Walden Wontons

We tried a few recipes over the course of a weekend and consolidated the best from each into our own super simple version. This will make about 80 wontons, but you can freeze what you don’t eat and they’ll stay good for about 3 months (recipe adapted from Kitchn and Smitten Kitchen).

Ingredients
1/2 medium head Napa cabbage (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound Walden ground pork
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 bunch cilantro, minced (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane or finely minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 large eggs, whisked
1 (12-ounce) package square or round dumpling, wonton, or gyoza wrappers

Instructions
1. Split your Napa cabbage in half and dice into half inch pieces (you’ll only need to use one half). Place the pieces into a large mixing bowl and toss with salt, then let it sit for 5-8 minutes.

2. The salt will cause the cabbage to release liquid. When ready, squeeze as much liquid out of the cabbage as you can, and drain the excess water from your mixing bowl.


3. Combine the cabbage with the rest of your ingredients and mix together with your hands (ground pork, sliced scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil and eggs).


4. Now it’s time to assemble your dumplings! Grab a small bowl of water and a plate or piece of parchment paper to place your finished dumplings on.


5. Each wonton will take about a tablespoon of filling. Once you do a few, you’ll get a feel for what the wrappers can handle.

How to Fold Wontons
There are a lot of ways to fold wontons and dumplings, but we found the below method to be both easy and stylish. Another plus is the wontons look like they are hugging themselves … adorable.

1. Place about a tablespoon of filling into the wrapper.

2. Using your fingers, lightly dampen two edges.

3. Press the wet sides of the wrapper to the dry and gently pinch everything closed.

4. Use your thumb to make a small indent, taking care not to split the wrapper. 

5. Fold one corner over and lightly wet the top. You can use your thumb underneath for leverage. 

6. Press the opposite corner down gently and briefly hold to set in place.

Cooking
There are several ways you can cook your tiny hats — er, dumplings:

Steaming
If you have a double boiler with a basket or other steaming apparatus, it’ll take about 6 minutes to cook fresh wontons and 8 minutes for frozen ones.

Skillet
Drizzle oil into a pan and warm on medium heat. Add the wontons so they aren’t touching and let cook until the underside is golden brown. Add about 3 tablespoons of water. The water should almost instantly start steaming. Place a lid over everything and let sit on low heat for about 4 minutes for fresh and 7 minutes for frozen. The first time around, it’s a good idea to cut one open and check that it’s cooked all the way through.

Serving
We like our wontons with rice, topped with scallions and drizzled with soy sauce … but there’s no wrong way! Heck, you could even toss these delicious little guys into a stir fry or soup!

Leftovers
Wontons will keep for about 3 months frozen raw. Leftover filling can be frozen and used for future dumplings or even tossed into a pan and served over rice as a stir fry, or turned into little meatballs. If you come up with your own creative use of leftover filling, we’d love to see a photo! 

Did you try this recipe?
Make sure to take a pic and tag us @waldenlocalmeat! We’d love to see your home cooking.