Pumpkin Wonton Revelation

It’s that time of year where everything is coming up pumpkin!  When most people think of pumpkins they think of pie.   But why limit this delicious vegetable to dessert when it can become the savory filling to fried wontons?!

slice a pumpkin

Make your life easier and cut the pumpkin just to the side of the stem. That stem is fucking TOUGH!! Don’t kill yourself trying to cut through it, just go around it. Be the water that flows around the rock.

Wrap It Up

I wanted to make these pumpkin wontons completely vegan.  Imagine my frustration when  realized that all of the store bought wonton wrappers had egg in them.  Dammit!!  This meant that I had to make my own dough and roll ut my own wrappers.  Thankfully, the recipe just has three ingredients (flour, water, salt) and I’m a seasoned dough roller.

Prepare the Pumpkin

I didn’t need the whole pumpkin for this recipe but I roasted the whole thing all the same because pumpkin puree freezes really well.  Last year for Thanksgiving I dug out a year old bag of pumpkin puree to make a pie and it felt like early Christmas.  You could also steam the pumpkin but I find that roasting makes the skin really easy to peel off.  Do what works for you.

roasted pumpkin

Peeling these suckers was so damn satisfying. The hunk on the left came off in one perfect piece. It makes me all warm inside just thinking about it.

 

roasted pumpkin chunks

The pumpkin meat should still be a little firm or at least hold its shape. You don’t want it to turn to total mush… yet.

And Now for the Filling

What I was trying to do here was make a sort of plant-based, vegan homage to crab rangoon.  My main requirements were that the filling should be kinda creamy, sweet, and tangy with a touch of briney flavor.  The combination of pumpkin meat, ginger, garlic, onion, miso paste, seaweed, mirin and lemon juice gave me exactly what I was looking for.  This filling was so incredible that it could be eaten on it’s own.  That is generally my litmus test for if a filling is right.  Can I eat it on it’s own?  Yes?  Good, it’s done.

saute garlic ginger onion miso

This is the base flavoring that really turns the pumpkin into something special.

Perfection is for Amateurs

Ok, so maybe my dough rolling skills aren’t as good as I’d like them to be.  But my philosophy is fried tastes good in any shape so I didn’t stress to much about the irregular shapes of my wonton wrappers.  In the end, they wrapped around the filling nicely, tasted delicious and the different shapes made it kinda fun!

stuffing wontons

Some of the wrapper pieces were big so I cut them in half to form at least one straight edge.

closing wontons

When they are all folded up the look rustic, hand made (which they are) and who really cares because they are going to get fried!

irregular shaped wontons

Ok, some of these are pretty weird looking but I promise it did not detract from the delicousness. I actually liked the long ones, they were kinda like taquitos.

There were enough that came out beautiful and, dare I even say,  restaurant quality.  At least that’s what my housemate proclaimed when she tried one.  And it was all absolutely made from scratch.  Give it a try and let me know how they come out for you.  Extra points for creative shapes you guys!!

Delightful Recipe

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Corn starch for dusting and rolling the wrappers
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 6 to 8 green onions
  • 2 cups of cooked pumpkin
  • 1 Tablespoon of arame seaweed soaked
  • 2 Tabelspoons of miso paste
  • 1/4 cup of mirin
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Enough of a neutral oil like grapeseed, safflower, or other veggie oil to cook and then fry with
  • Salt to taste
  • Mix flour and salt together then add water and work it into a dough, kneading for a minute or two until it’s smooth.  Form the dough into a ball and then let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium high heat and then toss in the green onion, garlic and ginger and saute for a minute or until very fragrant.
  • Add chopped, cooked pumpkin to the pan and cook, smashing pumpkin down and breaking apart big chunks with a spoon or spatula.
  • Add the miso, mirin and arame seaweed to the pumpkin.  Taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Set the filling aside to cool and then make your wrappers.
  • Take the dough and separate it into two pieces.  Flour your work surface with corn starch and then form the dough into a rectangular loaf shape.  This will make it easier to roll it out into a sort of square shape.  Using a rolling pin, wine bottle or pasta roller, roll the dough out as thin as you can get it without it breaking.  Then cut it into square-ish shapes and fill each square with a dollop of filling.  Wet the edges of the wonton wrapper and then pinch and seal.
  • Heat about 3 inches of safflower, peanut, grapeseed or other neautral, high heat oil to 350 degrees F.  When the oil is hot, carefully drop in the wontons one at a time.  Make sure you leave them enough room to float around.  Turn them so they get brown on all sides then remove them with a slotted spoon or spider to a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet.  Keep going until all the wontons are fried.
  • Serve the wontons hot with soy sauce or ponzu sauce.
  • Enjoy!
FRIED PUMPKIN WONTONS

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