towel covered plate. Serve hot.
To fry the wontons in a deep fryer: heat oil needed to cover the fry basket to 345.* Add four or five wontons to the fry basket. Ensure they are all completely submerged in oil. Fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel covered plate. Serve hot.