I had this plan to make potstickers. But, gyoza wrappers could not be found. (I should have gone to an Asian specialty store. Next time.)
I did, however, find wonton wrappers. Thus, the idea of Sunday afternoon wontons was born.
I made up my own recipe. Starting with some Asian high heat oil (a special organic blend I found at Wegman’s), I sauteed some chopped onion, scallion, and a dash of cumin, constantly stirring for a few minutes.
When the onions were nearly translucent, I added some shredded cabbage and grated ginger.
When the cabbage had cooked down, it was time to add some ground chicken. (If you don’t eat meat, you could probably substitute seitan at this point. If you don’t eat seitan, then maybe you could substitute soy crumbles.) I also threw in a few dashes of soy sauce, chili powder, and…the secret ingredient: cinnamon.
After stirring for about 12 mins on high heat lowered to medium high heat, things started to look like the above photo. The pan began to waft fragrant scents throughout the kitchen. When the meat seemed thoroughly cooked and the liquids in the pan had reduced enough, I began spooning the mixture into the wonton wrappers. (Advice: don’t try to overstuff your wrappers! They’ll fall apart.) They were actually pretty easy to assemble. I put a dab of water on my finger and then brushed it against one edge of the wrapper. Then, I folded it in half over the filling, and quickly bunched up the sides until the wontons formed themselves into cute little dough packages.
Meanwhile, I had been boiling water in my steamer basket. I don’t have a bamboo steamer basket, but I figured my stainless steel one would work just as well.
Now, it was time to eat. After a false start with a fork,
I came to my senses and realized that I had picked up some chopsticks for just an occasion like this.
These wontons turned out very well. I was pleased with the balance of spices. And, I was surprised, thinking that the cinnamon would be undetectable and just somehow blend itself into the filling medley, as my husband paused in the middle of eating his second helping and asked,
“Is there cinnamon in here?”
There was cinnamon. And other spices. But no MSG.