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Wonton (馄饨, hún tun)

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A wonton (also spelled wantan, wanton, or wuntun in transcription from Cantonese; Mandarin: húntún [xwə̌n.tʰwə̌n]) is a type of dumpling commonly found in a number of Chinese cuisines.

Filling


Wontons are made by spreading a wrapper flat in the palm of ones hand, placing a small amount of filling in the center, and sealing the wonton into the desired shape by compressing the wrapper's edges together with the fingers. Adhesion may be improved by moistening the wrapper's inner edges, typically by dipping a fingertip into water and running it across the dry dough to dissolve the extra flour. As part of the sealing process, air should be "burped" out of the interior to avoid rupturing the wonton from internal pressure when cooked.

Shapes and cooking methods


Wontons are commonly boiled and served in soup or sometimes deep-fried. There are several common regional variations of shape.

The most versatile shape is a simple right triangle, made by folding the wrapper in half by pulling together two opposite corners. Its flat profile allows it to be pan-fried like a potsticker in addition to being boiled or deep-fried.

A more globular wonton can be formed by folding all four corners together, resulting in a shape reminiscent of a stereotypical hobo's bindle made by tying all four corners of a bandanna together. The much larger Korean deep-fried dim sim has a similar shape, but wontons in this configuration are more commonly served in soup.

A related kind of wonton is made by using the same kind of wrapper, but applying only a minute amount of filling (frequently meat) and quickly closing the wrapper-holding hand, sealing the wonton into an unevenly squashed shape. These are called xiao huntun (literally "little wonton") and are invariably served in a soup, often with condiments such as pickles, ginger, sesame oil, and cilantro (coriander leaves).

Shanghai cuisine


In Shanghai and its surrounding area (Jiangnan), Wonton filling is most often made with minced meat and bok choy served in chicken soup; however, Shanghai cuisine makes a clear distinction between small wontons and large wontons. The former are casually wrapped by closing the palm on a wrapper with a dab of pork and vegetable filling as if crumpling a sheet of paper. These are popular accompaniments to breakfast or brunch fare. The "large" wontons are carefully wrapped (often resembling a large tortellini) and a single bowl can serve as lunch or a light dinner. They are available with a large variety of fillings; a popular Shanghai fast food chain offers more than 50 varieties. One popular variety in Shanghai which is said to have originated in Suzhou is "three delicacies wonton" (san xian hun tun) which contains pork, shrimp and fish as primary ingredients. Wontons in Jiangnan are also made with Shepherd's purse if the recipe does not use Bok choy.

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References

Wonton, en.wikipedia.org

Fried Wontons, www.thaitable.com

Shanghai Won-Ton Soup Recipe, www.ddsclub.com