Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Healthy Eating Month: Beef and Chive Wontons

Healthy Eating Month; The wonderful Mademoiselle Délicieuse from Spoon, Fork & Chopsticks has contributed a 'delicious' Beef and Chive Wonton Recipe. Wonton's are not only filled with nutritional goodness, they are also incredibly comforting- without the extra fat. M D has also provided some beautiful photos to make your mouth water. Thanks so much Mademoiselle! Enjoy this great recipe. P.s. As an aside I wish Mademoiselle all the best this weekend as she is getting married!

Healthy Eating Month: Beef & Chive Wontons
When Gastronomy Gal invited me to contribute something to her Healthy Eating Month, I was extremely flattered and excited – I have never been asked to do a guest post before! Once these feelings had subsided, I was wracked with the practicalities of thinking of a suitable recipe. ‘Healthy’ can be interpreted differently from person to person and seems to have ambiguous definitions for food-labelling purposes. ‘97% fat-free’ doesn’t necessarily mean a foodstuff is low in salt or sugar or high in fibre so it can all be a bit baffling.

And having grown up in Australia with a Chinese heritage, I was tossing up between what cuisine to base my recipe in and then which course of a meal. So to steer clear of both salads and soups, I settled on ‘wontons’ (雲吞) – those neat little parcels of meat and often vegetables found floating in a broth which not only require no oil in their cooking process but also have the comforting qualities of something squishy and soupy.

Wonton wrappers are basically really thin squares of pasta sheets, which is why they’re often prescribed as a pre-cut alternative when making ravioli. The first (and only) time I made fresh pasta with girlfriends, I commented that the pasta dough smelt really familiar – and then it hit me! Excess uncooked wontons can be frozen. You just need to dry them out first on a tray in the freezer until they’re firm, before transferring them to a bag or container. Little corners of frozen wonton wrappers may break off but it’s of no taste consequence.

The version I’ve provided a recipe for below is pretty much what my mum used to make whilst I was growing up. I was recruited from a young age to help her with wrapping the dumpling parcels, where my fingers would nimbly create the little pleats. Then I would watch her drop batches of them into boiling water and wait for them to come floating to the top before trying to devour them and their fragrant garlicky-ness without scalding my tongue!

Beef & Chive Wontons (makes 50-60 to serve 4 adults)


· 400-500g lean-ish beef mince (NB: Don’t go too lean or the wontons will be too dry!)

· 2 portions of My All-purpose Cantonese Marinade

· small amount of snipped garlic chives (Take care not to add too much or your mixture will not hold together)

· 1 packet of egg wonton wrappers (usually 60 sheets)

· 1.5-2L hot chicken stock (homemade, packet or instant from powder)

· Asian greens such as choy sum, bok choy or Chinese cabbage to serve (optional)


1. Mix mince and chives with marinade in a large bowl and mix with a large fork or squeeze between fingers until thoroughly mixed and slightly sticky. Set aside 30 minutes to marinate.

2. Spoon level teaspoonfuls of mince mixture onto each wonton wrapper and fold in half into a triangular shape to enclose. Flatten the enclosed mixture slightly with fingers (this helps to speed up cooking time) and pleat the overhanging wrapper like a paper fan – it doesn’t have to be neat – or leave as it. You don’t need any egg or water to seal the wonton wrapper as the meat filling should keep it all together. Place prepared wontons on a plate or tray and cover with a clean tea towel if they start drying out.

3. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the wontons in batches, taking care not to overcrowd. Remove wontons from the pot with a slotted spoon when they float to the top and place in bowls. Ladle over hot stock to serve. Serve with Asian greens cooked in the hot stock if desired.

happy cooking!

13 fabulous comments:

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Thank you for inviting me again to contribute something here. This is food which I enjoy cooking and I hope your readers will do so as well =)

Betty @ The Hungry Girl said...

I love wontons, I've never made them by myself though! These are perfect for cooler months too :)

Not Quite Nigella said...

Oh my.. they look so good! It's heading into cooler weather and that means one thing: dumplings! :D

Mark @ Cafe Campana said...

These look great. I heart dumplings. Little parcels of flavour :)

Trissa said...

I never tried beef wontons before - they look delicious and a great change from the pork ones.

Betty said...

wow home made wontons they look gREAT! :O)

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Excellent cool weather dish, and hooray for guest posts! :)

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

how funny, I'm going to make wontons on the weekend! It was fate for me to read this today. Great recipe!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Superb job MD, I love the sound of the chives in them for a light, oniony flavour!

Julia @Mélanger said...

This is one of my favourite dishes. A great healthy meal, for sure!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Lovely homemade wontons! Healthy and delicious. Great for the coming winter :)

lis@whiskygreentea said...

wow.. homemade wontons.. perfect for the cold weather.. :) Wish I had a bowl wontons noodle soup in front of me right now.. yum !

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow looks wonderful and what a great idea to feature healthy recipes


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