Learn to make wonton wrappers from scratch with 2 recipes and 3 tips. They are easier than you think.
I usually buy my wonton wrappers if I want to make some wontons. I think it is easy and quick. However, some visitors to my website had asked me whether I have the recipe and instructions to make the wonton skins from scratch. I guess store-bought wonton wrappers aren't that freely available where they live.
So, I went about finding out.
Wonton wrappers are basically made up of wheat flour and water. Chinese from the South like to add eggs. It gives the wrapper a nice yellowish colour. The Chinese likes anything yellow, it reminds us of gold.
Traditional wrappers are squarish, although you can find some round ones nowadays. Square ones are easier to make and can be folded into many different shapes.
Egg and egg-less wonton wrappers. In square and round shapes
I always thought it is a hassle to make them from scratch. Well, it does take some time but not as much as I thought, especially if you have a food processor and a pasta or noodle maker.
Some recipes contain lye water, a common baking ingredient made up of mostly potassium carbonate. It is used by commercial bakers to improve the texture of dough. It isn't really necessary. So the 2 recipes below do not use lye water.
Wonton Wrapper Recipes
1. Egg-less Wonton Wrappers
1 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Just enough cold water to bind the flour into a stiff dough
Cornstarch for dusting
Directions (with food processor and pasta maker)
Sift 3/4 cup flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor
Add 2 tbsp cold water into the flour and start the food processor on low
Keep adding 1 tbsp water at a time until the flour start to come together.
Stop the food processor when the dough has come together and turn it out onto a kneading board.
Take the rest of the 1/4 cup flour and add it to the dough to knead
Knead till all the flour has been absorbed. It doesn't have to be kneaded till glossy because it is going through the pasta maker
Place in a mixing bowl and cover with damp cloth. Let it stand for about 30 minutes
Take the dough out and cut it into small pieces that will fit the pasta maker
Roll the dough through the pasta maker starting with the broadest setting and progress till the thinnest
Before rolling through the last setting, dust the 2 sides with cornstarch to prevent sticking
Cut the dough into 8 cm or 3 inch squares. 10 cm or 4 inch if you want bigger wrappers.
Dust with more cornstarch before stacking them
What happens if you do not have a pasta maker? Well, then the process will be longer.
Rolling out and cutting the wonton wrappers can be daunting. Below is a video featuring a young Thai chef making egg noodles and egg wonton skins.
At 10.45, she will start rolling out and cutting the square wrappers. I find it helpful to see how she did the measurements, cut them up and stack them. Very neatly done. The video is in Thai with English subtitles.
2. Egg Wonton Wrappers
The ratio of egg to flour determines the intensity of the yellow colour. Add the egg to flour first before adding any water.
250g plain flour
Directions (by hand)
Sift the flour into a big mixing bowl and add the salt
Make a hole in the middle of the bowl and add the egg
Using a mixing spoon or spatula, mix the egg and flour together
Add the water a little at a time while continuing to mix the flour
When the dough starts to come together, stop adding the water
Lightly dust your work surface with some flour
Turn the dough out and start to knead it
Knead till the dough is glossy but still pliable.
Place in a bowl and cover with damp cloth. Let it stand for about 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out thinly. You might want to divide into small portions to make the rolling more manageable.
Roll the dough as thin as you can get it
Dust the dough with cornstarch
Measure and cut the dough into 8 cm or 3 inch squares. 10 cm or 4 inch if you want bigger wrappers.
Dust with more cornstarch before stacking them
3. Gluten-free wonton wrappers
Are you gluten intolerant? Then you might want to take a look at this gluten free wonton wrapper recipe by Nicole Hunn. She has a lot of pictures here and respond to queries fairly quickly.
No reason why coeliacs can't enjoy wontons. (^_ ^)
3 Important Tips
1. Resting the dough
Both recipes gave instructions for the dough to be rested for about 30 minutes. Most bakers know that when dough is rested, the gluten develops more and the dough is easier to handle. It rolls easily, is more elastic, and breaks less.
Do not be tempted to skip this step.
2. Dusting with cornstarch
The wrappers must be dusted with cornstarch before stacking them up. The cornstarch keeps each sheet separate.
Do not substitute with wheat flour. The wrappers will still stick together and become one big single slab.
3. Storing wonton wrappers
Try to use up all the wrappers in one sitting. They don't keep long.
If you really have to store them, wrap with dry cloth then clingwrap and store in the refrigerator. Don't keep for too long. Probably a few days.
They cannot be frozen. Once they dry up, they can't be re-constituted. They are only good for deep-frying as wonton chips.
Where can I buy wonton wrappers?
Although many people ask me how to make their own wonton wrappers, I also have people asking me where they can buy some.
In Singapore, they can be found in the refrigerated section (next to tofu, fresh noodles and etc.) in NTUC Fairprice and other major supermarkets.
It is probably available in major supermarkets in American and European cities with a sizeable Asian population. If not, you can try Asian specialty or grocery shops. Ask the shop assistants. Some shops sell freshly made ones and may not have them out on display.
As mentioned, there are now both square and round wonton wrappers for sale although I don't see why anyone would want round ones. They are harder to fold into cute shapes.
But if you are ever going to buy round wonton skins, be careful not to mix it up with dumpling or gyoza wrappers which are also round. These are used to wrap other types of chinese food parcels such as siu mai 烧卖 (shao mai), steamed dumplings 饺子 (jiao zi), and potstickers 锅贴 (guo tie). These wrappers are made with a hot water dough so they are thicker and chewier. You won't get that silky melt-in-the-mouth heavenly experience with dumpling wrappers.
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