A few years ago, while traveling in Hong Kong, I chanced upon a mom-and-pop noodle joint that served the best shrimp wontons in the world. As simple as it sounds, finding perfect shrimp wontons with the right texture, ample filling, and great taste is not that easy these days.
Great shrimp wontons should be tightly packed into the wrapper and the shrimp has to be fresh, big (always a plus), and most of all, its texture has to be crunchy so every bite of the shrimp just “bounces” in the mouth, as the Cantonese would say. To ensure the best result for this recipe, please follow the tips on “How to Make Shrimp Bouncy” on page 13. The difference between a well-treated shrimp and “limpy” shrimp is the difference between heaven and earth in this classic Cantonese recipe.
Makes 20 wontons or serves 6 as part of a multi-course meal
- 20 store-bought wonton wrappers
- 4 cups (1 liter) water
- 1 green onion (scallion), trimmed and cut into small rounds, to garnish
- 8 oz (250 g) shelled and deveined medium-sized raw shrimp
- 1 tablespoon chopped yellow chives (1/2 in/1.25 cm lengths)
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 dashes white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon oil
- 13/4 cups (425 ml) homemade Chicken Stock or 1 can (14 oz/400 g) store-bought chicken broth
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 3 dashes white pepper Salt, to taste
- To make the Filling, treat the shrimp according to “How to Make Shrimp Bouncy” on Page 13.
- Cut 2/3 portion of the shrimp into 3–4 pieces in equal lengths and set aside. Smash and pound the remaining 1/3 portion of the shrimp using the back of a Chinese cleaver and then coarsely mince it with the cleaver a few times (refer to the picture guide on page 29). Alternatively, you can use a food processor to mince the 1/3 portion of the shrimp.
- Combining all the shrimp and the rest of the ingredients together. Chill the Filling in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Assemble the Shrimp Wontons by following the instructional guide on page 57.
- Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Gently transfer the wrapped wontons into the boiling water and boil until the wontons float to the top, about 2–3 minutes. You may have to boil the wontons in more than 1 batch, depending on the size of your pot.
- Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon, drain the excess water, and cover them to prevent drying.
- To make the Soup, bring to boil the chicken broth and water in a pot. Add the white pepper and salt to taste.
- Transfer 3–4 wontons into a small soup bowl, add some of the Soup into the bowl, garnish with some chopped green onion (scallion) and serve immediately.
How to Wrap the Shrimp Wontons
- Place a piece of wonton wrapper on a flat surface, spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon of the Filling onto the wrapper. Do not overfill. Dip your index finger into a small bowl of water and circle around the outer edges of the wonton wrapper.
- Fold over to form a triangle shape, press to seal the edges tightly.
- Using both thumbs and index fingers, bring the two corners together and secure them firmly. (One corner should be above the other.) Dab on a little water to help seal it.
- Place the wrapped wontons on a floured surface or baking sheet. Cover the wontons to prevent drying.
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