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Mushroom and Tofu Wontons

I’m going to get a bit sentimental here.

As Christopher Moltisanti from Sopranos once said: ‘I love movies, you know dat. That smell in blockbuster, that candy ‘and carpet smell, I get high off it!’

That’s how I feel. I’m all for Netflixing, streaming, digital box recording, etc, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling nostalgic, when I think of old Blockbusters. I think the excitement of finding something you were looking for is lost when you get everything you want on tap.

So I felt really sad when the Blockbuster in town closed. The smell of the carpet gone. Dusty shelves explorations gone forever. Blockbusters were like a temple to me. When I was a teenager, my dream was to work in a DVD (or back then VHS) rental place. Where would Tarantino get his film education if there were no places like that????! Forget about it!

So I felt really apprehensive when I saw that Blockbuster place is being refurbished. I was worried it would be replaced by something horrible, a profanity to the old place. Something like a Pound Shop…or worse…

Imagine my surprise when I walked by one day and I saw a little Chinese supermarket. Oh boy! Was I happy?…

Every time I shop there I feel like a child in a candy store. Now I can get kimchi, any type of noodles, any type of tofu I want, you name it. And the best part is – I can get won ton wrappers. And because I only think, talk, dream, discuss and get excited about two things: film and food, I am in heaven. I used to get high on that carpet smell in Blockbuster, but it’s nice to know I still can get high in the same place, just on spices, mushrooms and general Chinese food products smell.

A few years ago my friend who lives in Shanghai was visiting, and she brought me a bamboo steamer. I feel really happy I can finely put it into use.


Vegetarian Wontons:

200g shitake or chestnut mushrooms

spring onion

250g silk tofu

150 water chestnut

clove of garlic

1 tsp grated ginger


soy sauce

rice bran oil

vegetarian wontons

vegetarian wontons

vegetarian wontons

vegetarian wontons

vegetarian wontons

vegetarian wontons

vegetarian wontons

vegetarian wontons

1. Heat the oil. Add chopped garlic and ginger, fry for 2 minutes. Add finely chopped mushrooms and spring onion.

2. Fry until mushrooms lose all the moisture and start getting some colour. Add tofu. Mix well. Add soy sauce and pepper, chopped water chestnuts. Leave it to cool.

3. Brush bamboo steamer with oil, line with parching paper (you can get lining paper already cut into circles from a Chinese shop). Put your steamer over a pan of simmering water.

4. Put a spoonful of stuffing in the middle of wonton wrapper. Brush the edges with water and seal it. Steam covered for about 3-5 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce and sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

For the dipping sauce you will need: soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, teriyaki sauce and chili flakes.

I made another version, gluten free, using rice paper. One part was steamed (gets a  bit slimy but still delicious) and another fried. Yum!

rice paper vegetarian wontons

rice paper vegetarian wontons

rice paper fried wontons

rice paper fried wontons


About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

4 responses »

  1. Rice paper dumplings! New idea for me… Looks great and I’ll definitely be trying it out! Just came across your blog and live the fresh colourful dishes you create! 🙂


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