If you have time and a pasta machine, try your hand at making your own wonton skins. But if you don’t, be an informed, smart wonton skin shopper! Many first-timer dumpling makers start with pre-made wonton skins as their wrappers, so I hope that this post will elaborate on text in Asian Dumplings and deliver you even closer to dumpling mastery. When shopping for good wonton skins, keep these tips in mind:
Where to Buy
Good pre-made wonton skins are sold at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. There is a faster turnover rate and they have a bigger selection.
There are decent wonton skins at supermarkets. Dynasty brand above, made by JFC (an Asian company) is actually quite good. Many specialty grocers carry Azumaya but I’ve consistently found that they are dry, thick, and difficult to work with. Yes, they pass the paper ream test described below but they disappoint.
How to Buy
Pick your thickness. Wonton skins come in different thicknesses. I’ve seen thin, medium, and thick. Then there’s also super thin Hong Kong-style and egg-less Shanghai-style skins that are pure white. I like thin ones, but medium is okay. Thick wonton skins produce an overly doughy result that can overwhelm the filling. Egg-less wonton skins are great for vegans but lack a bit of richness.
Examine the ingredients. Aim for skins with egg and no food coloring. Read the label. Frozen eggs are better than no egg at all, in my opinion. Manufactures add food coloring to mimic the use of real eggs. But my homemade wonton skins don’t have a yellow cast.
Test for freshness. After determining the wonton skins thickness, I test their freshness. I run my fingers on the stack and if they fall nicely like a ream of paper, they they’re fresh and supple. If they are smashed together and damp looking, you don’t want that package.
In Your Kitchen
Use more water to seal purchased skins. People in the past used egg and I think it’s because their skins may have been very dry or on the thick side, thus requiring extra “glue”. Also, egg is used with spring roll skins. But you can get by just fine with water.
Freeze leftover skins or shaped wontons. You can keep them for about 1 month. Or, follow the directions in the recipe to shape the wontons (works best with raw fillings) and then freeze them for the future!
Wonton skins are a good substitute steamed open face sui mai dumplings. Just use a round cookie cutter to get a round skin. BUT, wonton skins are not great for pot stickers as the skins are too delicate. Pot stickers need some chew to them to reflect their wonderful rusticity.