Here’s a tasty appetizer for a the Chinese New Year which is on Saturday, January 25. I paired Fried Chinese Wonton Appetizers with Buffalo Hot Sauce. It is sort of an unusual combination — but the wontons served with homemade hot sauce is just right. I am particularly pleased with my attempt at making “Buffalo Hot Sauce.”
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year varies slightly from year to year. It is defined by the Chinese Lunar Calendar which is associated with the movement of the moon. This year is the “Year of the Rat.” The lunar calendar has 12 animal signs and the rat is the first animal in the Chinese zodiac. If you are born in the “Year of the Rat” you will have many interesting characteristics. The New Year’s celebration is especially important in Chinese culture, with a feast, holiday lasting several days and many traditions.
Favorite Chinese dishes
There are several Chinese dishes which I love. These include wonton soup, egg drop soup and dumplings. At one point in my life, I was really into making homemade egg rolls and served them with sweet and sour sauce and hot mustard. I like my recipe for homemade egg rolls much better than the commercial ones. The egg rolls froze well. I’d made a big batch, freeze the leftovers and then get some out out for a quick supper dish from time to time.
When I saw a recipe for fried wonton appetizers served with Buffalo Hot Sauce, I decided to give the combination a try. I associate Buffalo Hot Sauce with chicken wings. But why not pair it with a Chinese appetizer – sort of a Texas-Chinese fusion. The fried wontons are similar my vintage egg roll recipe and wonton soup recipe — but without the bean sprouts. The Buffalo Hot Sauce (which actually originated in upstate New York) made just the perfect hot dipping sauce.
Chinese Chicken Wontons
The fried wontons are very simple and easy to make. For the wonton filling, I used a chicken breast, onion, cabbage, and seasonings of grated fresh ginger, soy sauce, Sriracha sauce and a pinch of pepper.
To make these, grind up the raw chicken breast and onion in a food processor and cook them completely in a skillet. Add shredded cabbage and seasonings (salt is optional since soy sauce contains plenty) and cook just enough to slightly wilt the cabbage.I made little triangles using purchased wonton wrappers. Add a spoonful of drained filling a top corner of each wonton wrapper, fold in half on the diagonal and dampen the edges with a paste of flour and water so the edges stick together. How many wontons does this recipe make? It really depends on how finely the chicken is ground up and how much you try to pack into each wrapper. Don’t over do it.
Do you still own an electric skillet? For frying the wontons, I located my electric skillet which was was perfect for this task. With the temperature set to 350 degrees, the electric skillet held the temperature of the oil evenly and the wontons fried nicely.
Drain the wrappers on a paper towel and then transfer to a serving platter. Here are my appetizers.
Buffalo Hot Sauce
Buffalo Sauce began as a coating for chicken wings and originated in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, owned by Teressa Bellissimo. They are named after the city of Buffalo. The sauce is made of cayenne pepper, hot sauce and melted margarine or butter. The level of “hot” can be varied based on ingredients. The chicken wings are dipped and coated in the sauce prior to serving. The wings are usually accompanied with Blue Cheese dipping sauce and celery sticks.
Recipe for Buffalo Hot Sauce
This recipe for Buffalo Hot Sauce tastes like the real sauce. It is a great for buffalo chicken wings, chicken tenders, fried shrimp, pulled pork and as a dipping sauce for vegetables. And it went well with the fried wontons. It has a different flavor from other sweet and sour sauces — this sauce is just hot. But I love it.
“Texas Pete” Hot Sauce is the basis for my Buffalo Sauce. There are many brands of hot sauce on the market; I picked this one at random — it was just right for the sauce. To make the sauce, simply melt the butter on the stove. And I reduced the amount of butter in my sauce to just a few tablespoons (I didn’t use the entire stick) — many internet recipes use substantially more butter. Add in the other ingredients of Texas Pete Hot Sauce, white wine vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce and garlic powder. Heat and stir until combined. .I think I’ll be using this sauce for many more dishes in the future — this is a great sauce.
Fried Chinese Wonton Appetizers
- 1 (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 medium onion
- peanut oil, divided
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 pkg wonton wrappers (about 36 wrappers)
- peanut oil
- 1 recipe of Buffalo Hot Sauce
- Optional, commercial or homemade Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce (1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt, 1/2 sour cream,. 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 oz blue cheese crumbles)
- celery stalks, cut into serving sizes
Method and Steps:
- Cut raw chicken breast in chunks, place in food processor and pulse several times until the chicken is finely chopped. Scrape sides down as need. Removed to bowl.
- Place onion, quartered, in food processor bowl and pulse until onion is finely chopped.
- Add 1 Tbsp oil to medium sized skillet, heat to medium high on stove.
- Add ground chicken breast and onion. Turn down temperature of stove to medium, cook, stirring frequently, until the breast is completely cooked through and onion is translucent.
- Add the shredded cabbage and cook several additional minutes until the cabbage just begins to wilt.
- Add the Sriracha sauce, soy sauce and fresh grated ginger and stir to combine. Remove chicken wonton filling from heat and drain of any excess liquid.
- In small bowl, combine flour and a tablespoon or more of water to make a thin paste.
- Place one wrapper on flat surface on a diagonal, add 1 spoonful of drained chicken wonton filling to top half of wrapper. Lightly moisten the edges of the wonton, fold over and pinch edges to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
- Add about 2 cups oil to electric skillet (or large heavy pot). Bring temperature to 350 degrees. Add filled wontons to hot oil. Cook for several minutes on first side until the wonton is golden brown, flip over and cook other side for a minute longer until browned. Remove to tray lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining wontons.
- Transfer to serving tray and serve with Buffalo Hot Sauce, celery sticks and optional Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce.
Buffalo Hot Sauce
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup Texas Pete Hot Sauce
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Method and Steps:
- Add butter to small saucepan. Heat on medium high heat for about 30 seconds to melt butter.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine until heated through.
- Store leftover hot sauce in refrigerator.