Week 21: Cheap Meals – ingredients for wontons are cheap and shrimp was on sale
week 22: East Asia – Chinese
Week 23: Deep Frying – deep fried it
Week 24: From Scratch – homemade wonton wrappers
I’m enjoying doing Reddit cooking challenges, the only problem is trying to incorporate them into my menu plan for what I cook for passengers. If I don’t include them as something I’m serving than I have to squeeze it in in between trips and now that it’s summer, I don’t have time for that, we have trips back to back to back. The challenge this week was to take 4 old challenges that were 4 consecutive weeks and combine it into one dish. I chose 4 weeks from 2016, cheap meals, East Asia, deep frying and from scratch, the perfect combination to make for an appetizer.
These squiggly wonton shrimp balls are crazy looking; they look like crazy sea creatures or spiders if you have too many wonton shreds wiggling out from the center. The wontons are crispy and encase a bouncy shrimp ball center that do well when dipped in a sweet chili sauce. The wonton wrappers take time to roll out, but are worth the extra effort, if you make a double batch you can cut neat squares for regular wontons and use the scraps to make these crazy fried ones. If you have a pasta roller I highly recommend using it to roll out the dough, everything will be an even thickness and you won’t be as frustrated with dough sticking to the counter.
In the bowl of a food processor add the egg white and blend until the egg white is frothy.
Add the remaining ingredients, blend till you have a smooth and thick paste, takes about 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the sauce, set aside until ready to serve.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add all of the ingredients for the wonton wrappers and mix with a dough hook until it forms a cohesive dough and there is no reaming dry flour. Cover and lest 10 minutes.
Knead the dough again for 10 minutes until is is smooth, rest covered for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough in half, flatten with your hands and send through the largest setting on a pasta machine, fold in half and send through again, repeat. Pass the dough through again on a thinner setting, #2, and again on #3. Dust with cornstarch, wrap in plastic wrap and repeat with the other pieces, let rest 30 minutes.
After the final resting period pass each sheet again through the pasta roller until you reach the thinnest setting.
Dust the sheet liberally with cornstarch and slice the wonton sheets into short thin strips, set aside in a shallow dish until the shrimp balls are ready to be coated.
In a large pot heat up your fry oil, you want to have at least 3 inches of depth. Line a baking sheet or platter with paper towels to have somewhere to land your fried balls.
With a disher or wet hands scoop the shrimp paste into balls and drop into the shredded wonton wrappers. Sprinkle some wonton on top of the ball then scoop it up and gently squeeze the skins to adhere to the paste. You want enough skins to mostly cover the surface, but not too many that when you drop it in the oil they snake out and look like giant spiders. You want small spiders.
Fry the shrimp balls for about 2 minutes or until the wontons are all golden brown. I recommend you try one, cut it open and see if it’s cooked through, if not cooked make your balls smaller or turn down the heat so they have more time to cook without burning the wontons.
When the balls come out of the fryer sprinkle with salt and serve with the dipping sauce.
I’m a tall ship cook, I prefer to cook with water beneath me, no land in sight and lots of mouths to feed. I like to play with bold flavors, pushing people’s taste buds in new directions and using a recipe as a guideline, my hands are my measuring spoons. Read More about “About Me”…