When I was a kid, my dad had a couple of favorite meals he would make with me and my sister. One of my favorites was wontons. I loved the presence of all of us in the kitchen, set up in stations with our stacks of wonton wrappers and glass bowls of water. My dad made a very simple ground beef filling, while my sister and I spooned it onto the wrappers, wet and sealed the edges. We’d watch on as our dad dropped them into the hot oil, frying them to perfection. There wasn’t much to these simple treats, but they tasted so incredibly delicious. To this day, I can’t eat a wonton without smiling, thinking about those wonton making sessions in the kitchen with my dad.
Although I am Jewish, I am a Catholic convert. So, we celebrate Hanukkah in our home, but we also celebrate Christmas with my side of the family at their homes. This year, Christmas Eve is also the first night of Hannukah. My kids suggested that we celebrate Christmas Eve dinner with Chinese food, a nod to the long-standing joke that all Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas because all the other restaurants are closed. My parents loved the idea and I enthusiastically suggested that we make wontons and introduce my kids to the wonton making sessions that my dad did with me so many years ago. After a little coercing, (my dad doesn’t want anyone to cook on Christmas Eve), he not only agreed, but created “The Wonton Wars” with my youngest daughter! They divided the family into teams, where we will each cook off for the best wonton – judged and everything! Everyone is excited to taste each other creations and I am excited to be back in the kitchen with wonton wrappers in hand.
This is “Wonton Wars,” so of course I had to develop a delicious recipe for the occasion. As always, my dear readers, you get to reap the benefits of my playtime in the kitchen! I had loads of fun developing this recipe, which is really very simple. I took my dad’s ground beef recipe and elevated it a notch or two with some crunch and seasonings (my dad likes things plain with just salt and pepper). I think it came out great and the tasters in my test kitchen agree (thanks, kids!).
- 40 vegan wonton wrappers (available at Asian foods stores)
- 11 ounces Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble
- 1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 ginger, minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add the green onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook 1 minute until fragrant.
- 2. Stir in the Beyond Meat and cook 5-7 minutes until it is heated through.
- 3. Stir in water chestnuts, tamari, and rice vinegar. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- 4. Place the wonton wrappers on a flat surface and spoon a heaping tablespoon of the filling into the center of each wrapper.
- 5. Wet the edges of the wrapper by dipping your finger in water and gliding it around the edge.
- 6. Fold the wrapper in half diagonally to form a triangle. Press the edges together firmly to seal.
- 7. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Flip and bake another 5 minutes.
- 8. Serve with tamari or your favorite dipping sauce.
Please try this recipe and let me know what you think! I served them with some tamari, but I am on the look out for a killer dipping sauce. If you have a reco, please share it in the comments below. You might just help me win “The Wonton Wars” later this week! Also, I chose to bake these to keep them on the healthier side, but they would taste oh so amazing fried!
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