What is it about the humble little wonton that is so darn irresistible? Whether boiled and served in a broth, steamed and accompanied by chili sauce, or deep fried and loaded on a dim sum cart, this dumpling really knows how to get around.
Even in China, where the wonton originated, each region has a different take on this traditional food. In Guangdong, from where Cantonese food hails, wontons are most often served in a soup with noodles. Their name — wàhn tān — literally translates as “swallowing clouds.” In the Sichuan province, spicy red oil wontons make the most of the regions’ little chāo shǒu — or crossed hands — dumplings. In Shanghai, the size of the wonton is especially important, with larger wontons served for main meals and smaller wontons served at breakfast or as a light lunch.
“I give this one hundred thumbs up” Daughter 1 told me over our sesame noodle dinner this week. It probably helped a bit that I billed it as “peanutty noodles with chicken and vegetables” when I gave her the choice of having this versus something else. But it made me realize what a long way we have come since we started this blog.
Not long before our first post back in July 2013 I prepared this very dish for a meal at which you would have thought I was trying to poison my children. With both girls crying at the dinner table, Daughter 1 grabbed Daughter 2’s arm mid-bite (and mid-tears) and reassured her that “everything was going to be alright.”