When it comes to learning about Chinese pastries, wontons are the best starting point. The pastry comes ready-made, either fresh or frozen in most Oriental supermarkets, and is very much like an egg pasta – made from egg, a medium- to high-gluten wheat flour (similar to plain flour), hot water and oil. The method of folding below creates a shape much like a gold ingot (pre-20th century Chinese currency) and it is said that if you can fold your wontons in such a shape, you are giving your friends and family plenty of good wealth for years to come!
Tip: Dumplings like these can be kept in the freezer once made. They must be cooked from frozen for 2 minutes longer than the recommended cooking time when cooking fresh, rather than allowing them to thaw out and lose their shape.
Recipe from Chinese Unchopped by Jeremy Pang (Quadrille, £20)
Photography by Martin Poole.