Dry Wonton Noodles (Wantan Mee) – Thin and springy egg noodles are tossed in savory and spicy (or not) sauce and served with homemade succulent pork and shrimp wontons and slices of Chinese BBQ Pork.
They say homemade wontons are the best and there’s no denying that. I’ve bought some pretty decent wontons from the store before, but I love making and wrapping wontons. I found this process pretty therapeutic. But if you really want to take some shortcuts, feel free to use store-bought wontons to save you some time.
This is the wonton noodles I use. Feel free to use your favorite brand if you’ve found one. The noodles are usually thin, though there’s wide version too but I like to use the thin one for dry wonton noodles.
WHAT EXACTLY IS DRY WONTON NOODLES?
Most people are familiar with wonton noodle soup, but there is also a non-soup version, which is dry. The noodles are tossed in savory and spicy (if you choose to) sauce. Sometimes, soup may be served on the side too. The tossed noodles are then served with wontons and more often than not, Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu).
Here are few tips I’m sharing on how you can make really good wontons from scratch and how to boil wontons properly so you don’t end up with soggy and fall-apart wontons.
HOW TO MAKE GOOD PORK AND SHRIMP WONTONS FROM SCRATCH
1. Use both pork and shrimp
I grew up with wontons made with both pork and shrimp and I found that this combination is really tasty. I use equal weights of pork and shrimp in the recipe, but you can adjust to less pork and more shrimp if you prefer.
2. Egg yolk and cornstarch
The addition of egg yolk and cornstarch will give you a soft tender filling inside and they act as binder at the same time
3. A bit of sugar
I don’t use MSG in my cooking and so mom often tells me that adding a bit of sugar in cooking actually helps to bring out flavor in the food, just like how salt does
4. Do not overmix the filling
You want to mix the filling thoroughly with other ingredients, but try not to overmix and make the filling all tough
5. Let it sit
Let the filling rest and marinade for 1 hour in the refrigerator or overnight if you prepare ahead. This will enhance the flavor of the filling.
6. Bigger is not always better
While I love myself large succulent wontons, I’ve learned that if you put too much filling inside the wonton wrapper, the filling may not cooked through while the wonton wrapper is already turning soggy from all the boiling.
7. Push the air out
As you wet the edges of the wonton wrapper to seal with water, push the air out as much as you can. This will give you a nice and tight looking wontons once they are boiled
8. Pinch to seal
The last thing you want is to have your filling dislodge from the wonton. Really use your fingers to pinch the edges to seal properly
HOW TO BOIL WONTONS PROPERLY
All the work for making wontons from scratch will go to waste if you ended up with broken or worse mushy wontons
1. Bring water to a boil
This is always a must. The longer the wontons sit in the water, the mushier they will get.
2. Stir every now and then
Once you put the wontons into the boiling water, give them a quick stir so they won’t stick to the bottom of the pot
3. Do not overcook
Wontons usually take about 3-4 minutes to cook. That is why as I mentioned above not to wrap your wontons too big that the filling are not cooked through and the wonton wrappers, which are usually thin, turn mushy and torn apart from too much boiling.
4. Plunge in cold water quickly
This step is optional. If you are making wonton soup, this step is not necessary. But if you are serving them dry or on the side, I like to plunge them in cold water very quickly just to stop the cooking process and so they won’t turn sticky and mushy.
Now that you know how to make really good wontons from scratch, you can make them in a large batch and they can be freeze for months. They come in handy so many times for me when I don’t have much time to cook. Here’s how to freeze uncooked wontons:
Place the wontons in a baking sheet, not touching each other. Place them in the freezer for 1 hour. They will harden, but not 100% frozen yet. You can transfer them to freezer bag to save freezer space and they won’t stick to each other anymore. I promise! When ready to cook, do not thaw, just place them in boiling water, you may add few seconds or a minute to make sure they are cooked through.
WHAT MAKES GOOD DRY WONTON NOODLES
1. The noodles
Doh?? make sure you do not overcook the noodles. Follow the instructions on the packaging.
2. The tossing sauce
I mean…it’s obvious right! The tossing sauce has the right balance of salty, slightly spicy (optional), with hint of sweetness, and amazing aroma from shallot oil. If you don’t feel like making shallot oil, you can use sesame oil. They are not the exact substitute, but sesame oil has amazing aroma of its own.
I think I’ve shared all the tips I know so you too, can make some smashing dry wonton noodles at your very own kitchen. If you have any tips to share with me, please bring them on. If you try this recipe and like it, I’d love to hear it. It makes my day. If you think this recipe can improve, let me know too 🙂 Now, go busy and get cooking!
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Dry Wonton Noodles (Wantan Mee)
- 5 -6 bundles of wonton noodles
- 30 -40 thin wonton wrappers
- 300 gr Ground pork preferrably with some fats
- 300 gr large shrimp peeled, deveined, and finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 2 large egg yolks lightly beaten
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Tossing sauce for noodes (per serving):
- 3 large shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped
- Chinese BBQ pork
Prepare shallot oil (can be prepared ahead):
- Soak the sliced shallots in water for 10 minutes and then drain off water. Pat them really dry or let them air dry if you have the time to do so
- Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet. If the oil sizzles when you put a shallot in, it's ready. Cook them over medium heat to prevent them from browning too quickly
- When the shallot pieces have turned nice golden brown, remove them from the heat source. Let them sit in the skillet for about 10 minutes and then remove the crispy shallot pieces and strain the oil to a heat-proof jar. This is your shallot oil. They can be kept at room temperature pretty indefinitely. You can use the crispy shallots to top the noodles
Making wontons (can be prepared ahead):
- Place all the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix everything. Take care not to overmix so your meat filling won't turn tough. Let them marinate for at least one hour or overnight
- When ready to wrap, take one wonton wrapper and scoop about 1 Tbsp of filling onto the middle of the wrap. Dip your finger in water and run your finger through the edges of the wrapper. Bring the opposite end together to form a triangle. Push as much air out as you can as you press to seal the wonton. Repeat until you run out of filling or wrapper, whichever comes first
Cooking the wontons:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the wontons and cook for about 3-4 minutes or longer if your wontons are large. They will float to the top when they are cooked. Take one out and make sure they are cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon. I like to plunge the cooked wontons in a cold water briefly to stop the cooking process, it's not mandatory. It's up to you
Cooking the noodles:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Loosen up the bundles of wonton noodles and then briefly cook the wonton noodles for about 40 seconds or so
- Rinse the noodles under cold running water to stop the cooking process and to avoid the noodles getting soggy
Putting it together:
- Put all the tossing sauce in a bowl and then portion out one serving of noodles into the bowl and toss to mix to make sure the sauce is coating the noodles evenly. Have a taste and add more soy sauce and/or oyster sauce if necessary to your liking
- Top with 3-4 slices of Chinese BBQ pork and 2-3 pieces of wontons. Garnish with some chopped green onion and ready to be served