Fried wontons are a crispy, crunchy, and delicious appetizer that will have your guests talking about them at the office on Monday morning. We make these for dinner parties and sporting events, and they always disappear. When you hear the word wonton, you usually think of soups. But as taboo as fried food may be, fried wontons are everyone’s guilty pleasure. Bet ya can’t eat just one!
Wontons have various fillings, including shrimp and pork-a Cantonese favorite; Shanghai wontons, which have very little meat and thin skins; and of course, the simplest wonton soup with chopped veggies and pork. The good news is that any of these wontons can be fried, yielding different flavors in the filling and crunchiness levels from the various wonton skins. This fried wonton recipe is really simple and uses a basic pork and scallion filling, but you can get creative with different fillings, or even make a vegetarian or vegan version if you’re so inclined.
Better yet, all of these wontons can be carefully frozen (lay them out in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put them in the freezer) after they are folded and you can decide whether you want a soup or tasty fried appetizer when the occasion arises.
You may have noticed that wontons don’t just vary by wrapper and filling, but also shape. Wonton folding styles are mostly a matter of personal preference-pick your favorite or mix and match if you want to get fancy! A good idea is to vary the style according to the filling so you can tell what the fillings are when you take them out of the freezer; it’s also handy for advising your guests as to what the fillings are by the wonton’s shape.
Now, let’s talk dipping sauces. Fried wonton dipping sauces are infinitely customizable but most like a sweet dipping sauce, a sweet and spicy sauce, or a sweet soy dipping sauce, all of which we have included in this recipe!
Here’s what you’ll need, and in just 30 minutes you’ll be in appetizer heaven!
Fried Wontons: Recipe Instructions
Start by making the filling. Simply combine the ground pork, chopped scallions, sesame oil, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine (or sherry), sugar, oil, water, and white pepper in a bowl. Whip everything together by hand for 5 minutes or in a food processor for 1 minute. You want the pork to look a bit like a paste.
To make the wontons, take a wonton wrapper, and add about a teaspoon of filling. Overstuffed wontons will pop open during the cooking process and make a mess. Use your finger to coat the edges with a little water (this helps the two sides seal together).
Continue reading for methods on how to fold wontons in different shapes!
Fried wontons – shape #1:
Fold the wrapper in half into a rectangle, and press the two sides together so you get a firm seal. Hold the bottom two corners of the little rectangle you just made, and bring the two corners together, pressing firmly to seal. (Use a little water to make sure it sticks.)
Fried wontons – shape #2
Fold the wonton in half so you have a triangle shape. Bring together the two outer corners, and press to seal (you can use a little water to make sure it sticks).
For more detailed wonton folding photos, instructions and different ways to wrap wontons, see Sarah’s post on How to fold wontons.
Keep assembling until all the filling is gone (this recipe should make between 40 and 50 fried wontons). Place the wontons on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
At this point, you can cover the wontons with plastic wrap, put the baking sheet/plate into the freezer, and transfer them to Ziploc bags once they’re frozen. They’ll keep for a couple months in the freezer and be ready for the fryer whenever you’re ready.
To conserve oil, use a small pot to fry the wontons. Fill it with 2 to 3 inches of oil, making sure the pot is deep enough so the oil does not overflow when adding the wontons. Heat the oil to 350 degrees, and fry in small batches, turning the wontons occasionally until they are golden brown.
If you have a small spider strainer or slotted spoon, you can use it to keep the wontons submerged when frying. This method will give you the most uniform golden brown look without the fuss of turning them. Remove the fried wontons to a sheet pan lined with paper towels or a metal cooling rack to drain.
To make one or all of the sauces, simply mix the respective ingredients in a small bowl, and you’re ready to eat!
Make these crispy fried wontons for your next party!