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Photo: Ed Anderson
Spiced up meaty dumplings make for a happy dinner.

Charles Phan, chef-owner of San Francisco’s pioneering the Slanted Door, was boiling up bowls of Vietnamese noodle soup long before most Americans had ever heard of pho  or knew how to pronounce it properly. That is to say, way before it was cool. In his second cookbook, a tribute to the chef’s modern restaurant in the Ferry Building, he details the stories behind his favorite dishes.  

Wontons are ravioli-like meat dumplings that are traditionally boiled and served in soup or with a dipping sauce. Start with meat that is very cold — it will stick together better — and avoid the urge to overstuff the wontons. You should only use about half a teaspoon of filling per wonton. It’s easy to make a big batch and freeze for later use. Once you’ve formed the wontons, freeze them in a single layer to prevent them from sticking together. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. The frozen wontons will keep for a month. Do not thaw before boiling.

Reprinted with permission from The Slanted Door