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Won ton

Won ton
Los Angeles Times

Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's new "My Grandmother's Chinese Kitchen: 100 Family Recipes and Life Lessons" is a beautiful book. As an object, it's charming, though not in a coffee-table or chef-opus way. The only photographs inside are a few of the ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, 30 minutes, plus 4 hours chilling time | Makes about 36 won tons
  • 3/4 pound lean ground pork
  • 1/4 pound shrimp (about 8 large shrimp), shelled, deveined and finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups finely sliced scallions (about 3 bunches)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and finely diced or 1/4 cup finely diced jicama
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese white rice wine or gin
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon light (not low-sodium) soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 1 package won ton skins
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

Step 1In a large, wide bowl, mix together the pork, shrimp, scallions, garlic, ginger, water chestnuts or jicama, Chinese white rice wine or gin, egg whites, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce and white pepper until thoroughly blended. Use your hands if necessary. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 4 hours, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step 2To make won tons, work with one won ton skin at a time, keeping the remainder under a damp towel. Keep a bowl of water at hand to wet the edges of the skins. Dust a baking sheet with the cornstarch and set aside. Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of a won ton skin, wet the edges, fold in half into a triangle and seal the edges. Fold the point of the triangle to the long edge. Moisten the remaining two triangle points and bring them together to form a packet, pressing to seal. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the filling is used.

Step 3Place 15 cups water, the peanut oil and the remaining salt in a large pot, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the won tons, stir and cook for about 8 minutes, until the won tons are translucent and the filling can be seen through the skin. Turn off heat, run cold water into pot and drain. Serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from "My Grandmother's Chinese Kitchen" by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. Light soy, Chinese red rice vinegar and Chinese white rice wine are available at Asian markets. There's a big difference between various brands of won ton skins; some are more delicate than others. Two we recommend are Fung's Village (extra thin) and Wing Hing brands. Serve with vinegar dip, if desired.


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