Homemade Wontons with Pork, Shrimps, and Shiitake Mushrooms with Chili Sauce

Wontons and dumplings are two of the most popular and widely popular breakfast choices across the whole mainland China.  There are restaurants, diners, food vendors selling all kinds of wontons.

 But the best ones are not always found in fancy and expensive restaurants, but on the streets.  Some food vendors and small diners have been making and selling wontons for generations.  Years of experience make them experts in very single steps of making wontons from broth to seasoning.

I learned how to make wontons by eating them for breakfast for a long time.  The best ones are freshly made, cooked and served.  So a lot of wonton restaurants have been wrapping and cooking nonstop since they open the door in early morning.  During my wait, I always peeked through kitchen window to see how it is done. 

I did that out of bore and curiosity at first, but soon I got attracted and fascinated watching the cooks in kitchen wrapping wontons at lightning speed. 

A bowl of good wonton soup is made up with freshly made wontons and seasonings.  Both are equally important to how the final product taste.

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Ingredients:

200 g ground pork
160 to 200g fresh shiitake mushrooms
10 to 12 fresh shrimps, peeled, divined and chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1 egg white
a few drops of sesame oil
salt to taste
1 package of wonton wraps (sold in most Asian grocery markets)

 

Directions:

These are not regular shiitake mushrooms.  They are smaller in size but packed with intense earthy mushroom aroma.  They have signature cracks on the caps.

Use a damp kitchen paper towel to wipe clean the shiitake mushrooms.  In Asia, people believe rinsing fresh mushrooms under running water could ruin their delicate aroma.  The best way to clean them is with damp cloth or paper towel. 

However, there is too much dirt on the bottoms of shiitake mushrooms.  I have to rinse them to get rid of all the dirt.

Add cleaned shiitake mushrooms to a food processor and finely chop them.  

In a large bowl, add chopped shiitake mushrooms, shrimps, and ground pork, along with oyster sauce, rice cooking wine, ground white pepper, ginger, starch, egg white and sesame oil.

Whisk with a pair of chop sticks or wooden spoon clockwise for7 to 8 minutes, or until the filling becomes smooth and silky.

Season with salt to taste.

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Add a couple teaspoons of filling to one edge of a wonton wrap.

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Roll the wonton half way through, and then pull both ends towards center and overlap them.  Brush with a bit of water or egg wash so that wonton will keep its shape.

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Repeat the process until all the filling is finished.

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Add wontons to a large pot of boiling water.  Cook until all wontons float to surface.   In between, when the water boils again, add 1 cup of cold water to the pot.  Repeat the process one more time later when the water boils again.  Adding cold water to a boiling pot is a traditional Chinese way to cook dumplings and wontons, so that the wontons can be fully cooked without the outside wraps getting too soggy and mushy. 

Add wontons along with a ladle or two broth to a bowl.  Some of my favorite seasonings are but not limited to: sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic water, Sichuan pepper oil, chili oil sauce, vinegar, chopped picked vegetables, chopped pickled daikon, green onion, cilantro, and crushed dry roasted peanuts.

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With a spoon, gently toss everything together.

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Bon appetite! O(∩_∩)O~

Stewed Rice with Chinese Sausages and Shiitake Mushrooms

中文菜谱: 香肠香菇油饭

I make this dish whenever I am don’t have much time to cook but still want to have a good home cooked meal, or when I am just simply too lazy to prepare several courses.  O(∩_∩)O~

In one single pan, sausages provide protein; rice provides carbohydrate and shiitake mushrooms provide vitamins.  What more does one need? 

Ingredients:

2 cups of short grain rice
250 to 300g fresh shiitake mushrooms (sold in most Asian grocery markets)
1 package of Chinese sausages (12 oz. sold in most Asian grocery markets)
1 small onion
1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4  teaspoon five spice powder
2 gloves of garlic, peeled and minced
3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
chicken broth/ water (about 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups)
salt to taste

 

Directions:

Use a damp kitchen paper towel to wipe clean the shiitake mushrooms.  In Asia, people believe rinsing fresh mushrooms under running water could ruin their delicate aroma.  The best way to clean them is with damp cloth or paper towel. 

When shopping in Asian grocery market, remember to get the sausages from Canton or Hong Kong areas.  They usually taste a bit both sweet and savory, which makes them perfect for stewing together with rice and mushrooms.

Dice the mushrooms, onion and sausages.  

Heat a wok over high heat.  Add oil and diced sausages.  Stir fry until the sausages turn golden brown.

I use a Staub perfect pan for the dish.  It is very sturdy and heats evenly, which is perfect for Asian style sauté, stir fry and stew. 

Add minced garlic and chopped onion.  Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion turns soft and transparent. 

Add white rice, sauté for a couple minutes.  The rice should be evenly coated with oil and liquid in the pan. 

Add chopped shiitake mushrooms, along with oyster sauce, ground white pepper, five spice powder and salt.  Continue to sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes. 

Add chicken broth / water.

When it comes to a boil, cover with lid.  Reduce the heat to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked all the way through. 

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The combination of Chinese sausages, shiitake mushrooms and rice smells really good!

With a wooden spoon, gently mix everything together.

Serve hot immediately.

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Shiu Mai with Chinese Sausages, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Sweet Rice

I posted Shiu Mai with ground pork, mushrooms and sweet rice before: https://www.yankitchen.com/english-blog/2018/11/13/shiu-mai-with-ground-porkmushrooms-and-sweet-rice

It is a very popular choice in Dim Sum restaurants.  Cantonese’s style shiu mai is usually made with shrimps and pork.  I personally prefer the ones made with sweet rice. 

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Shiu mai wraps are usually super thin and come with ruffled edges to achieve flower-like shape.  For the purpose of efficiency and easy operation, when making shiu mai at home, shiu mai wraps can be substituted with wonton wraps.

Ingredients:

1 pack wonton wraps (sold in most Asian grocery stores)
a handful fresh shitake mushrooms
1 cup of sweet rice
1 package of Chinese/ Cantonese/ Taiwanese style sausage  (sold in most Asian grocery stores)
1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
salt to taste

 

Directions:

 Wipe the shiitake mushrooms clean with damp kitchen paper towel.

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I use Taiwanese style sausage this time.  They taste quite similar to Cantonese sausage.  

Wonton wrap is available in every Asian grocery market. 

Dice up sausages and mushrooms.

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Cook the sweet rice in a rice cooker.  Sweet rice requires less water than regular rice.  

Fold in soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and ground white pepper.

Allow the rice mixture to chill for 10 minutes or so.

Fold in diced sausages and mushrooms.  Add salt to taste.  Gently mix everything together.

Add a couple tablespoons of sweet rice filling to center of the wonton wrap.

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Wrap the edges towards the center.  Brush the wrap with water or egg wash if needed. 

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Add a bamboo steamer lined with small squares of parchment paper.  

Repeat the process until all are finished.   The listed ingredients above yield about 50 to 60 shiu mais.  Freeze extra ones if they are too much for a single meal.

Fill a wok with water.  Cook over high heat until water boils.  Add steamer.  Continue to steam over high heat for 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve hot immediately.

The dipping sauce is made with balsamic vinegar + soy sauce + chili oil sauce. 

Oven-roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have been such a favorite root vegetable in Asian countries that we often use them in all kinds of sautés, soups, congees, desserts, and even drinks!  Yes, that is right, in drinks.  Sweet potato puree is a popular topping for milk teas.   Next time when you are in an Asian teashop, try it.  It is way better than you can imagine.

When winter comes, fire oven roasted sweet would be a seasonal hit.  They are hot and sweet, covered with caramelized skins.  So tasty! O(∩_∩)O~

Fire oven roasted sweet potatoes are very hard to find in America.  So I bake them in small toaster oven. 

The best ones for toaster oven I can find are Japanese sweet potatoes and purple sweet potatoes with red skins.  The Japanese sweet potatoes are sold in most Asian grocery stores.  But the purple sweet potatoes are not that common.  If you are in Houston area like me, try Sprouts, Central Market and Wholefoods market.  

I posted Dried Purple Sweet Potates before: https://www.yankitchen.com/english-blog/2018/2/27/dried-purple-sweet-potatoes

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Rinse both sweet potatoes under running water.  Pat dry with kitchen paper towel.

Preheat the toaster oven to 450F/ 232C  

Add sweet potatoes to the oven.

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Bake for about 90 minutes.  The baking time may vary depending on the toaster ovens and the sizes of sweet potatoes.

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There is sweet and warming aroma in the house when sweet potatoes are being baked.

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Purple sweet potatoes are a little bit drier than Japanese sweet potatoes.  But they are both quite sweet and tasty.

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Shiu Mai with Ground Pork,Mushrooms and Sweet Rice

If you have been to Dim Sum place before, you might be familiar with shiu mai already.  It is made with super thin wheat dough with fillings inside.  There are so many kinds of fillings for shiu mai.  They vary from area to area.  Pork and shrimps are a very popular choice in southeast part of China.  In the north, lamb, beef, and even sweet rice can be found in shiu mai fillings too. 

Each and every one of them is very tasty.  I personally prefer the ones made with sweet rice. 

 It is quite easy to make them at home too!  With a pack of store-bought wonton wraps, we can easily make a large batch of shiu mai.

Ingredients:

1 pack wonton wraps (sold in most Asian grocery stores)
1 handful dried wild mushrooms / shiitake mushrooms
1 cup of sweet rice
100 g fresh ground pork
1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper
salt to taste  

Sweet rice might look like regular white rice.  But they are more glutinous when cooked.  That is why sweet rice is also called sticky rice and glutinous rice.

Dry wild mushrooms are sold in most Asian grocery stores too.  They are packed with tons of earthy, nutty, and fragrant flavors; and can be used in soups, stews, or stir fries.  

They can be substituted with shiitake mushrooms too.  Shiitake mushroom is another kind of mushroom with distinctive fragrance and are wildly popular in Asian countries too.  You shall be able in find them in almost every Asian grocery stores.

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Soak the dried wild mushrooms in cold water for a couple hours.

Cook the sweet rice in a rice cooker.  Sweet rice requires less water than regular rice.

Allow the rice to chill for 10 minutes or so.

Rinse the wild mushrooms under running water and drain them well.

Chop the mushrooms in a food processor.

In a large bowl, add cooked sweet rice, along with ground pork, mushrooms, oyster sauce, rice cooking wine, ginger, sesame oil, sugar, white ground pepper and salt.

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Gently whisk with a pair of chopsticks.

Add a couple tablespoons of ground pork and sweet rice filling to center of the wonton wrap.

Wrap the edges towards the center.  Brush the wrap with water or egg wash if needed. 

Add a bamboo steamer lined with small squares of parchment paper.   

Repeat the process until all are finished.   The listed ingredients above yield about 50 shiu mai.  Freeze extra ones if they are too much for a single meal.

Fill a wok with water.  Cook over high heat until water boils.  Add steamer.  Continue to steam over high heat for 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve hot immediately. 

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Isn’t it easy and quick?  

Sriracha sauce is great dipping sauce for shiu mai.  I also use it for dumplings too.  

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