Pork and ginger wontons

Steam them soft, bake them crispy, pop them in a soup or the freezer: wontons take a bit of repetitive work to make, but are easy, versatile, healthy and fun. Just think of the time spent filling them as a mindfulness exercise! A great party appetiser alongside a dipping sauce, or a comforting addition to a sesame and soy-spiked broth.


Makes 41 wontons

1 can water chestnuts
500g outdoor reared pork mince
2 inch thumb fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 spring onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 pack wonton wrappers, defrosted if frozen

Tip the water chestnuts, ginger, spring onions and garlic into a food processor and pulse until combined and chopped small. Add the rest of the ingredients (not the wrappers!) and pulse again to make a mince that retains some texture.

Peel off a wonton wrapper, then place a small teaspoon of mixture in the centre (don’t use too much or they won’t close properly). Lightly brush the outer edges with water and seal – you can either draw the opposite edges together and fold the sides down, as above; draw all the edges up together to form a little bag; or make pretty wraps out of round/oval bags like in this Jamie Oliver recipe. Don’t fret if they don’t look neat – as long as they’re a sealed parcel, they’ll work. Even if they do unravel in your soup it doesn’t matter – the filling will stay together dumpling-style and still be delicious. Repeat for all your wonton wrappers (if you bought them pre-frozen remember you can’t re-freeze them raw, you’ll need to fill and cook them before freezing again).

To steam: set a steaming pan or metal colander over boiling water. If your pan is metal (rather than the traditional basket) lightly brush the base with oil to prevent them sticking. Arrange the wontons in the pan so they don’t touch, and steam for five minutes until the pork is cooked through. Remove and repeat in batches.

To boil: simply drop the wontons into boiling water, or directly into your soup about five minutes before you intend to serve it: they’re ready when they float to the surface. Again, don’t crowd them.

To bake: bake in an oven pre-heated to 200C / gas 5 for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Serve with a soy sauce, sesame oil and spring onion dipping sauce.

Leave to cool and open freeze before putting into a freezer bag. The wontons should be re-heated directly from frozen.