Wednesday, March 25, 2009

shrimp won tons

My latest cooking goal is to learn to cook shrimp. Because, unfortunately for my waistline, I've developed a passionate love connection with frozen, battered shrimp. This is strange for me because I am not a fan of the flavor of deep frying or battered general. So, putting two and two together, I figure it MUST be the shrimp, which I rarely eat because it's not something I grew up eating. Here's hoping, anyway.

This is from Emeril Lagasse. I chose this mainly because I liked how it sounded when I was reading it. I'm weird that way--I'll try a recipe just because I like the way the chef words it. Must be the old English major in me popping up.

Shrimp Won Tons

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus vegetable oil for frying (I used olive oil for both)
1 tablespoon minced ginger (after my unfortunate over use of ginger last time, I opted to eliminate it this time)
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions (I used minced yellow onion)
1/2 pound raw shrimp, shelled and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar (I used honey)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (I didn't have either oil, so I used some leftover seasme seeds from the last post as well as a dash of chili seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon chili oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
12 won ton wrappers
Soy sauce, accompaniment
Hot mustard, accompaniment

Place a wok over medium heat (I used a deep skillet). Add 1 tablespoon oil and when hot, add the ginger and green onions, and stir-fry until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and water chestnuts and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and chili oil and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and add to the shrimp mixture, stirring. (The mixture should thicken immediately.) Transfer to a bowl or plate and let cool before assembling the won tons.
Keeping the won ton wrappers covered with a damp kitchen towel, place 1 won ton wrapper at a time on a work surface with 1 point toward you. Spoon a rounded tablespoonful of filling in the center, just above the point. Fold the corner over the filling and roll to tuck the point under. (The won ton should look like a triangle), yeah, ok, mine looked much more like a sloppy half moon because I had difficulty with the pinching part. Pinch the wrapper around the filling to completely enclose, pushing gently to expel any air bubbles. Using both hands, pull the 2 side corners toward you below the filling. Overlap the corners slightly, moisten with a dab of water, and pinch to seal.
Place the filled won tons on a baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth while preparing the remaining won tons. (If desired won tons can be frozen on a baking sheet and once frozen, kept in a ziplock bag for up to 2 months.)
Fill a large pot or electric fryer halfway with vegetable oil and heat to 375 degrees F. Add the won tons in batches and fry until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. I don't deep fry anything and didn't have the right kind of oil to do so, so instead I shallow fried half in olive oil. About 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup did the trick. With the other half I sauted them with about 2 Tbs olive oil. The latter won tons still had a nice crisp to them and cooked through thoroughly. Were they as satisfying as the others? Not so much. But honestly, if I hadn't fried the other ones, I probably wouldn't have missed that. Oh, and when sauteing, make sure you time it correctly that you only have to turn them once. I made the mistake of turning one too early. If you turn them more than once, they break open and fall apart.

Serve hot with soy sauce and/or Chinese hot mustard. I had regular, run-of-the-mill brown mustard and soy sauce, neither of which I used. I'm not much of a dipper, though, unless it's tomato based. I squirted some fresh lemon juice over mine. My hubby liked it with the mustard, though.

My rating would be a 3, keep it at home, just because it looked like my 11 month old daughter Ava assembled them. Oh, and they need to be served piping, straight-from-the-skillet hot, so they would not travel well. However, it was definitely a delicious way to cook shrimp.

One thing I liked about the recipe is the directions for freezing. For me, this was labor-intensive because I struggled with the won ton wrappers. So, for my next batch, I'll double it and freeze half.


stewbert said...

Yum. We love shrimp. and deep fried things. mmmmmmm...

ten_33 said...

Cook the shrimp just until they lose their transparency and you will be fine. Any longer and they get tough/chewy.

allison said...

thanks! yes, mine were a bit on the chewy side. good to know as i am trying more shrimp stuff this week