September 8th, 2009

Wonton

Crispy Mackerel Wontons

It’s the height of the mackerel season and there is nothing more satisfying than going fishing and coming home with a healthy catch. Mr.P went fishing a few weeks ago and came home with a small haul. As we could not eat them all at once we kept a few of the mackerel in the freezer. They were still stiff from  rigor mortis, that’s how fresh they were. He scaled and gutted the fish, then wrapped them up in freezer bags and popped them in the freezer.

It’s great when you rummage through the freezer and stumble across these fantastic and exciting finds that you have left for a rainy day. Today was one of those hypothetical rainy days, I needed to make supper and the only two different items in the freezer were the wontons and mackerel. We have been eating tomato and courgette surprises for most of the week and was in dire need of something different, finding the wonton wrappers and the mackerel was a little treasure.

I visit a Chinese supermarket twice a year near London called Hoo Hing. It’s a bit of a trek getting there but well worth the effort. I like browsing even though I do with a shopping list as long as my arm. You can buy these wonton wrappers already frozen, however I like to buy them fresh and then freeze them once I get home. I also purchased kaffir lime leaves, pandan leaves, lemongrass, spring roll pastry, miso paste, rice noodles, palm sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and so the list goes on. I have since discovered that you can buy basics such as soy sauce, oyster sauce and the wide variety of the items listed above at your local supermarket ,but the savings I made at this particular shop make the drive worthwhile.

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It’s very handy being able to freeze the wonton wrappers, pandan leaves, lime leaves, spring roll pastry and lemongrass. Freezing the lemongrass is only something I recently discovered and it works a treat, when I need one I take it out of the freezer, leave it at room temperature for about 10 minutes before I chop it into small pieces or I simply grind it in the thermomix till fine. It brings broths and Thai style curries to life and makes a ordinary meal just that little bit more exciting.

I shaped these wontons like tortellinis. I was the chief ravioli and tortellini maker at one of the restaurants where I learned most of my trade. It was a predominantly male kitchen so it was said that I had the gentlest touch and  the smallest fingers. My baby finger became really famous as I could shape the perfect tortellini around it, I got compliments from the boss everytime and he did not hand those out lightly, trust me! The wonton wrappers are really easy to work with however if you do have a filling with big hard pieces it could penetrate the wonton skin easily and then your parcels are ruined once water gets inside.

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I have poached these wontons in rapid boiling water, however you could have steamed them either using the thermomix steamer attachment or using a steamer basket over rapid boiling water. I prefer to crisp them by sauteing the cooked wontons in a bit of oil, the textures are interesting.

These crispy mackerel wontons make a brilliant canape or you could serve three of them in a bowl of hot miso broth as a starter or main course.

  • 24 fresh wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg
  • 160g skinless and boneless diced mackerel
  • 200g white fish such as haddock, Pollock or cod
  • 240ml double cream
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2tbs finely sliced spring onions
  • 2tbs chopped coriander
  • Juice of half a Lime
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Sango radish sprouts
  • fresh whole coriander leaves
  • Pinch of sumac

First make a white fish mousse:

Remove any skin and bones from the haddock and cut in small even size pieces.

Place the haddock in the thermomix bowl, blend on speed 10 for 30 seconds, scrape the sides down and repeat the process if needed.

Add the cream all at once with the salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Pulse blend for 20 seconds, remove the mousse from the bowl and mix gently, do not over work the mixture.

Add the diced mackerel, sliced spring onion, chopped coriander and a dash of lime juice to the white fish mousse, gently fold the mixture together.

Make the wontons:

Use a 80mm round cutter to cut the square wonton wrappers into rounds.

Whisk the egg and brush one half of the wonton round with egg wash, spoon a small teaspoon full of mackerel filling in the centre, fold the round in half covering the filling, rub the air out and then fold the tortellini shape around your baby finger bringing the edges together and secure them with egg wash as demonstrated in the photos above.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

Poach the dumplings for 2 minutes in the rapid boiling water, remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen paper.

Heat a non-stick frying pan with a tablespoon of sunflower oil and pan fry the wontons until golden all over, drain on kitchen paper while flash sauteing the enoki mushrooms in the same pan.

Place the warm wontons on a serving spoon and sprinkle a light dusting of the sumac, garnish with the enoki mushrooms and sango radish sprouts and fresh whole coriander leaves.

Makes 24 canapes

Food Fanatics Tip:

If you wish to make these for a party then make the wontons the day before.Poach them in the water for 2 minutes then cool them rapidly by dunking them in icy water. Leave them in the fridge over night and the following day take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before you need them then pan fry and serve.


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6 Comments to “Crispy Mackerel Wontons”

  1. Adelina says:

    Absolutely love these….I meant I haven’t tried making them yet but reading through your post really helps!!! Thanks for sharing the great tip of making these in advanced! That sure helps a whole bunch!!!

    Love your site too!

  2. ghweiss says:

    Where did you get those crazy spoons with clothespins attached? I’m floored.

  3. Madalene says:

    I found the these spoon in Spain they are from the El Bulli Faces range http://faces-usa.com/elbulli.html
    we ordered them from a shop called Vincon in Barcelona about 3 years ago…http://www.vincon.com/WebCommerce/Sistema/200606/inicio.asp?MiTienda=100397&MiIdioma=EN

  4. diva says:

    these look fantastic! beautiful bite-sized portions. and you take wonderful photos.

  5. Lizzie says:

    They look really cute. I usually have my wontons just boiled, I’d never thought of frying them as well. Wouldn’t they be too floppy to hold their shape?

  6. Madalene says:

    They are perfect to pan fry, almost like the dumplings that you get at Wagamama and they are gooooood!
    It’s a bit slippery but you have to drain them on kitchen paper to make sure you do not put water in hot oil when you pan-fry them.

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