Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Deconstructed Wonton Stir Fry

When ‘deconstructed’ is used in the context of 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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cornflake Crunch Almond Honey Slice

I used a cleaver to slice my slice...

In recent months, I have discovered Momofuku’s Cornflake Crunch.
It has also been a dangerous discovery as I can’t get enough of it.

It’s such a simple idea – take cornflakes, mix it with some milk powder, sugar, a bit of salt and melted butter, and bake slowly in the oven at a low temperature until its all toasty, buttery and crunchy. But the transformation to the cornflakes is phenomenal and addictive.

Momofuku’s Cornflake Crunch was originally created to accompany their Cereal Milk Panna Cotta. Cereal Milk is one of the things Momofuku is best known for and in their cookbook it describes it as something that “seems almost dumb”, as it’s just cornflakes steeped in milk giving it the flavour that everyone knows, it’s what’s leftover after you eat a bowl of cereal – the dense, tasty, slightly sweet, starchy, corny milk left on the bottom of your cereal bowl. Bringing back nostalgic childhood memories!

Another childhood memory I have of cereal is Honey Joys which are another simple little treat, where cornflakes are combined with honey, sugar, butter and then baked in patty cases in the oven.

 Momofuku Chocolate Chip Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies

Honey Joys were something that I thought of when I made the Momofuku Cornflake Crunch for the first time as a component of the Momofuku Chocolate Chip Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies. I wondered if it would be appropriate to make Honey Joys using Momofuku’s Cornflake Crunch for something a bit more next level but I felt I could do better, so I made this instead – Cornflake Crunch Honey Almond Slice.

The reaction to these are always positive and I also get a lot of comments on the cornflakes, like “what’s in them?”…. “there is something in these cornflakes that I can’t explain but it tastes amazing”... it’s that unexplained taste that makes everything better, kind of like MSG!

Milk powder is used a lot in Momofuku baked treats and Christina Tosi has likened it to MSG for the pastry world. Milk powder has the ability to enhance and provide a great depth of flavour in baked goods. Milk powder is the magic ingredient in Momofuku’s Cornflake Crunch.

So here is my adults version of Honey Joys with Momofuku Cornflake Crunch as a slice with flaked almonds. I think flaked almonds automatically make a dessert look fancy. When you see flaked almonds on a cake, you know it’s not just an average cake. This is not an average slice.

Recipe for Momofuku’s Cornflake Crunch is available on their website and summarised here -->  Preheat oven to ~130C and in a large bowl, combine 170g of cornflakes (crush them a bit first) with 40g milk powder, 40g caster sugar, 4g salt and 130g melted butter. Toss everything thoroughly together and the butter will bind the dry ingredients to the cereal, forming small clusters. Spread the cornflake clusters onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 20 minutes until toasted. Cool the cornflake crunch completely before using!

Cornflake Crunch Almond Honey Slice

(Inspired by Momofuku’s Cornflake Crunch and Honey Joys. The basis for the almond slice recipe was adapted from the Slices to Savour article by Matt Preston that I had made before and enjoyed so I changed it to include cornflake crunch)



  • 90g melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120g brown sugar
  • 145g plain flour
  • 70g almond meal (ground almonds)


Preheat oven to 170C. 

Combine the base ingredients together and press into the bottom of a 20cm x 20cm baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and leave to cool. 

While the base is cooling, make the topping – combine the butter and honey in a small saucepan and stir over med-low heat until the butter is melted. Simmer, uncovered for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is a light caramel colour. Turn off the heat, add the almond flakes and cornflake crunch into the saucepan, and stir to combine everything together.

Spread the topping on the base and put it back into the oven to bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool and then slice!