To claim that I came up with this recipe would be a lie. I’m a true believer of giving credit where credit is due. So, it is my honour to admit that Mr. Nomad came up with the Chicken Tawook Wonton idea almost a year ago. It wasn’t until last night that I finally made them.
My good friend Vicky who used to live in our compound moved away in June and left a big hole in my heart and my social calendar. So, when she told me her and her husband would be visiting Shanghai for a week I was seriously dancing in circles. It’s only a week but I really couldn’t be any happier right now, after spending the last few weeks finding out that many of my friends are also leaving Shanghai this summer.
It’s nice to know that saying goodbye at the gates of Windsor Place is not a goodbye forever. With any luck all of our paths will cross again.
Somewhere. Somehow. Someday.
Okay enough with the pity party.
I planned a cocktail party the night they arrived with their closest friends in Shanghai. On the menu… Mr. Nomad’s Chicken Tawook Wontons. The concept is simple and works perfectly for dinner parties. Eating and mingling is my idea of the perfect cocktail party.
The best part is I don’t have to use my precious Pita Bread that I have delivered from Guangzhou each month. Instead for $.80 I bought one pound (waaaaay too much) wonton wrappers from the Wet Market across the street. These wontons are awesome for all of your wonton-esque creations. This lady refused to smile or “xie xie!” (thank you) until she acknowledged me. But for $.80 how picky can I be. You’ll only need 36 wrappers for my recipe so maybe ask for half of a pound when you get yours.
Tawook is a traditional Lebanese spice, consisting of cinnamon, garlic, dried ground sweet pepper, white pepper, black pepper, paprika, red pepper and coriander. There are some variations to the spices, but this is the general mix. I’ve also seen sumac added to the Tawook spices, but you can omit it if you don’t have any.
You can buy the tawook seasoning premixed at any Middle Eastern Market, but if you don’t have access to it, you can make it yourself by mixing an equal parts of the different spices.
Adding yogurt to the marinade ensures that chicken will be super moist and flavourful. Bonus? Yogurt makes it a low calorie marinade!
For the most authentic Tawook flavours, you need to serve it with a generous heap of garlic sauce. I made a Tahini Garlic Sauce to drizzle over the wontons. They offered that strong garlic punch and was very easy to make. It’s not the usual garlic sauce served with Tawook, but everyone loved the flavour. Proof that sometimes you can deviate a little from the original while staying true to the original recipe.
A delicious Chicken Tawook in a wonton! Easy, fun and creative way to serve this Lebanese classic dish at your next cocktail party!
- 36 Chicken Tawook Wontons
- 2 cups Chicken, cooked and shredded
- 2 tablespoons Tawook Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Mustard
- 1/2 cup Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 1 Garlic, smashed
- To Garnish: pickled Turnips, sliced Onions, chopped tomatoes, parsley
- Garlic Tahini Sauce
- 1/4 cup Tahini
- 1/3 cup Yogurt
- 1/2 Lemon, juiced
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Mix chicken, yogurt, tawook seasoning, mustard, olive oil, paprika and lemon juice in a bowl. Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Grease a muffin tin and gently push the wonton into the tin, creating a "nest" to hold the Tawook ingredients. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they are hard and slightly brown on the tips. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
- Heat the chicken mixture in a pan until heated through.
- Place a small scoop of the chicken in the wontons and top with tomatoes, pickled turnips, onions and Garlic Tahini Sauce.
- Garlic Tahini Sauce Recipe
- In a food processor, process the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt until smooth. Taste and add more salt if necessary.