Wonton salad with XO Sauce

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Do you know that 28% of the Australian population was born overseas?

For Harmony Day this year, a few lovely ladies at work organized a ‘bring-a-culture-dish’ morning tea event. I made a large dish of wonton ‘salad’. It was distinctively Cantonese with a HK style XO sauce, and distinctively not Cantonese as it was served lightly chilled, a style used frequently by Northern China called ‘liang ban’.

This wonton salad is also fantastic for school fetes.  A few years ago I made a massive plate of wontons for my boy’s school fete – it sold out within 20 minutes. I am planning to make it again for this year’s fete.

I used lots of ingredients for the wontons, as I had them readily available in the pantry. If you can’t find some of the ingredients, feel free to skip some of them. I have marked all the ingredients you can skip with ^ below.

A video on how to wrap wontons is also attached below.

Wonton salad with XO sauce

Recipe is as follow:

Ingredients:

Wonton dumpling filling:

  • 1/2 kg of minced pork (with a little fat would be ideal)
  • 12 small Chinese mushrooms, or 4 large ones, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and finely diced ^
  • 1-2 large dry wood ear fungus (木耳), soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, finely diced  ^
  • 50g bamboo shoot, from tin, finely diced ^
  • 6 water chestnut, from tin, finely diced ^
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels ^
  • 1/2 cup garlic chive, finely diced ^
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander, green part only  ^
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green shallot (scallion) ^
  • 1 tsp Sichuan pepper corn, lightly crashed, soaked in 3 tbsp of hot water for 10  minutes, discard the pepper corn, retain the pepper infused water  ^
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil  ^
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder ^
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine or mirin  ^
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • salt to taste

^ ingredients may be optional

To make the wonton dumplings:

  • about 60 wonton wrappers (available from Asian stores)
  • Cooking oil for boiling  the dumplings

For the salad:

  • 2-3 tbsp XO sauce (or to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander, green part only, washed, roughly chopped

Method:

Filling

  • Add all ingredients to a mixer, process (one direction) for about 10 minutes to form a smooth paste;  place the mixture in the fridge for at lease 1 hour or overnight as the flavor will develop.
  • If you don’t have a mixer, stir with a pair of chopstick, one direction, until the meat form a smooth paste, approximately 10 minutes.
Filling - wonton, with garlic chive, Chinese mushroom, bamboo shoot, water chestnut, corn, shallot, coriander, Sichuan pepper, wine / mirin, sesame oil, white pepper
Wonton filling

Wonton dumplings

  • Put some filling in the center of a wonton wrapper; fold the wrapper diagonally, at the same time squeeze the wrapper inward loosely to form a dumpling shape; squeeze the edge firmly to lock in its shape.
  • You may have enough mixture to make about 60 wonton dumplings
  • The wontons can be frozen until ready to use. To freeze, place wontons on a tray as a single layer to avoid them sticking to each other. Once frozen, transfer the dumplings to a snap bag.

Cooking the wonton dumplings

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add plenty of (2-3 tbsp) of cooking oil. Once the water is boiling, add 8-10 wontons to the pot. Once the wontons float to the top of water, allow them to cook for further 1-2 minutes before scooping the wontons out with a sieve; drain off all the liquid and place the wontons on a plate (or baking paper) to cool in a single layer (preferably not touching). Repeat with the rest of the wontons.

For the salad:

Once the wontons are cool, transfer them to a large mixing bowl, add XO sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil and coriander, mix well (use your hand, you may need to give the XO sauce a bit of a squeeze as it is a thick sauce).

Served slightly chilled or at  room temperature.

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