Monday, February 7, 2011

Vegetarian Wontons

I recently had wontons for dinner two nights in a row. I'm not bashful about this dinner repeat, though, because they are just so fast (both to prepare AND cook), adaptable and cheap!

Some back story (because I needed it, too):
Wontons are a type of dumpling that are very popular in Chinese cuisine. Common fillings include shrimp and pork as well as veggies like ginger and carrots. They are wrapped in 3-inch, square wonton wrappers (which I conveniently bought in a 50-pack and the store for less than two bucks). Bree and I went the vegetarian route and from our endless options we settled on two: ginger, carrot, cabbage and tofu ricotta with spinach and basil.

Night one: Carrot, zucchini, ginger (made about 25 wontons)
2 small carrots
2 small zucchini squashes
1 inch of fresh ginger root
All ingredients are finely shredded and mixed together. Be careful with the ginger because I put twice as much (perhaps 3 inches) in my filling and the bite of the ginger was so strong it kind of wiped out the other flavors. And cleared my sinuses... I suggest starting with a little at first.

A dollop of the filling goes in the middle of each wrapper. To seal them I used my finger and some warm water around the edges then folded it over and onto itself, pressing to make sure they stuck. Boil in water for 3-4 minutes and collect with a slotted spoon. Some of the wontons started sticking together after cooking. With olive oil, I lightly covered the freshly cooked wontons so they would slide around each other instead of fuse together.

But I forgot to take a photo. Dang.

Night two: Tofu ricotta with spinach, garlic and basil (made about 12 wontons, perfect for two people!)
7 ounces of firm tofu, pressed to remove excess liquid
1 large handful of fresh spinach
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 handful of basil leaves, or to taste
salt, pepper and nutritional yeast, to taste

In a pan on medium heat with a dash of oil, add the garlic and cook it until it is browned and smelling awesome. Then throw in the spinach and cook it until it starts to wilt. This wilting shouldn't take long; spinach is sensitive.

In a food processor add the tofu and spinach and garlic. Blend for a few seconds until it turns into a nice mush. Then add the basil leaves and blend again. Last, add the spices and taste it to make sure you are liking what is happening. I added more basil and pepper.

Just like before, I added in a spoonful of filling to each wrapper and "glued" them together with water. I had some fun with the wrapping and folded all the corners into the middle. This is absolutely not necessary, but it made me feel fancy. Again, They were cooked for 3 minutes.
Bree topped her wontons with a little more fresh basil, vegan mozzarella, and olive oil.

I will definitely be making more wontons in the future. This meal is probably most appealing to me because of all the variations I can create. I love having options, and with these, I feel boundless!


casey said...

WHOA. I have been wanting so badly to make wontons for the last two months, but I keep being afraid I'll mess them up if I try!

Randi said...

Casey, they are really very easy! Just make sure that the fillings are sealed fully in the wrappers before cooking.

And with 40-50 wrappers per package, what's a couple mess-ups? I messed a couple up, too. :)