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Wonton skins are pieces of flattened dough which are used to wrap wontons, dumplings, egg rolls, and an assortment of other Asian foods. A range of sizes and styles of these wrappers are available, and many grocery stories carry at least a basic array in their Asian foods section, typically refrigerated. It is also possible to make wonton skins at home, although access to a pasta machine is usually extremely helpful for the rolling process.
Typical wonton skins are made with a dough which closely resembles the dough used for pasta, with flour, eggs, a small amount of salt, and sometimes a pinch of oil. The ingredients are mixed and then the dough is rolled out very thin before being cut into small pieces. Depending on the end-use, the skins may be square, round, or even rectangular, and the thickness of the dough varies, although thin is usually better.
Very thin wonton skins will cook to transparency, while thicker skins will develop a more opaque, almost bready consistency. The dough is usually slightly chewy in texture, with a bland flavor which offsets the sometimes complex flavors of the filling and any dipping sauces which might be used. When fried, wonton skins are usually very crispy and they brown nicely.
There are a number of different ways to use wonton skins. They can be used to make wontons, small dumplings which are cooked and served in broth, and they can also be used for potstickers, egg rolls, and other wrapped foods. They can also can be steamed, fried, or boiled; and they are usually very sturdy, which means that they withstand reheating very well. Some people also use them plain; twisted and fried wonton skins, for example, are a popular snack in some parts of the world.
When you buy wonton skins at the store, check the date on the package to ensure that they are fresh, and look for any signs of mold. Store them in the fridge, and if the package is opened, store them in an airtight container so that they do not dry out. Homemade wonton skins can be made by mixing up a basic pasta dough, rolling it out to the desired thickness, and cutting out the desired shapes. If you plan to store homemade skins before use, be sure to spread a thin layer of flour between the skins so that they do not adhere to each other, and keep them in a dry container so that they do not turn into a doughy mass.