Fried wonton make a great party snack. Almost everybody likes them, and they go deliciously with a drink or two. This recipe makes a lot, but if you have leftovers, you can re-heat them in the oven or serve the fried wonton in hot broth.
If you have leftover uncooked wonton, place them on a tray and freeze until solid, then put them into zip-lock bags and freeze until needed. They can be boiled from their frozen state, but add a minute or two to the cooking time.
Briefly rinse the dried mushrooms under cool running water, then place them in a bowl. Pour cool water into the bowl until the mushrooms can swim in the liquid and soak for about two hours, or until they are fully hydrated.
Put the pork into a medium-sized bowl and add the soy sauce, rice wine, salt, sugar, pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly.
Finely mince the ginger. Peel the water chestnuts and rinse them well to remove any dirt, then cut them into rough dice. Mince the spring onions and roughly chop the coriander. Squeeze the excess water from the rehydrated mushrooms and remove and discard the stems. Cut the mushroom caps into small cubes. Add the ginger, water chestnuts, spring onions, coriander and mushrooms to the pork and combine thoroughly.
Lay about half the wonton skins on a work surface, keeping the rest wrapped so they don’t dry out. Fill a small dish with water for dampening the skins when making the wontons.
Place a wonton skin on the palm of your left hand (if you are right-handed), with one corner facing you. Put a heaped teaspoonful of the filling onto the skin, about 2cm from the near corner. Fold the near corner over the filling, then fold up the skin one more time, working towards the far corner. Squeeze out the excess air from the sides of the skin, then bring them around to meet at the bottom. Dampen one side of the skin and press the other side over it, overlapping slightly, firmly pressing the layers of wonton skin so they adhere. (Alternatively, use your own preferred folding technique.) Once folded, place the wontons on a tray, making sure they don’t touch each other.
Pour oil to a depth of about 10cm (4 n) into a wok. Place the wok over a medium-high flame and heat until the oil reaches 180°C (350°F).
Fry the wontons in batches, cooking them for three to five minutes or until the skin is medium brown and the filling is fully cooked.
Make the sauce. Put the sugar, vinegar and ketchup in a saucepan placed over a low flame. Heat until simmering, whisking almost constantly.
Put the cornstarch in a bowl and add about 20ml (4tsp) of cold water. Stir until smooth. While the sugar-vinegar-ketchup mixture is simmering, pour in the cornstarch slurry, whisking constantly. Simmer for a few minutes, or until the mixture has a light coating consistency. Whisk in the pepper, then taste for seasoning, adding more vinegar, if necessary. Pour into a serving bowl.
Stack the wontons on a platter and serve with sweet-and-sour sauce.