Category Archives: Chinese

Shrimp and Pork Won Tons

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These won tons aren’t the sad looking ones you order at chinese take-out restaurants, with a measily bead of mystery meat inside a thick doughy casing.  The sweetness of the shrimp is combined with the sweetness of the pork to make an ubersweet tasty filling.  My mother and I usually prepared large batches (75-100), and freezing the ones we didn’t eat, since they freeze fairly well.  The won ton wrappers can be found in any asian market.  They are the square wrappers, not the circular ones.  I don’t remember exactly why I had to specify that, except that I’ve been asked a few times what won ton wrappers look like.  One clue is that it says ‘Won Ton Wrappers’ on the packaging.  After making these since I was 8 years old, I developed the uncanny ability to sniff the meat filling to determine if it needs more salt, sesame oil, soy sauce, etc.  And I also developed a complex from the result of 2 generations of chinese mothers exclaiming my technique in wrapping won tons isn’t perfected like theirs, and how I am too slow in the kitchen, as they are won-ton-making-machines at a quick pace of 5-7 won tons per minute.  This recipe is my mom’s recipe, but no matter how well you think you made these, they are NOT as good as hers…

This recipe makes 50 won tons (2 won ton wrapper packages).

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 lb. raw, deveined shrimp
  • 1/3 lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger root
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 packages of won ton wrappers
  • Chicken broth, optional for soup (8 oz. per serving / 64 oz. if you are cooking all 50 won tons that day)

Directions:

1) Coarsely chop shrimp. In a food processor (yes, even my mom uses a food processor now), combine all ingredients except the last 2 on the list.  Place mixture in bowl.

2) How to wrap a won ton.  This part gets a little tricky. Usually the wrapper packaging has illustrated instructions, so follow those.  Or if those are totally not understandable, place small spoonful of filling one corner, roll the filled corner until a perfect triangle of wrapper remains, pinch the 2 rolled ends together, seal with water.  It should look like a nurses’ cap, with a little triangular flap in the back.  This is a picture of what the front should look like:

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3) Place in boiling pot of water for 5-7 minutes, drain.  To make won ton soup, boil chicken broth separately. Combine broth and won tons in serving bowls. Garnish with chopped green onions.

How to make fried rice

 

 

fried rice

Fried rice is typically made to use up leftover rice and food from the night before.  There are no set ingredients to use other than rice, oil, and whatever meat and veggies you have in your fridge.  One important lesson in stir-frying is that it is done to produce ‘wok hei’; the heat of that wok that enhances the flavor of the ingredients, NOT generous amounts of soy sauce. Authentic fried rice is not painted a glossy dark brown by a bottle of soy sauce and heaping amounts of oil; the soy is used to enhance the flavors of the ingredients, and the rice should appear fluffy in texture.  I’m using leftover cooked ham, green peas, and egg since that’s what I have.  If you don’t have ham, you can use leftover barbeque pork, spam, chicken, shrimp, whatever. If you don’t have peas, substitute another vegetable that you can dice up.  If you like pineapple, put some in.  If you don’t like veggies or fruit, don’t use them.  I don’t care. 

Real Fried Rice (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cups leftover cooked rice (if you are making fresh rice, cook 1 ¼ cups and set aside to cool)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of chopped ham
  • 1 cup of green peas
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Handful of green onion or scallion, chopped (optional)
  • Wok

 Directions:

  1.        Whisk 1 tsp. of vegetable oil into 2 eggs.  On medium heat, pour eggs into wok.  Genty scramble, set aside.
  2.        Increase heat to high on stove.  Coat wok with 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil.  Pour rice in.  Fold rice over itself with spatula, add swigs of oil in increments as you are mixing rice until the kernels look separated and not like sticky clumps.
  3.        Add egg, diced ham, and peas, stir.  Add 1 tsp. sesame oil, stir.  Add soy sauce until desired saltiness/color.  I personally don’t like my rice to taste like salt, so my rice comes out a light brown color.
  4.        Garnish with green onion/scallion.  Serves 4-6.  Or if you’re really hungry, 1-2.
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