Ever since that trip, I have been determined to learn some good tricks for preparing Asian recipes - velveting meats, wines for sauces, interesting ways of prepping vegetables for stir-frys, good tempura batters, aromatics combinations. I've gone through periods when I would cook Asian for days at a time for the family. It always worked out well, as I had pre-teens that were voracious and happy to try new things. I always wondered if they appreciated the effort and preparation that went into producing a Chinese foodfest. They never said, but their clean plates seemed feedback enough. The kids are gone at this point, but I still love a heaping plate of spicy garlic pork lo mein, a deep bowl of stir-fried rice with shrimp or chicken, wontons in a hot chili sauce, pot-browned noodles with five spice pork and spinach or, or, or...
I have tried over the years to make those springrolls, but they just never come close... so I've stopped trying. Instead, I have worked at making a few other dishes that I think Ms. Tropp would have smiled over. Much later, I read that she died after a long fight with ovarian cancer - what a loss to the cooking world.
Tonight, my friends, I give you Stir-fried Wontons in Sichaun Sauce. This recipe comes from an easy little tome called Betty Crocker's New Chinese Cookbook that's been edited by LeeAnn Chin. Don't be fooled by the Betty Crocker moniker ... this is a stellar recipe. Have a friend come by to help you slice and dice and wrap wontons. Sip some wine, line up the ingredients, wrap the wontons and then ... fire up that wok!
Stirfried Wontons in Sichuan Sauce - printer friendly
Stir-fried Wontons in Sichuan Sauce
¼ lb. raw medium shrimp(in shells), shelled, washed and de-veined
2 oz. lean ground pork
3 whole water chestnuts, minced
2 green onions (with tops),chopped
1 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. sesame oil
dash white pepper
1/3 c. ketchup
¼ c. Hoisin sauce
2 tsp. chili paste
1 tbsp. soy sauce
24 wonton skins
1 egg white, beaten
2 tbsp. peanut oil
Making the wontons:
1. Chop the prepared shrimp finely and combine with the other ingredients. Use your hands to smash the mixture until it is completely incorporated. Chill.
2. Place wonton skins on a plate and cover with a damp cloth. Working with one or two at a time, place ½ to 1 tsp. of filling in the middle of the skin.
3. Dampen the edges of the skin with egg white by dipping your finger init and smoothing the egg white along the edges.
4. Fold the wonton – one corner to another to form a triangle. Seal the edges/
5. Dampen the ‘top’ corner with egg white and bring the two ‘lower’ corners in to form ‘purse’.
6. Set aside under a damp cloth.
7. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the wontons. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes.
8. Spoon the cooked wontons into a bowl of cold water and allow them to cool.
Making the sauce and assembling the dish:
1. Combine the ketchup, Hoisin sauce, chili paste, and soy sauce and mix well.
2. Heat a wok and then add the peanut oil.
3. Carefully stir in the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Drain the wontons and add them to the sauce. Lower the heat a bit and cook, gently tossing the wontons in the sauce until coated and hot (about 3 minutes).