Legend of Wonton

2013-09-27

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Story has it that in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220), the Huns in northern China often invaded the northern border of the country where the people were always tormented. At that time, the Huns had two leaders named 'Hun' and 'Dun', both of whom were cruel. The northern Chinese hated them bitterly, so they wrapped dumplings filled with meat, named them 'hun dun', and cooked and ate them in the hope of having a peaceful life.

A wonton (also spelled wantan, wanton, or wuntun in transcription from Cantonese; Mandarin: húndùn) is a type of dumpling commonly found in a number of Chinese cuisines.

Shapes and cooking methods

Wonton are commonly boiled and served in soup or sometimes deep-fried. There are several common regional variations on shape.

The most versatile shape is a simple right angle triangle, made by folding the square wrapper in half by pulling together two diagonally opposite corners. Its flat profile allows it to be pan-fried like a guotie (pot sticker) in addition to being boiled or deep-fried.

A more globular wonton can be formed by folding all four corners together, resulting in a shape reminiscent of a stereotypical hobo's bindle made by tying all four corners of a cloth together. The much larger Korean deep-fried dim sim has a similar shape, but wontons in this configuration are more commonly served in soup.

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