Wontonomics: Dumpling numbers

Summary: Cost per serving: CAD 1.25-1.50, time per serving: ~30 minutes(!)

Since people were curious, here’s the rough recipe we used for the last batch of wontons:

Amount Ingredient Cost / source
generous knob ginger, peeled and finely chopped left over from previous
6+ cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped pantry
small handful cilantro, finely chopped from the garden
two bunches green onions, finely chopped CAD 1.14
1 large bag small shrimp, raw, unpeeled, 70/90 – peel and chop CAD 10.00
~2.5kg ground pork CAD 15.61
6 packages wonton wrappers CAD 8.94
soy sauce pantry
sesame oil pantry
salt and pepper pantry

Sauté the ginger and garlic, then mix everything together (except the wonton wrappers, of course). Set out a small bowl of water, a plate, and a teaspoon.

For each package do:

  • For each wrapper do:
    • Hold the wrapper in the shape of a diamond.
    • Place a teaspoon of filling a little above the middle of the wrapper.
    • Wet the top two edges, then fold the bottom half up to meet the top half. Press out air bubbles.
    • Wet one of the outside corners, and fold the two outside corners together.
    • Place the wonton on the plate.
  • Boil the wontons for about a minute and a half, then cool in a bowl of water. Sample a few for quality control. Drain and pack into small containers, 250-265g per container (15-17 wontons, average of 16.8g per wonton). Label and freeze.

If you want to quantify your wonton production, the easiest way is to count them as you’re about to boil them.

Each package contained an average of 70 wrappers (stdev: 5, mode: 74) and took the two of us roughly an hour to process and boil (~1.5-2 person-minutes per wonton). The cost per wonton worked out to $0.08 per wonton (maybe $0.09 considering the pantry ingredients), which means each serving costs about 30 minutes of labour (not including grocery-shopping) and less than $1.50 in raw ingredients.

Thirty minutes seems like a lot for a serving that disappears pretty quickly, but the time is both relationship-time and movie-watching time for us, so it works out. And the wontons are yuuuummy – much better than the frozen ones you can get in the store. (Texture! Flavour! Smug satisfaction!) We like them even more than the ones you can get in a restaurant. =) We usually have the wontons with udon noodles and soup, although we occasionally snack on plain wontons seasoned with soy sauce.

Lots of the freezer recipes we come across are geared to Western tastes, so we like collecting Asian recipes that freeze well too: wontons, Japanese croquettes, okonomiyaki, beef bulgogi… So nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer and enjoy it any time!