Last week we caught up with food and travel writer Deana Saukam while she was visiting friends in Austin. It was so much fun hanging with this fun group of girls and watching them work together to make Deana’s DIY dumplings. When I say these scallop and garlic chive blossom wontons were good, I mean that both the photographer and myself independently went to Whole Foods to buy dumplings the next day for lunch. (NOT the same.)
“I’m obsessed with garlic chives and their blossoms,” gushes Deana. “These Scallop and Garlic Chive Blossom Chili Wontons are inspired by two memories that are very special to me:
Growing up, I got really excited when my mother purchased garlic chive blossoms from the Asian market. She incorporated these delicate and aromatic blossoms into a number of simple dishes at home, making stir fries and omelets extremely bright and flavorful.
In Cambodian cuisine, we also have a traditional pan-fried rice cake stuffed with garlic chives called Nom Kachay, which I really love eating inside the bustling markets and on the streets of Phnom Penh. I decided to combine garlic chives/blossoms with scallops to create a fun Scallop and Garlic Chive Blossom Wontons in Chili Sauce, which goes well on its own or with Kuy Teav (Cambodian Seafood and Pork Noodle Soup).”
Read on to discover how to make Deana’s delicious dumplings, and get the girls together for wine and wontons!
photographed by wynn myers
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound garlic chives and chive blossoms, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (set aside a handful of chive blossoms for garnish)
1 scallion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 pound fresh scallops, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
24 thin wonton wrappers
1 small bowl of cold water, used for assembling wontons
½ cup cold water, used for cooking wontons
In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Sauté the garlic chives and over moderately high heat until wilted, stirring often. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
In a food processor, combine the scallion and ginger and pulse until the scallion is finely chopped. Add the soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped. Add half of the garlic chives and pulse just until evenly incorporated but not smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
Add scallops and the remaining half of the garlic chives to the scallion mixture. Stir together using a spoon to evenly combine.
Spoon a teaspoon of the filling into the center of each wonton skin. Using your finger, wet the edges of the wrappers with cold water. Draw the edges up and pleat evenly. Repeat with the remaining wonton skins and filling.
In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add in wontons, making sure they do not stick together. Cook on high heat until the water returns a boil. Then, add ½ cup of cold water. Cook on high heat until boiling (or until the wontons are cooked through), then strain from water and place in a bowl.
Serve warm, tossed in the chili sauce (recipe above) and top with remaining garlic chive blossoms.
3 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Black Vinegar
1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Chili Garlic Paste
Combine all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together. Spoon generously over cooked wontons just before serving.