Whenever I’m eating Asian-style foods, I always go for a Pilsner. Because I’m a huge proponent of drinking the same beer I’m cooking with, while developing these recipes, I wanted to use the Pilsner in them as well. It’s clean, fresh, and not so overpowering as to mitigate the sweet and sour of the Nuoc Cham. These wontons could easily be made a day ahead of your event; just make sure to keep them covered so they don’t dry out, at which point they can leak and splatter your frying oil.
Active preparation time: 50 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes
Beer Nuoc Cham
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup (237 ml) water
1 cup (237 ml) Ska Pils World
½ cup (118 ml) fish sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 Thai chile, seeded and cut into thin rings
¼ cup carrot, shredded
¼ cup green onion, thinly sliced
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Cool and serve with the pork wontons.
½ lb (227 g) ground pork
1 oz (28 g) shitake mushrooms, minced
1 Tbs fresh ginger, shredded on a microplane
2 Tbs (1 fl oz/30 ml) Pilsner
1 Tbs garlic, minced
¼ cup green onion, minced
2 Tbs (30 ml) soy sauce
1 Tbs (15 ml) sriracha
2 Tbs jalapeño, minced
½ tsp salt
16–20 wonton skins
2 Tbs cornstarch + plus more for coating
3 fl oz (89 ml) water
Oil for frying
1 cup (237 ml) Beer Nuoc Cham
Combine the ground pork, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, beer, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, sriracha, jalapeños, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the meat and ingredients are well blended, then remove from the processor and chill for 1 hour.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and mix well. Lay the wonton skins out on your work surface and work in batches of 3–4 at a time. Place about 1 Tbs of the pork filling in the center of each wonton skin. With your finger, brush two connected edges of the wonton with the cornstarch slurry. Fold the other half over and connect the corners, working as much air out of the wonton as you can while sealing. Brush the two remaining corners with a little more of the slurry and fold them over again until they meet in the middle, then press firmly to seal.
Toss the completed wontons in a bowl with a little more cornstarch to help them stay dry. When you’re ready to serve them, fry the wontons at 350°F (177°C) until golden brown and crispy. Serve warm.
Beer Suggestions: Pair with the remaining Ska Brewing Pils World (Durango, Colorado). Also good would be Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pils (Paso Robles, California) and Neshaminy Creek Trauger Pils (Croydon, Pennsylvania).
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PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER CINA