A Foodie's Guide on How to Make the Perfect Cream Cheese Wontons

How to Make the Perfect Cream Cheese Wontons
Wontons, common to Chinese cuisine, and now famous the world over are prepared in a variety of shapes and eaten fried, boiled or steamed. Here is a simple recipe to make the perfect cream cheese wontons along with some tasty variations.
Wontons are dumplings of dough and can contain fillings of meat, vegetables, or sweets. They can be eaten by themselves or dipped in sauces, gravies, and soups. Cream cheese wontons, a favorite appetizer in Chinese restaurants in America, are ideal snacks and quick and super easy to make. They are a hit with grown-ups and children alike. After all, who doesn't like cream cheese and wontons? And better still, wontons stuffed with cream cheese! So try the recipe given (for 4 persons) below that will have your family asking for more.
Recipe for Cream Cheese Wontons
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounce cream cheese (softened)
  2. 1 pack wonton wrappers (usually contains 12 wrappers)
  3. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as per taste
  4. Oil for frying
  5. Small bowl of water
Method
  1. Sprinkle the pepper on to the cream cheese and mix well.
  2. Drop a dollop (approximately 1 tsp) of cream cheese into the center of the wonton wrapper.
  3. With your forefinger, apply water on all four edges of the wonton so that they adhere firmly when folded.
  4. Fold the ends of the wonton together to make a triangle. Or you can grab all four corners of the wrapper and press them firmly at the top, making a dumpling. Start sealing the wrapper from the center, pressing with your fingers towards the outer edges, which ensures there is no air trapped inside the wrapped wonton.
  5. Keep a damp towel ready and cover the wrappers with it. This prevents them from drying out and developing cracks when immersed in hot oil.
  6. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to 350oF. Gently slide the wontons into the pan. Fry them for a minute or till they turn a nice golden brown. Flip them over once so they are evenly browned on all sides. Drain them on a paper towel.
  7. Your cream cheese wontons are ready!

To make the wontons more interesting, experiment with the suggestions below.
Variations
Boneless chicken
You can add small pieces of boneless chicken, crab meat (or imitation crab meat), minced clams or smoked salmon cut into very small pieces to the cream cheese for a meaty flavor, and finely chopped cilantro as garnish. Filled with crab meat, they are popularly referred to as crab Rangoon and are a staple at Chinese buffets all over US.
Flavored cheese
Try flavored cream cheese - salmon-flavored, any herb-flavored or even fruit-flavored cream cheese varieties are available in the stores.
Raw vegetables
Want your children to eat veggies? Take a celery stick, slice it into half along its length and then chop it finely. Mix this with the cream cheese. Or use shredded carrots or finely chopped pimento and green or spring onions and mushrooms.
Garlic paste
If you like garlic flavor, make garlic paste or sprinkle garlic powder on to the cream cheese filling.
Shapes in watons
You can try out different wonton shapes, other than the ones mentioned above. Once you have folded the wrapper into a triangle, bring up the two base corners and the top corner as well and seal them together. This makes the wonton bite-sized, easy to pop into the mouth. Or once you have put the filling onto the wrapper, just roll it up like an egg roll, seal both the ends, and fry it.
Sugar cubes
For a sweeter version, add about 1/3rd cup of sugar to the cheese and mix thoroughly.
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Plum sauce
These wontons taste delicious when eaten with sweet and sour sauce, plum sauce or duck sauce.
Jalapeno sauce
If you want a tangy, spicy taste, add 1 tbsp of chili sauce and 1 tbsp of chopped green olives to the cream cheese. You can use a finely chopped jalapeƱo or a dash of Tabasco sauce in place of chili sauce.
Low-fat cream cheese
Looking to cut down on fat? Use low-fat cream cheese, add vegetables instead of meat, and bake the wontons instead of deep-frying them. To bake, you will need a muffin tray. Preheat the oven to 400oF. Lightly glaze the wrapped wontons with butter on all sides and insert them into the muffin cups. Bake for 5-10 minutes till they turn golden brown. They may not turn out to be as crispy as deep-fried wontons, but you can definitely try them once as a healthier alternative.
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Cream cheese wontons, being deep-fried and containing cream cheese, pack in a lot of calories. So eat them in moderation, especially if you want to lose weight. But it's alright to indulge yourself and your family once in a while! So prepare them at home and have them as a snack or as an appetizer with Chinese food, or as a finger food at parties, and your family and friends will surely be hungry for more!