Lamb and Mushroom Wontons in Dashi
eating lamb wontons_6484
My first bite into a wonton, in Leo Ping’s on West Liberty in 1975 in Ann Arbor, began my attraction to the delicate noodle ruffle, surrounding a little pocket of filling. Love at first sight!

Hiroko Shimbo has published this delicious Japanese flavored recipe in her latest book as “Wonton Ravioli” using a wonton skin for the bottom and another for the top; but because I love those slippery wing-like ruffles floating in clear broth, I made wontons rather than ravioli.

The dashi stock, flavored with sake, mirin and lemon juice is perfect. It’s dashi-smokey with a bit of sweet and sour accents.

I like Ms. Shimbo’s book very much. The flavors are smart, memorable, and Japanese. At the same time, the recipes both allow the cook to put a home-cooked meal on the table quickly (if she or he keeps the basic sauces in the pantry), and the recipes themselves encourage the cook to be creative with seasonal and available ingredients.

Lamb and Mushroom Wontons in Dashi

  • Servings: 40 wontons
  • Difficulty: medium, fussy
  • Print

ラムワンタン (Ramu wantan)

from: Hiroko’s American Kitchen
Cooking with Japanese Flavors
6 Easy Sauces; 125 Modern Recipes


  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
    I just used button mushrooms, but shiitake, chanterelle, or porcini would be tasty.
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale leaves
    I don’t like kale, so I used (frozen chopped) spinach
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 12 ounces ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons
    plus 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
    plus ¼ cup whole leaves
    (I used window-sill winter grown rosemary and thyme leaves because they are spending the winter in our library.
    Plus 2 green onions, thinly sliced, green parts only, for garnish.)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 80 wonton wrappers if you are making ravioli
    (note: I used only one wrapper per dumpling so wontons use only 40 wonton skins)
  • 3 cups Dashi Stock (or chicken broth)
  • 2 Tablespoons sake
  • 1 Tablespoons mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

In a medium bowl, sprinkle the chopped mushrooms with ½ teaspoon salt. Mix well, and allow the salt about 10 to 15 minutes to draw the moisture from the ‘shrooms. Tilt the bowl and pour off the liquid. Squeeze the mushrooms through a cheesecloth. Discard the liquid.

Lightly warm the spinach to thaw, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can through a piece of cheesecloth. Discard the liquid.

Put the ground lamb into a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, the garlic, 2 Tablespoons of the minced herbs, mustard, and paprika. Mix the meat, seasonings, and vegetables together. Use a wide silicon spatula, a wide shallow plastic spoon, or your (gloved) fingers to lift and turn the meat. We’re not making meatballs: the filling should stay nice and loose. Divide the filling into four sections.

Cover a baking sheet or tray with waxed paper. Cover your work surface with waxed paper. Have ready a small boll of water, and a paper towel. Arrange 10 wonton skins on the work surface. Place about a teaspoon in the center of each square, using one quarter of the meat filling.

Brush a small amount of the water along the edges of each square. Fold each wonton almost in half along the diagonal; you want two “ears” offset at the top corner. Press the air from each packet and seal. Use a finger to press the middle of the long edge of the triangle, then overlap the two bottom corners. Seal with water and finger pressure.

Note: clicking on the pictures on the right will reveal that a (larger) picture is worth a thousand words…

Pour the dashi stock into a pot, then add sake, mirin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover, and turn off the heat.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and add the wontons in batches. Cook each batch for 5 minutes, removing the wontons carefully with a slotted spoon. Drain well then distribute among 4 soup bowls.

To serve, pour the hot dashi stock over the noodles and garnish with your greens of choice.

Mikey and Gracie are not the best of friends, but when it’s cold they find each other’s body heat comfortable enough to share a chair.

The pictures below link to other stuffed pasta/noodles:

corn-scallops-gyoza_6496frozen gyoza ready to eatlobster-gyoza_1712Turn the heat to make gyoza 7

filling-for-dumplingsgyoza hotpottofu dumplingsmanti-o_2865kreplach-yom-kippur_1132

These pictures link to dashi recipes:

katsuo bushi for dashivegetarian dashi 4424dried anchovies for dashi


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