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Let's Unwrap Wonton Wrappers

By Michele

Wontons, often referred to as Chinese ravioli, are thin-skinned dumplings with meat, seafood or vegetable filling enclosed in tender wheat dough wrappers. I’ve never made recipes with wonton wrappers but only enjoyed them in various forms at restaurants. An idea emerged! I conducted an experiment in my kitchen with different cooking methods including boiling, baking and frying the wonton wrapper. Thereafter, I used them in different ways. My first attempt was to boil the wonton wrappers. * The boiled wrapper was flimsy, though soft and chewy despite its thinness. I pared it with spinach, ricotta cheese and toasted pine nuts. This method of eating boiled wonton wrappers didn’t blow me away. I guess it was the unfamiliar texture as I was expecting it to be a good replacement for pasta sheets. I know they are used in soups and that’s probably where they should reside.

Next up was baking the wonton wrappers. * I found that the wrappers stood up well using this cooking method. I seasoned them with pepper before spraying with cooking oil and baking. They turned out crisp and worked well on the dish with lox and cream cheese. I also found that they were a tasty snack on their own and a healthy one at that!

Lastly, I fried the wonton wrappers. * Again, despite how thin they are, I found them resilient in the frying method. I pared the crispy wrapper with Nutella, raspberries, whipped cream and raspberry sauce. Delicious!

All in all, the wonton wrappers were chewy when boiled and crispy when baked or fried.

One last thing, when it comes to shapes, the sky is the limit. You can cut them into diagonals, leave them as squares, or get creative and cut your own shapes with a sharp knife or cookie cutters.

*Cooking methods: Boiling: Use a medium saucepan. Bring water to boil, add salt and desired amount of wonton wrappers in your preferred shape. Immediately add some cold water to stop the boiling process. Frequently and gently stir. Once water comes to a low boil, cook for about 1 minute. Drain in colander and add some melted butter. In other words, treat them as if cooking fresh pasta sheets, even though they only take but a minute to soften. Baking: Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay out the wonton wrappers in your preferred shape. Lightly spray the wrappers with cooking oil and bake for 3-4 minutes until they begin to brown. Use tongs to remove to plate. Frying: Bring oil to 360 degrees. Drop in one wrapper or several depending on the size of cooking vessel. Once you see brown edges, turn over. This entire process takes less than one minute. Use tongs to remove to plate.

The baked and fried wonton skins stay crispy for days, if sealed in an air-tight container.


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