Seafood

Norman Fine's Genius Shrimp Wontons with Szechuan Vinagrette

March 21, 2016
Author Notes

Way back when, Norman Fine, founder, chef and successful owner of Norman Fine Catering (originally Fine and Golden, with Cookbook Author Sheri Golden), taught me how to fold my very first wontons. They were the same ones as in this recipe. They were a huge hit at his parties and I subsequently also made them for mine. The tofu keeps them moist and the shrimp flavor of the wontons really comes through (not like others where cabbage dominates.) They freeze well and are poached, chilled and skewered before service, when they are dipped in the Szechuan vinaigrette. This dressing also makes a delicious spicy dressing for asian salads and dumplings. —LE BEC FIN

  • Makes 100 shrimp wontons and ~ 2 cups szechuan vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • SHRIMP WONTON FILLING
  • 1 1/4Lb Shrimp, shelled(don't bother to devein, as shrimp with be chopped fine)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2lb Firm Tofu ,drained on thick towelling
  • 1T Sesame oil, Maruhon is best
  • 1T Light soy sauce,kikkomon or chinese
  • 1/2C Finely chopped Scallions
  • 2 T Finely chopped peeled fresh Ginger
  • 2 pkg/50 pieces each of square wonton wrappers
  • SZECHUAN VINAIGRETTE
  • 1/3C Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2T Light Soy Sauce(Chinese ‘Superior’ brand or Kikkoman are best) 
  • 2T Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 T Chinese Chili Paste 
  • 1 ½ T Sugar 
  • 1T Minced Peeled Ginger
  • 1 clove Minced peeled Garlic
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ C Vegetable Oil 
  • 2T Sesame Oil
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Pulse shrimp in food processor . Do not make puree; it's better with some texture. Take some shrimp out before adding remaining ingredients; pulse until combined. Add remaining shrimp and pulse briefly. Try to leave some small chunks of shrimp.
  2. ASSEMBLY OF SHRIMP WONTONS: On a clean dry counter, lay out six wonton wrappers with points at N. E. S. W. In the center of each, place 1/2 Tablespoon of shimp filling. Dip your fingers in a small bowl of water and wet the N, W and E points. To make an envelope, fold the S point and press it firmly to the N point. Then fold the E and W points into the middle, making an envelope. To finish, fold the N point down over the middle and press firmly. Place the wontons, seam-side down, on the wax paper.Keep your counter dry , or wontons will get wet and messy and stick to the wax paper.
  3. COOKING THE WONTONS: Poach in medium boiling salted water approximately 12 minutes, until tender. Drain, chill, skewer. Dip in Szechuan Vinaigrette and serve.
  4. SZECHUAN VINAIGRETTE: Combine all ingredients except oils in food processor. With machine running,drizzle in oils. This marinade lasts FOREVER in the refrig. And comes in very handy for doctoring up Chinese take-out, or putting on a chicken or beef or pasta salad or other things.  Use approx. 2 cups vinaigrette as a dipping sauce for the 100 shimp wontons, or for lightly coating 100 peking raviolis for room temp hors d'oeuvre. Marinade 1 hour before serving. Serve with toothpicks and an empty ramekin for used toothpicks.                                                            

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I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.