This great “purse” bite can enhance a cocktail party or be fun just on its own. It may take a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, forming the purses will go quickly.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: @ YIELD: 20 BITES
20 (4 x 4-inch) wonton skins 2 eggs
2 tablespoons water
2 quarts canola oil for frying
Place 4 wonton skins at a time on a work surface. Combine eggs and water to make a wash, and brush the outside 1⁄4 inch of each wonton square. Fill the center of the wonton skin with a scant teaspoonful of chicken filling topped with a half-teaspoon of mushroom stir-fry, allowing enough room to pull all four corners into the center to form the purse— they will stick together. Repeat with the remaining wonton skins and reserve for frying.
In a 4-quart saucepan heat 2 quarts oil to 350°F. Drop each purse into the fryer and cook until golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Remove and place on paper towel to drain. Serve warm with small bowls of dipping sauce.
2 chicken breast halves with skin and bone (1 1⁄2 pounds total)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Asian chili-bean paste with garlic
(preferably Lan Chi)
1 teaspoon red chili oil, or to taste
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper oil, or to taste
1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger 1⁄2 teaspoon peeled and finely grated garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon minced fresh mild long red chile,
such as Holland
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
1 –1 1⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch, for thickening
Lightly rinse chicken and pat dry. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a bowl and toss chicken to lightly coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours in airtight container.
Place chicken in a pressure cooker and cook for 30–40 minutes, or cook in a pot with a tight-fitting lid in a 350°F oven for about 1 hour. Remove and let cool on a wire rack. Remove skin and, using a fork, shred the chicken from the bone. Strain the sauce, return to the heat, and reduce to about 1 cup, thickening with cornstarch slurry if the liquid has not naturally thickened. Fold into chicken just enough sauce to moisten, about 3/4 cup. Cool and reserve remaining sauce.
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger 3⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄3 cup rice vinegar
1⁄2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1⁄4 cup reserved chicken reduction sauce
Combine in a blender and turn on to medium speed. Slowly incorporate water to emulsify and stabilize the dressing.
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1⁄2 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
1⁄2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1⁄2 cup enoki mushrooms, separated and ends
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Heat sesame oil in wok or saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, stirring constantly to lightly brown. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, adding soy at finish (do not reduce soy too much or it will intensify the salt flavor). Remove from head and reserve for wonton assembly.
When working with wonton skins, keep them covered with a damp paper towel.
Wonton purses can be made and frozen up to a month ahead of cooking. If you don’t want
to fry them, coat them with cooking spray and bake in a 350°F oven for 15–20 minutes if frozen, less if room temperature.
Substitute egg roll skins or thin sheets of fresh pasta for the wonton skins.
This dish is delicious anytime due to year-round availability of the ingredients.