TT Test Kitchen Tip: Okra, a popular vegetable in Southern cooking, has a flavor somewhere between eggplant and asparagus. Sautéing it in hot oil transforms its texture, keeping it firm. After filling the wonton, a coating of nonstick cooking spray allows the outsides to get crisp, which creates a texture similar to traditional deep-frying.
Corn-Okra Wontons with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Yield: 16 wontons
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Sweet and Sour Sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
½ teaspoon orange zest
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1½ teaspoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated
1 teaspoon scraped and finely grated ginger root
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons water
2½ teaspoons cornstarch
¼ cup finely chopped okra (about 2 medium okra, ends cut off)
½ large orange bell pepper--deseeded, deveined and finely chopped
1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 1 medium ear of corn)
3 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons feta cheese
½ tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
¼ teaspoon fresh lime juice
Freshly ground pepper
16 wonton wrappers, thawed
1. Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup and soy sauce. In a small skillet set over medium heat, warm the oil. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Stir in the red pepper flakes and cook another 10 seconds. Whisk in the orange-sugar mixture and bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the water and add to the pan, stirring until the mixture thickens, about 15 to 20 seconds. Keep the sauce warm while you make the wontons.
2. Make the wontons: Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium skillet set over low heat, combine the okra and bell pepper with ½ tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the corn kernels and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and continue to cook until the okra and bell peppers are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, feta cheese, parsley and lime juice with the cooled corn mixture. Season with pepper to taste.
4. To fill the wontons, work with one at a time; cover the remaining wontons with a damp towel to keep them from drying out. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of a wonton. Lightly moisten the edges with a bit of water and fold in half to create a triangle shape. Press on the edges to seal the wonton. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers until all are filled. Spray the wontons liberally with nonstick baking spray and bake for 10 minutes, until golden. Serve warm with reserved sauce.