SEATTLE — You can easily make homemade pork wontons in chicken broth in less than 10 minutes, thanks to a small Seattle business.
"Literally have a pot, and a stove, and a bowl, and a spoon, and you're ready,” said Catherine Gerlach, who co-owns Setolicious with her daughter Niki.
The family-run small business makes and delivers frozen wonton prep kits. Each package comes with a dozen homemade wontons and sauces/spices for making a broth.
The name Setolicious is inspired by Catherine’s maiden name – Seto – and the family recipes her mother Anna made.
“I grew up eating Chinese food seven days a week. One of the things my mother made was wontons. She would sit and make hundreds of them, and then freeze them,” Catherine said.
For Anna, it was the go-to meal in a pinch.
"If anybody came by last minute and they wanted something, I always had something on-hand. And then I'd feed the children for lunch time,” she said.
By the time Catherine had Niki, food had become central to big family gatherings and everyone eventually learned how to fold wontons.
"I can proudly say I'm a little bit faster than her now, so it's exciting,” Niki said, laughing.
Catherine dreamed about opening a business for years, but the pandemic was the catalyst. She was furloughed from work and Niki encouraged her to take the leap.
They launched the business from their home but now work out of the Beecher's Foundation commercial kitchen, which is loaned to them gratis.
The wontons are based on Anna’s recipe, filled with ground pork, sesame oil, soy sauce, green onion and eggs. The Gerlachs use wrappings (or “skins”) made fresh daily by Rose Brand in Seattle’s Chinatown International District.
Each wonton is hand-wrapped, a painstaking process that's given Catherine a deeper appreciation of her mother’s work.
"As a kid, I did not care about cooking or learning any of that stuff. As I got older, I learned and I liked, and I'm like 'wow,’” she said. "It's just lovely to have three generations here, sharing something that was so meaningful to myself and my mom."
For Niki, Setolicious is a fitting tribute to her grandmother, who she calls “Waipo.”
"This is like my pride and joy, so being able to share this whole experience with her is phenomenal. She's 88 years old, and she gets to see this come to fruition," Niki said.
Anna also gets to see their success. Despite only advertising via social media, Setolicious wontons regularly sell out.
"I'm really proud of them to go that far,” Anna said. "It's a long road, finally we came this far and it's really great."
Orders require a two-bag minimum, which is $30 plus free delivery. Each additional bag of 12 is $12.
Customers can order the frozen wontons online.