Chocolate and Banana Dessert Wontons

There's more to wonton wrappers than just encasing pork and shrimp, however delicious the result is. If you're in need of a quick dessert, these chocolate and banana wontons take almost no time to make.

I have seen some recipes for dessert wontons that call for deep frying. With these wontons, I was able to use a bare minimum of oil (about 3/4 cup) and still achieve crispness. The trick is to refrain from getting fancy with with folding, and stick to the simple triangle. The flatness of the resulting wonton makes it easier to fry up all around the melt the chocolate inside. 

As for the filling, I just finely chopped some bananas and a milk chocolate Ritter Bar. No need to pre-melt the chocolate. Just make sure you don't overdo the filling; a heaping tablespoon of mixed banana and chocolate is more than adequate. And afterward, just spinkle some powdered sugar for presentation, or even granulated sugar if you happen to be out of the former like I was.

Either way, you get a simple dessert in about 15 minutes.

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Related recipes:

Homemade Almond Milk with Bananas and Honey MFK Fisher's Chocolate Pudding Coconut Hot Chocolate

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Chocolate Banana Dessert Wontons

Makes about 25 dessert wontons

1/2 package of wonton wrappers 2 ripe bananas 1 100-gram good quality chocolate bar 1 egg, beaten 3/4 cup cooking oil Powdered sugar for garnish

Mix together chopped up bananas and chocolate. Keep wonton wrappers under a moist towel to prevent drying out. Working one-by-one, place a heaping tablespoon of banana and chocolate in the center of the wrapper. Brush egg wash along the top two sides, then fold into a triangle, squeezing out as much air as possible. Line finished wontons on a plate and cover with another damp towel until ready to fry.

In a medium-sized skillet, heat oil until just smoking. Working in batches, fry the wontons for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain excess oil on a plate lined with paper towels. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with powdered sugar.

 

Pea and Shiitake Dumplings

When Jacob and I lived in New York, we were frequent patrons of the "$1 for 5" fried dumpling places in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Those quick meals of crisp pork dumplings satisfied both sudden hunger pangs and skinny wallets. Then we discovered the dumpling joints also had bags of frozen dumplings for sale, even cheaper at $7 for 50, and multitudes better than the factory brands at Chinese supermarkets. So every month, Jacob would ride his bike 150+ blocks down to lower Manhattan and come back with about 15 pounds of frozen dumplings in his messenger bag.

I didn't subsist completely on Chinatown dumplings, but they were definitely handy when working full-time, freelancing on the side, and too tired to cook.

Now that I'm in Beijing, southern-style dumplings are almost non-existent. Northern-style jiaozi are wrapped in a thick doughy skins, and the dinky amount of filling per dumpling usually makes me feel somewhat cheated. (Exceptions, of course, exist.) There are die-hard Beijing jiaozi afficionados out there, but I'm not one of them. I craved--no, needed--dumplings whose skins didn't overwhelm the savory morsels of meat and vegetables inside.

The only remedy was to make my own at home, with plenty of leftovers to store in the freezer. A few months ago I brought you a Wrapping Dumplings Photo Guide with pork and cabbage dumplings. Today you get a pea and shiitake version, which a honey dipping sauce to enhance the subtly sweet pea puree.

I tested the filling with both dumpling wrappers (the round ones) and wonton wrappers (the thinner square ones.) The dumpling skins, a bit toothier, made great complimentary pouches. The dumplings using the ultra-thin wonton skins just tasted odd when boiled, prbably because this isn't a competely traditional Chinese filling, like say pork and shrimp. Pan-fried versions with either skin turned out fine; and becasue of the vegetable filling, they didn't even seem too unhealthy.

Final notes to the cook: always, always keep your wrappers and wrapped dumplings covered with a damp towel. Otherwise, the skins will dry out, become brittle, and crack. And leftovers can always be frozen, but just make sure to first freeze them on a plate in a single layer for the first hour or two to prevent stickage, before throwing the bunch in a Tupperware or Ziploc.

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Pea and Shiitake Dumplings

Makes 50

  • 6 or 7 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 package (about 50) dumpling wrappers
  • 1/2 egg, beaten, for sealing the dumplings

Dipping sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  1. Soak the dried shiitakes in water for about 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water, then finely chop.
  2. Bring the water to boil in a medium-sized pot. Add a pinch of salt and sugar (better to bring out the color.) Cook the fresh peas for about 1 minute (2 minutes for frozen), until they are a bit pumped and bright green in color.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Once the peas are sufficiently cooled, puree in batches with 1 tablespoon of water and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  3. In a wok, heat 2 teaspoons of peanut oil. Cook garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shiitakes, soy sauce, the remainder of the salt, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of water and stir-fry until mushrooms are cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  4. Unwrap dumpling wrappers and keep them covered under a damp towel. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and keep some extra flour within hand's reach.
  5. If you’re just starting out with dumpling folding, follow this step-by-step guide that shows a basic method with 3 pleats per dumpling. If you’d like to work your way up to 5 pleats, start in the middle and do 3 pleats towards the middle from one direction and and 2 pleats toward the middle from the other. (See these photos for reference.)
  6. Mix together the ingredients for the dipping sauce.
  7. Bring another pot of water to boil. Add dumplings and simmer until they float to the top, about 3 minutes (this method of assuring doneness works if your dumplings have no air pockets; otherwise, they float to the top immediately.) Drain well, transfer to serving plates, and serve with dipping sauce.