Growing up with an Asian heritage, you would think I would have a smidge of know-how about Asian type cuisine.
Wok 101? Nope.
Sushi Master skills? Not even close.
Truth be told…I don’t even own a rice cooker!
However, having a mother who grew up on Chinese/Peruvian food (she was eating fusion food before it was a thing), definitely has its advantages as far as cooking tips are concerned.
One thing that I discovered I’m somewhat decent at, is making veggie wontons. These bad boys were inspired when I was a vegetarian and was quickly getting bored of eating all my veggie go-to meals. I loved eating all my veggie concoctions, but my cooking options were getting limited and I felt like I needed to liven things up! Having seen pre-made wonton wrappers many a time in my refrigerator as a kid, a light bulb turned on, and I put my untapped Asian cooking skills to practice!
These veggie wontons are a cinch to make and become even easier if you have a food processor or mandolin. You could use a good old fashioned knife, but between unwatched episodes of Orange Is The New Black and all my strange Netflix documentaries, shortcuts are sometimes a necessary!
Though these are typically served as an appetizer or side dish, I think that they are just as satisfying as a main course. Dunked in either soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, or even a peanut sauce, these veggie wontons are the perfect thing to eat vegetarian or not!
- 2 carrots
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 cup of button mushrooms
- 1 cup of spinach
- 1/2 small can of water chestnuts (diced)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce (or any hot sauce you like)
- 1 package of large wonton wrappers
- Food processor
- bamboo steamer
Start by taking the blade of your food processor that looks like this:
I believe that this is the grating blade, but it probably has a fancier name. Like the chiffonade blade. I just call it the grating blade because it looks like my cheese grater. I call it as I sees it. I’m very complex in that way.
Toss in your carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach and garlic until all the veggies are shredded.
Remove shredded veggies from food processor, and place in a larger mixing bowl.
Add in your drained and diced water chestnuts and green onions.
Sprinkle a few teaspoons of cornstarch and lightly toss to coat the veggies.
The cornstarch will help absorb the water that will cook out of the veggies and act as a thickening agent. (Thank you Mom for this cooking tip…)
In a large wok or saute pan, heat your oil on high to medium heat. Don’t worry if your veggie mixture looks like it won’t all fit in the pan. It cooks down a considerable amount!
Add your veggie mixture and cook for two-three minutes. The veggies will cook up pretty fast since they are finely shredded. Take caution not to over cook your veggies as they will continue to cook up in the steaming process.
Turn the heat off, and add your hoisin, soy, sweet chili, and Sriracha sauces.
Fill a small bowl with water for your wonton wrappers. Your veggie mixture should be saucy enough to not require water to seal the edges, but it’s always a good idea to have it ready.
Fill each wonton wrapper with about a tbsp or less of veggies. I like to buy the larger sized wonton wrappers so I can stuff more, but after you make your first one, you can pretty much gauge how much stuff-ability room you have for your wonton wrappers. Stuff-ability??? I even surprise myself sometimes.
After you’ve reached full stuff-ability, seal the wrapper by pinching and twisting the top to look like this:
Or, fold in half (creating a rectangle/ ravioli type thing) and seal the edges with water.
Fill your pot that fits your steamer, about half-way with water and allow to come to a boil.
Place your wontons inside, a few spaces apart so they don’t stick together. The wonton wrappers sometimes get stuck on the bamboo, so a quick spray of Pam is also a good idea. I’m pretty sure that Asian restaurants don’t use Pam cooking spray, but this kitchen does!
Place your bamboo steamer with your wontons on top of your pot with boiling water and allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes. The wonton wrappers cook very fast and anything past 5 minutes is too long.
When your wontons are done, the wrappers will be dreamy and translucent looking. At this point you can enjoy them steamed as is, or you can fry them up in a little bit of oil! They are delicious either way!
*All photos courtesy of www.jacquelinesiobhanphotography.com