The squares or rounds of dough are extremely easy to work with and can be filled with just about anything. Fillings can include any meat, seafood, veggie or cheese. Once shaped, they can be dropped into simmering broth for wonton soup, pan fried for pot stickers, steamed, or deep fried for crispy fried wontons appetizers like these. A deep fat fryer isn’t needed. Any wok or deep-sided pan that will hold 3-4 inches of oil safely will work just fine for frying these.
The most common fillings for these filled dumplings are made with a ground pork filling, but cream cheese mixed with crabmeat (Crab Rangoon) or whole small shrimp or chicken livers also make interesting fillings when deep-fried until crackly crisp. They can also be made with vegetarian fillings using finely shredded vegetables and mushrooms.
My favorite filling for crispy fried wontons is a basic ground pork mixture. I love Chinese mushrooms and have used them here, but they can be omitted entirely or substituted with a few tablespoons of grated carrot or finely minced water chestnuts.
Most packages of wonton wrappers contain 50-60 pieces and many brands have a diagram on the back illustrating the easy folding process. The uncooked wontons freeze extremely well. When I’m making these appetizers for a party, I always make a double or triple batch and freeze some for later use.
Crispy Fried Wontons
½ lb ground pork
3 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and finely minced
½ tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp Asian sesame oil
1 package wonton wrappers
1 egg, beaten
canola, peanut or vegetable oil for frying
Prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients, except the wrappers, egg and frying oil. Mix thoroughly.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon water.
Starting with two wrappers at a time, lay one wrapper on a flat surface (you’ll pick up speed as you go along). With a fingertip, moisten two sides of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Place about ¼ teaspoon filling in the center as shown. Do not overfill or they will be difficult to shape. Fold the corners over, pressing out excess air. Press firmly to seal.
The wontons can be used just as they are at this point or can be folded into the traditional wonton shape by lightly moistening two corners with egg and pressing them together to join.
As each wonton is formed, place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. The wontons can be frozen at this stage for later use, if desired, refrigerated until ready to cook for 24 hours or cooked right away.
To fry, heat 3-4 inches of oil over medium high heat (around 375 degrees).
Carefully slide or lower each wonton into the oil. Fry in batches without crowding until golden brown all over. Drain on paper towels.
Can be served warm right away but will stay perfectly crisp for several hours to serve at room temperature.
Suggested dipping sauces include small bowls of teriyaki sauce, Asian chili sauce, soy sauce or a ginger/soy/sesame oil combination.