素食馄饨 Su Shi Hun Tun - Vegetarian Won Tons
While in China, my wife and I made a natural transition to a meatless diet. I am not a big fan of eating a lot of the soy protein “meat” products but, there are many on the market and some better quality than others. Occasionally I like to use the vegan “ground meat” in various dishes ranging from spaghetti and lasagna to mapo tofu and tacos.
One thing that I love to eat, but as a vegetarian it is hard to find, are good dumplings. Here is a preparation of Hun Tun 馄饨 (Won Tons) that I made using ground “beef”.
*secret to cooking with soy protein “meat” products*
This is what I have found from my experience. If you want to make dumplings, won tons or meatballs etc. You need to first brown the ground “meat” in oil and spices according to flavor profile of the cuisine you are going to prepare. Be sure to seasons with salt as well and taste as you go. If you don’t do this, you are going to end up with some weird tasting product that is not very appealing. The browning also helps with the texture.
In the preparation below I had first sautéed chopped ginger and a few Sichuan peppercorns in a pan with olive oil. After a minute or two added in the ground soy “meat”. I seasoned with a little soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and white pepper. I also like to add a dash of 5 spice powder. It helps give the “meat” an earthier taste.
I also find that when working with these products to use slightly more olive oil than you normally might use.
Set the “meat” aside in a bowl. At this point you can add any other desired vegetables. Some vegetables to consider would be diced mushrooms, green bell peppers, carrots and /or corn. Be sure to sauté prior to adding to the mixture. Some chopped green onions and cilantro add a nice taste as well. You can add an egg inside to help bind the mixture and add teaspoon of corn starch if necessary. Taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning with soy sauce and sesame oil.
Remember to taste as you go. Be sure to taste the mix before you add in the raw egg.
Next is to wrap your Hun Tun (Won Tons). Follow the steps in the picture to learn how to make the perfect Hun Tun.
Make a simple broth and boil the Hun Tun until they are well cooked and heated in the center. Garnish your broth with chopped green onions and cilantro, a few drops of sesame oil and a dash of white pepper.