I love crowds and the excitement of being somewhere that is full of life and activity. On a given day, it is thrilling for me to walk through a crowded market, watching people bartering, buying and selling. There’s so much happening all at once that I never know where to look. Should I try and find the best deal for apples? Watch how people actually barter without turning all red in the face (if you have any tips- I’m all ears ? Or just sit down and enjoy that pastry I’ve been thinking about all morning?
Other than the myriad of sights, the other thing I love most about markets are the smells. No matter if it’s a market focused on arts & crafts, local produce or handmade clothing, there always seems to be plenty of vendors with scents that will draw you in and make you crave whatever they are selling.
And do you know what I’ve noticed about those smells? It’s always the fried food that draws me in. Always. It doesn’t matter what exactly is being fried, but just the smell of it makes me want to hang around all day and eat whatever is on the other side of that deep pot filled with hot oil.
So the other day, I decided to take matters into my own hands. No longer would I be lured into paying way too much for sub-par finger foods. I was going to tackle the one cooking technique I have been too intimidated to try. And I was going to do it with a food I always love to eat: Fried Wontons. I know, not your typical answer of doughnuts or bacon, but we’ve already established I’m not your most common eater and really, who doesn’t love a light, flaky crust filled with goodness?
So I combined a few recipes, chopped some veggies and got to cooking… and the results were irresistible! I absolutely loved the crunchy outside with the warm, flavorful veggies on the inside. You can completely change the filling according to your food and taste preferences and I really can’t imagine a better appetizer to please a crowd! If you’re hosting a New Year’s get-together and looking for some last-minute party foods that are sure to be a hit among your meat eaters and vegans- look no further!
Fried Vegetable Wontons
Keywords: fry appetizer side vegetarian vegan Thai
- 2 button mushrooms, diced
- 1 /3 cup carrots, diced
- 1/3 cup corn
- 1/3 cup edamame beans
- 1/4 cup peas
- 1 tbs. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 20-25 gyoza or pot sticker wrappers
- 1 cup oil (I used olive oil), you want to fill the pan about 1/2 – 3/4 inches high
- Sweet chili sauce, for serving (I found this at Trader Joe’s)
1. Make sure all vegetables and chopped into very small pieces. Mix together all vegetables with soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and sesame oil. Set aside.
2. Set-up your “station.” Set 1/2 cup room temperature in small bowl next to cutting board, non-stick silicone baking mat or baking sheet. Place about 8-12 wonton wrappers on surface. Dip finger (or pastry brush) into water and and gently wet the outside border of each wonton wrapper (I did about 4 at a time to make sure the wrapper stayed moist throughout the process).
3. Place about 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each wonton (it’s not going to look like much and if you’re like me, you’ll be tempting to add more filling…but don’t, it will tear the wrappers!).
4. Fold wrapper in half to create a triangle. Press all sides together. Gently fold in the two outside corners and press, adding more water if needed for the edges to stick.
5. Place oil in small to medium frying pan (I used a 9.5 inch “saucier”) so that it’s about 1/2 to 3/4 inches high. Turn heat to medium-high to high, monitoring closely. When you start to see small “swiggly lines” form on the bottom of the pan, this usually indicates it is ready. To test, place the corner of one wonton in the oil; if it begins to bubble and fry you are ready. When oil is hot, place about 5 wontons into pan at a time, cooking about 1 minute per side. Continue to cook in small batches. Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce and enjoy!
As indicated by the recipe above (I hope you agree ), I thought it necessary to end the year right. That means good food, a recipe to share, and a giveaway. Let’s start 2013 right…
There are a few staple ingredients my husband and I buy nearly every week. These usually include bread, fruit and granola bars. I love being able to throw a granola bar in my lunch bag for a quick and healthy snack throughout the day. So when Gnu Foods offered to send me a box filled with a variety of their bars I was definitely excited!
I was sent the following flavors courtesy of Gnu Foods to review: Peanut Butter, Banana Walnut, Blueberry Cobbler, Orange Cranberry, Blondie, Cinnamon Raisin, Chocolate Brownie and Carrot Cake. Each bar is made with all-natural ingredients and has 12 grams of fiber. All flavors, except the Blondie Bar, are vegan. You can find a store near you here.
So far, I’ve really enjoyed all the bars I’ve tried! Below is the Blondie Bar. It was chocolatey, sweet and I really enjoyed the soft and chewy texture. I also apologize for the poor lighting – but this is real life…granola bars are being photographed way too early in the morning before being thrown in my purse on my way out the door. I really enjoyed this bar and especially loved enjoying chocolate in the morning while also feeling full and satisfied!
And the best part? You can start 2013 with your own taste of Gnu Foods! One Simply Life reader will win their own box filled with a variety of bars! To enter, to any/all of the following and let me know in the comments; giveaway will be open through Jan 4 and winner must have a U.S. address:
- Visit Gnu Foods and tell me which bar you would like to try!
- Tweet about this giveaway! (Ex: Win @gnufoods on @SimplyLifeBlog #giveaway! )
- Tell me how you’ll be bringing in the New Year!
~Happy New Year!