When ‘deconstructed’ is used in the context of food...it usually means disaster.
On a reality cooking show when someone has stuffed up their dish (usually a dessert), it’s turned around by calling it some sort of ‘deconstructed dish’, and suddenly it’s a masterpiece! But wouldn’t you just prefer it as the whole damn thing, as it was meant to be? Enough with the blobs and scattering of things on the plate!
Is there anything wrong with deconstructed food? It feels unnecessary sometimes or lazy….or maybe people are just having some fun with their food and doing something a bit different. Stuff the conventions!
So I went there. I went stuff this, I’m going all deconstructed on wontons!
I love wontons! Who doesn’t? Wontons are made up of two components - first and most importantly I think is the filling which has to stand up on its own. I always cook a bit of the filling mixture and taste it first to make sure it’s alright before wrapping it up. Then there are the wonton wrappers/skins which I always have leftovers of, maybe this has to do with my tendency to stuff as much filling as I can into each individual wonton so there is never enough filling to go around. But I love the smooth and silky feel of wonton wrappers, so I like to cook them on their own to add to my bowl of wonton soup and it floats around free from filling.
I love all the parts of the wonton that make it a whole. But what if I have wontons without it being a wonton and just chuck all the components together into a stir fry? It would be a quick meal fix, and remove the need for hours of diligently filling and pleating individual wontons because who has time for that everyday?
So I made a wonton stir fry the other day. I stir fried the filling and then boiled the wrappers and chucked them into the wok as well. I deconstructed the wonton, it’s all inside out! It sounds and feels wrong, but it tastes right.
Deconstructed Wonton Stir Fry
(An original recipe by the Blue Apocalypse)
• peanut oil
• ~ 200g wonton skins/wrappers
• 150g pork mince
• 10 prawns, shelled and deveined, finely diced
• 1 minced garlic clove
• 1 teaspoon grated ginger
• ½ cup chestnuts, finely diced
• ½ cup flat leaf garlic chives, chopped 2-3cm lengths
• 1 teaspoon fish sauce
• 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
• ½ teaspoon sesame oil
• 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
• 1 cup chicken stock (heated in microwave to warm up)
• pinch salt and white pepper
I use canned water chestnuts
flat leaf garlic chives
Bring to boil a large pot of salted water.
Slice the wonton skins in half diagonally and separate them so they don’t stick together.
Heat 3-4 tablespoons peanut oil in a wok, add the garlic and ginger and fry until aromatic.
Add the pork mince and fry until it starts to turn brown. Add the chestnuts and fry for 30 seconds. Add the prawns and fry until it starts to turn pink. Then add the seasonings to taste – fish sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt and white pepper.
While you are cooking the meat, prepare the wonton skins by cooking them in the large pot of salted water for ~ 2-3 minutes until they are al dente. When you add the wonton skins to the pot, use chopsticks to swish them around so that they don’t stick together as they cook. Remove the wonton skins from the pot with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain. NB: Depending on how big your pot is, you may have to cook the wonton skins in batches because you don’t want too many in the pot at once as they stick together.
Add the cooked wonton skins to the wok and gently toss together with the meat. Add the chicken stock and toss everything together a few more times.
Recommended - douse with chilli