Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year (which is celebrated for two weeks) often overlap, as is happening this year! So I thought the girls and I could make something I used to make with my mom for Chinese New Year but would also be festive for Valentine’s Day – Heart Shaped Fried Won Tons.
Before I called my girls over to help, I finely diced all the vegetables – carrots, mushrooms and cabbage. And they could have helped with this part but I also prepped the ground pork with sesame oil and soy sauce.
You can find wonton skins at the supermarket in the produce section, near the tofu. They come in squares and rounds, and usually you would use square for wontons and round for pot stickers. I used round because that’s all they had the day I shopped, but they worked just fine for these wontons.
The girls cut the green onions with their little food scissors. It was easy to just let the green onions fall onto the chopping board.
They then added the onions and the other diced vegetables to the ground pork (note: remind your kiddos often not to put their hands in their mouths or touch their faces when their hands have touched the ground pork).
Now to cut the wonton skins into hearts. We used a few different cookie cutters. And we also tried using scissors. This part took quite a bit of time. Next time I will probably cut most of them and let them cut just a few, because it was starting to get closer and closer to dinner time.
Usually, you would make a fried wonton with one skin folded in half with the meat inside. But since we’re making hearts, we are going to use two skins for each wonton. So center a little spoonful of the meat mixture in the middle of one heart, apply some water to the edges, and layer the other heart. Press down the edges, keeping the meat mixture in the middle.
Sophie: “Voila! I made a heart! Um Mama, what does ‘Voila’ mean?”
Sarah (before I could answer): “It means TADAAAAAA!”
Ok, all done. We’re ready to get fryin’.
I admit this is the first time I am deep frying something without my mom next to me! I first tested to see if the oil was hot enough by putting a scrap of wonton skin into the oil. If it sizzles and turns golden brown quickly, then it’s ready. My moms technique, though, is to put a chopstick into the oil and if it bubbles, then it’s ready. So when the oil was ready, I put in three wontons at a time. When the edges started to turn brown, I flipped it over. So each one takes a few minutes total.
Place them on a paper towel to soak up the oil. My first batch was a little too brown, but I started to get the hang of it.
Crunch crunch crunch.
Here’s the middle. We could have gotten away with putting more meat in the middle it seems, because for the ones that we really stuffed, the meat didn’t escape.
Serve with my mom’s sweet and sour sauce (recipe below).
This brought back so many memories of making fried wontons and other yummy dumplings with my mom.
So tell me, what dishes did you used to make with your family as a kid?
Here are my mom’s recipes for Fried Wontons and Sweet and Sour Sauce. I modified my ingredients a bit to use what I had on hand. And this is also to make triangular-shaped fried wontons using one square skin, which you can modify to make heart-shaped ones using two skins as I did above.
My Mom’s Fried Wonton Recipe
- 1 lb Wonton Wrappers
- 1/2 lb shrimp – minced
- 4 oz ground pork
- 6 chopped water chestnuts or 2 or 3 tablespoon of carrots
- 3 T. chopped green onions
- 1 tsp. chopped ginger root
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
Mix ground pork and shrimp with all the other ingredients. Take one wonton skin, put 1/2 tsp. of filling in center, fold over in half to form a triangle. Deep-fry wonton until golden brown. Turn wonton constantly when deep-frying. Place fried wonton on dry paper towel to absorb oil.
My Mom’s Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
- 2/3 cup of water
- 2 T. Vinegar
- 4 T. Ketchup
- 6 T. Sugar
- 1 T. Rice Vinegar
When boiling add 1/3 tsp. salt(Taste a sample to see if it is sweet and sour enough), 1 tsp. cornstarch with 2 T. water to thicken sauce.
Happy Valentine’s Day!