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I’ve shown off these vegetarian wontons in my bentos lately. I’ve finally getting around to talking about the process of making them. These were simple, not terribly hard to make, and quite tasty. They contain tofu, and if you’ve read my blog lately, you know tofu and I have a strained relationship. It is these wontons that saved tofu from going on my completely banned list.
To make these, you can either make your own wonton wrappers or buy wonton skins at the grocery store.
Making the filling takes several steps. This isn’t a quickly made item. However if you can arrange your time to make a big batch, then you can freeze the leftovers and have plenty for awhile.
Step 1: Making the Filling
The filling I used for these took a bit of time to prepare. It included steamed green beans, lightly cooked corn, and scrambed tofu.
Steam frozen green beans either using a stovetop steamer or the steamer basket of a rice cooker. You want to steam until thawed, but don’t let them get too mushy. Mine took about 8-10 minutes. Chop up green beans until a bit diced looking. Refrigerate until ready to use (or if using immediately set aside).
You also need scrambled tofu for this recipe. Purchase firm tofu that comes either hermetically sealed or in a plastic tub filled with water. Don’t buy anything that says “silken tofu.” I learned my lesson on that before. Not what you want to use.
Place paper towels, or a tea towel, on a plate or cookie sheet. Place the tofu (drained if you bought the type packed in water) on the towel. Place more paper towels on top or wrap the rest of the tea towel around the tofu. Let the tofu drain for an hour.
Once drained, transfer the tofu to a bowl. Using a fork, break up the tofu into small pieces. The smaller the better.
Heat a tablespoon (or a wee bit more) of canola oil in a skillet. Once heated, place tofu into the skillet and cook until crispy and brown. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Don’t just dump it out onto the paper towels. Any bit of oil left we need for the corn.
Place the skillet back on the burner. Place 1 cup of frozen corn in the skillet with any remaining oil. Cook until thawed. Remove from skillet and turn off the heat to your skillet. It’s now time to assemble the rest of the wonton filling.
Place the scrambled tofu, corn, and green beans into a good sized bowl. Then, we need to gather a few other ingredients.
We need a 1/4 cup of green onions, 1 egg lightly beaten, a tablespoon of mirin, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and a teaspoon of salt.
Add the green onions and the salt to your ingredients. Mix it all together.
Next, add the liquid ingredients: egg, mirin, and soy sauce. Mix togteher well. Top it all with a good bit of ground pepper and mix again. Now you’re all set to make your wontons.
Find your wonton wrappers and open the package. Be sure to have a damp towel on hand a small bowl of water. You want to rest the damp towel over the wonton wrappers that you aren’t using while you make wontons. This prevents them from drying out. The small bowl of water is to help you seal the edges of the wontons.
You’ll also need a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.
Place a good teaspoon or so of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Wet all the edges of the edges of the wrapper.
Fold the wrapper in half diagonally to create a triangle. Wet the edges of the triangle’s long side. Pull the back to meet each other and press together to seal.
Line up your filled wontons on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Be sure to place a damp towel over these as you complete them. This way they don’t dry out as you make the rest.
Once all the wonton wrappers are filled, it’s time to decide what to do with your wontons. If you want to freeze them, just transfer the cookie sheet to your freezer. Once the wontons are completely frozen, transfer from the waxed paper to a freezer bag and put back into your freezer. You can take them out individually as needed and cook quickly for a bento. You can either pan-fry quickly with other items you might be cooking for your bento. If you’re steaming veggies for a bento, you can throw a few in as your veggies steam. It is up to you. They go great from frozen to cooked with little suffering on taste.
The majority of this batch were frozen. I did reserve twelve for a trail batch of cooking.
Three were toasted in a toaster oven on 400 degrees until the wonton browned nicely. These were tasty, but just not what I was looking for.
The next set I steamed until the wrappers were fairly translucent. These were better. I found them a wee bit bland, though a dip in soy sauce took care of that problem.
The last set were pan-fried in a wee bit of olive oil until golden brown. Call me Goldilocks, but these were the ones I liked the best.
Overall, these wontons have worked out beautifully for my bento. Their only problem is that they have a bit of a problem shape-wise. They don’t fit in the bento box well with the shape I used. I’m working on trying to figure out what sort of other shape I should use.
Be the bento everyone! Let me know if you try these and have any other suggestions on filling. I’m looking for suggestions.