Wonton Acts of DIY
I was oncall this weekend and rather than spend two days working on my computer we had cunning plans for making things with our own bare hands.
Cody and Ellie came over on Saturday and Ellie taught us how to make wontons.
They were quite simply the most amazing wontons I've ever had. Tangy, sweet, savoury and with a wonderful texture. Damn, I'm hungry again now, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Ellie's Awesome Wonton Meat Filler Recipe
- 2 pounds of ground pork
- 4 chinese sausage finely diced
- 1 pound of medium sized shrimp (shelled, deveined and cut into 6 pieces)
- 1 medium bunch of scallions diced
- 2 tablespoons of finely diced fresh ginger
- 16-20 good sized water chestnuts peeled and finely diced (preferably fresh rather than in a can)
- 5 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons of garlic salt
- 4 tablespoons of white pepper
- 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch
Chop, chop, chop... Everything goes into a big bowl and mix with hands. Need lots of wrappers. Feeds at least 10 people.
- 1.5 liters of water
- 2 chicken bullion cubes
- sliced fresh shitake mushrooms
- baby bok choy hearts
- 3 thin slices of ginger
To hell with measuring utensils. These wontons are Ellie-mother approved as of this morning.
Making the wontons
- wonton wrappers - we used two packets of premade ones
- bowl of water
- a spoon
- put a wonton wrapper in your hand
- dip your finger in the water
- wet two connected edges of the wrapper (ie. make a V)
- use the spoon to scoop a small ball of filler from the bowl the ball should be small enough that you can fold the wrapper over
- fold the wrapper in half to make a triangle
- the filling should be in the centre
- the two edges you wetted should stick to the other two dry edges
- use your fingers to pack down the filling and get rid of any air bubbles
- grab the middle of the two joined edges and bring them together and press down. this will make a sort of crown shape with the filling at the bottom. Ellie said there's no set way to do this, people do all sorts of stuff.
making wontons is a fun group activity. you can chat while your hands are busy.
Cooking the wontons
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil
- Add the wontons
- When they start to float and "look like tiny brains" add some cold water
- Once the boil starts again they're ready to take out with a slotted spoon
Cook them in batches rather than crowding the pot
We used about 2 packets of pre-made wrappers. I don't recall how many was in the packets but at a guess I'd say ~30-40. Even though they were deliciously moorish we didn't eat them all and ended up freezing a bunch.
I'm looking forward to cooking them on my next oncall shift.
Sunday True Brew
On Sunday we brewed our second batch of beer, a honey wheat beer. The intent was to try to replicate an Australian microbrew called "Beez Neez". On further investigation at the brew shop it turned out Beez Neez is a lager. That's not really a beer style for a rank amateur.
Luckily the superbly helpful chaps at MoreBeer in Los Altos had a plan. They took their Honey Pale Ale recipe, substituted the malt extract for wheat extract and then swapped the yeast for a German ale yeast called Kolsch. Kolsch ferments like an ale yeast (same temperature range, lag time etc) but has an end result similar to a lager yeast (clear and dry).
I have no idea if it's going to work. It tasted very sweet before we pitched the yeast, which is not too suprising considering it had 3lbs of honey in it. The expected Original Gravity was spot on (we remembered to check this time) so hopefully the yeast do their thing and we'll have drinkable beer in a few weeks.