By Allyson Kenning
And now for something completely different! I’m going to veer away from baking with molasses in this column and shake things up a bit by presenting you with a very special dish I only make once in a while for special occasions.
Who doesn’t love a good wonton? Usually you see them only in soup or deep fried served with a dip, but this dish brings wontons to a whole new level. It’s unique and refreshing. And it can contain molasses, through a certain ingredient called kecap manis, which is a type of soy sauce that is sweetened with either palm sugar or molasses. The brand I have – and the only brand I’ve been able to find – is called Cominex Ketjap Manis, and it is sweetened with molasses. It comes from Indonesia, and is used in sauces and marinades. In this recipe, it’s used for a very delicious vinaigrette that you pour over the wontons and serve warm.
This is one of my favourite dishes EVER, and I’ve adapted it from a cookbook I use a lot by Kylie Kwong called Simple Chinese Cooking. I highly recommend the book, and I highly recommend making this dish. I hope you like it as much as I do!
Shrimp Wontons with Green Onion, Ginger, and Vinegar Dressing
For the vinaigrette:
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp finely chopped green onions
2 tbsp kecap manis
2 tbsp malt vinegar
dash of sesame oil
– combine ingredients, except for the cilantro and green onions, in a small bowl
For the wontons:
1 lb shrimp, I use medium frozen shrimp 31/40 count – peeled
a couple of stalks of cilantro
2 green onions
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1” knob of peeled ginger
1 tsp sake
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp sesame oil
1 package wonton wrappers
– put all filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
To fill the wontons, put a scant teaspoon of filling in the centre of the wrapper, moisten the sides of the wrapper with water using a pastry brush, and then fold on the diagonal to create a triangle. Make sure they are tightly shut.
When all your wontons are filled, bring a big pot of water to a boil, and add the wontons in batches, cooking for two – three minutes. Take them out with a slotted spoon and put into a serving bowl. Once they are all cooked and in the bowl, pour the dressing over and garnish the top with the chopped cilantro and green onions.
Serve and enjoy!
Do you have any recipes you’d like to share with us that have been handed down from generation to generation? Or a recipe in keeping with the theme of Bread ‘n Molasses? We’d like to hear all about them! Send an email to Kellie at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she’ll forward them on to me to try out and write about!
Allyson Kenning hails from the mountain town of Rossland, British Columbia, but felt the coast calling in 2011, and she now lives in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey. She has a writing degree from the University of Victoria and a Baking and Pastry Arts diploma from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. For several years now she has been authoring the blog “ReTorte” – retorte.blogspot.com – under the pseudonym Wandering Coyote.