Posts Tagged ‘sauce’

Enter the Wonton

Konichiwa, bitches. Do I have an accidental surprise for you: wontons. (Yes, I know wontons are Chinese and not Japanese; I just love “Konichiwa, bitches” too much.) I say accidental because this went from a sub-par ‘breakfast’–more on that in a sec–to punch-me-in-the-face-good pot stickers. See, at my also sub-par job (where I am writing this post, oddly enough), I often work a 1am-10am shift. So I wake up at 11 or 11:30pm to be out of the door by 12:30am. It’s disorienting to wake up yesterday and go to work tomorrow, but that aside, figuring out what an appropriate veg breakfast is can be somewhat complicated. I often just stick with toast and hummus or scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach, but that can get old fast. So one morning I decide to make a tofu scramble: extra firm tofu, diced red peppers, and diced onions. I seasoned it a bit, but it still sucked. I mean, it was fine, but not for an 11:45pm breakfast. So, unwilling to throw it out, the scramble went into Tupperware and was forgotten. Fast forward four or five days and to a large helping of hunger and boredom. The rest, readers–well, the rest is this post. Peep this ish.

Ingredients for wontons:

1/2-lb extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled (you can do this with your hands)

1 red pepper, diced

3/4-cup onion, diced

1-package wonton wrappers (The brand I used, Nasoya, works great and comes with 48 in a pack; you won’t use them all, but better safe than sorry.)

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tbs. black pepper

2 tbs. low sodium soy sauce

1 egg, whisked

1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil

Makes as many servings as it makes. Depending on how much stuffing you can add and the shape you form them, expect about 20-30 wontons.

Ingredients for (optional) dipping sauce:

1 tbs. natural peanut butter

2 tbs. low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp. Sriracha sauce/ hot sauce

1 tsp. pepper flakes

If you’re not into spicy, kill the Sriracha. I recommend only cutting the amount of pepper flakes in half, though, to keep some of the flavor.

Heads up: the peppers will need to be diced finer.

First up: the scramble. Heat the oil to a pan over medium to medium-high heat and cook thepepper and onion mix until soft–about 5-6 minutes. Now add the drained and crumbled tofu, the seasonings, and soy sauce and cook for another 3-5 minutes. You’re not looking for any real char on the tofu or peppers, just heat and tenderness. (I feel like there’s a joke here, but it’s 3am at work and one-liners are out of my immediate reach, so this one’s on you.) Set aside the mix; this will be your filling.

Now for the incredibly not fun part: stuffing the wontons. You have three shape choices to choose from: the bindle, the tortellini, and the ravioli; I utilized the latter two, forgetting totally about the first. The steps aren’t hard; it’s just a matter of patience, the type of wrapper (mine was probably too thick for the bindle), and using the egg to seal the seams. The bindle and tortellini take about the same amount of filling, and the ravioli can take just a bit more. I recommend starting out with a hefty teaspoon and working from there. Mind you, stuffing isn’t an exact science–you’ll only get a feel for it by the end–and it’s an obnoxious pain in the ass with tasty results.

For the bindle: place the filling in the middle of the wrapper, egg-wash the exterior of the wrap (as if a frame of egg wash), and gently twist the wrapper closed, like you would a bag of bread when you lose/ give up on the twist tie.

For the tortellini: this one is hard to explain verbally, so bear with me. Orient the wrapper so it’s a diamond, place the filling in the middle, and frame the outside of the wrapper with the egg wash. Bring the bottom point to the top (home base to second base), then squeeze and seal. Finally, do the same for the side corners (third and first bases). For a visual reference, this version looks like a tortellini.

For the ravioli: This one is easy–so easy, in fact, that I quit on the tortellini halfway through and did this one. You get more stuffing in and it’s less (but still quite) tedious. Again, place the filling in the middle of a wrapper, wash the outside, and place another wrapper on top while aligning the corners. Seal and crimp the edges.

As far as cooking goes, you can pan fry (or deep fry, if you must), steam, or boil these suckers. For the latter two–steaming and boiling–make sure your seals are especially perfect. I pan fried them in a cast iron skillet with peanut oil; use this or vegetable oil, since they have high smoke points and will tolerate the high heat well (unlike olive oils).

These dudes are tasty on their own, but a dipping sauce is always nice—and this one is real easy, too. Combine the ingredients and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between nukes, until you get a thick consistency and all of the ingredients are combined. You can zest this up with some lime or grated ginger, as well. In fact, this sauce works great over pasta and rice dishes as well. So consider this as two posts, you greedy bastards.

Non-Veg Friendly Factor: 4.5. My brother, a committed meat eater who hates tofu, was scarfing these wontons and lathering them with the sauce. I think I pimp smacked him with the pimp spatula at one point because, damnit, I needed this for dinner for a few days. The half-point deduction is because these do have tofu in them, which automatically sounds unfriendly. My brother is an adventurous eater, so I was able to persuade him for the sake of NVFF research.

These things are light enough (if steamed) for an appetizer or, when paired with the sauce and pan-fried, great as a meal. I’m not sure how they freeze, but I imagine it’s just fine.