Make these Fried Wontons for Chinese New Year as a starter to your celebration meal. These deep-fried dumplings offer an explosion of flavor that will keep your guests happy!
I’ve got more delicious recipes for Chinese New Year for you to enjoy – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one.
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A wonton is a type of Chinese dumpling commonly found across regional styles of Chinese cuisine.
Wontons are made by spreading a square wrapper (a dough skin made of flour, egg, water, and salt) flat in the palm of one’s hand, placing a small amount of filling in the center and sealing the wonton into the desired shape by compressing the wrapper’s edges together with the fingers.
The most common filling is ground pork and shrimp, with various seasonings and sometimes vegetables. – Wikipedia
Wontons can be deep-fried, steamed, or boiled and served in soup and can be made into a variety of shapes including triangles and little “money bags”. You only have to do a quick search online to see the different wonton styles.
Wontons may look difficult to fold, but Yvonne from Souper Diaries shows you how to wrap wontons nine ways and they look super easy when you know how! She says if you have several fillings it’s a great way to distinguish them.
Ingredients used in this recipe
The full ingredients list, quantities, and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here is a brief outline so you know what to expect from the recipe.
I highly recommend always reading a recipe all the way through before starting.
- Minced Pork or Chicken
- Sesame Oil – optional
- Wonton Wrappers*
- Oil – for deep-frying
You may be able to find wonton wrappers (or spring roll wrappers) in your regular supermarket. However, if you live near a Chinatown or have an Asian supermarket in your area, you can buy some of the more specialised ingredients there.
Equipment used in this recipe
You are likely to have most standard cooking tools in your kitchen but I’ve added some Amazon links for your convenience should you need something more specific for this recipe.
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Fried Wontons Recipe Tips
You may think fried wontons are tricky to make, and believe me, I thought the same thing when I made them for the first time. But they are surprisingly simple and your guests will be impressed with your skills!
- The ingredients that are folded into the wonton wrappers are raw.
- Be mindful when handling raw meat and wash your hands and work area thoroughly when finished to prevent cross-contamination.
- Use just a teaspoon of filling mixture in your wontons so that they are not over-filled.
- Brush some water around the filling and to the edges of the wrapper so that the wonton is secure when folded.
- You can tie off the “money bag” shaped wontons with a long strip of green onion (spring onion).
- You can make wontons in advance and keep covered in the fridge until ready to cook. Take them out about half an hour before cooking to bring them to room temperature.
- These wontons are deep-fried. If you have a deep-fryer at home you will be able to use that to cook them. If you don’t you will need to use oil in a large saucepan.
- Fry the wontons in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan – this lowers the temperature of the oil and the food won’t cook properly.
- Remove from oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Serve fried wontons with store-bought dipping sauces like sweet chili or sweet and sour sauce.
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How to Deep-Fry Safely
If you have not deep-fried food before it can be quite daunting. However, follow my tips below so that you can deep-fry food at home safely and confidently.
If you find you want to do a lot of deep-frying, then it is worth investing in a dedicated deep-fryer, which is safer and more convenient to use.
- Use an oil with a high smoking point. Vegetable or groundnut/peanut oil is generally the best for deep-frying as they have a neutral taste, are economical to buy, and have a high smoke point. You do not want to be using an extra-virgin olive oil which is best for dressing food.
- Use a large, deep, wide, sturdy pan. I tend to use my old-fashioned pressure cooker saucepan as it fulfills all of those requirements. A Dutch oven is another good option.
- Do not overfill the pan. Never fill the pan more than two-thirds with oil as it may bubble up when you add food and spill over.
- NEVER throw water on an oil/grease fire. Keep a damp (not wet) tea towel nearby to help smother the flames. Alternatively, invest in a fire blanket.
- Keep a well-fitting lid close to hand. If you don’t have a lid for the pot you are using, you can use a baking sheet. Use this to cover the pan should it catch fire.
- Invest in a fire extinguisher. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen already, this is the perfect time to purchase one. You never know when you will need it.
- Use a thermometer. Oil for deep-frying should be somewhere between 180C and 200C/375F and 400F. A food thermometer will help you to keep an eye on the temperature.
- NEVER leave a pan of hot oil unattended. It can take just a minute or two for the oil to overheat and catch fire. It is not worth the risk.
- Never put wet food in the fryer. Excess liquid causes the oil to splutter which can cause injuries. Particularly wet foods should be patted dry with a paper towel before frying.
- Turn off the heat. If the oil starts smoking it has become too hot and may catch fire. Turn off the heat, move the pan to another ring on your stovetop/hob and allow to cool completely.
- Turn pan handles away from the front of the cooker. This is a good kitchen practice for any type of cooking. It will help you to avoid knocking the pan from the stovetop/hob.
- Child-free and pet-free zone. I feel like this doesn’t need explaining, but hot oil is dangerous stuff. Keep the kids and the animals shut out of the kitchen when deep-frying.
- How to dispose of the oil safely. Never pour the oil down the sink, unless you want blocked pipes! Leave to cool completely before pouring into a jug/pitcher and funneling it into its original (empty) bottle or another sealable container for disposal in the trash.
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What to do when deep-frying goes wrong
Now, if you’ve read through all of that and are panicking. Please don’t. Just be sensible and follow the tips I have provided for you.
However, if something does happen:
- Keep calm.
- Turn off the heat and smother the flames with a lid, large baking sheet, damp (not wet) tea towel, or a fire blanket.
- Use a fire extinguisher if you have one.
- DO NOT spray water on an oil/grease fire. This will cause the flames to spread.
- Call the emergency fire services on the number in your country of residence when it is safe to do so.
Serve a Chinese New Year Banquet!
You’ve made the appetizer, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full banquet for Chinese New Year!
- Soup: Longevity Noodle Soup with Chicken Meatballs
- Beef Dish: Stir-Fried Beef with Ginger
- Chicken Dish: Chicken with Cashews
- Pork Dish: Hoi Sin Pork & Water Chestnuts
- Vegan Dish: Buddha’s Delight
- Vegetable Dish: Stir-Fried Chinese Vegetables
- Beverage: Jasmine Iced Tea
- Dessert: Toffee Banana & Toffee Apple
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy! Please feel free to check them out too.
More Chinese Appetizers
Need some more appetizers for Chinese New Year? Take a look at these next:
Know someone who would love this recipe? Why not forward it onto them by email or WhatsApp?
- 450g/1 lb minced chicken or pork
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp sesame oil, optional
- 2 tsp corn starch (cornflour)
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- Water, for sealing wontons
- Green onions (spring onions), optional
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Mix meat, salt, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, and corn starch (cornflour) together in a bowl.
- Layout a wonton wrapper. Place about 1 teaspoon of meat mixture in the center.
- Brush a little water on the wrapper, around the meat to the edges. Bring all the sides of the wrapper up around the meat. Pinch together to seal. You can tie a long strip of green (spring) onion around if you wish.
- Alternatively, you can fold the wrapper diagonally to form triangles.
- Continue wrapping until all meat is used.
- Preheat vegetable oil in deep-fryer or large saucepan* to 180C/350F.
- Gently place the wontons into the hot oil. Cook in batches so that they do not overlap.
- Fry for until crispy and golden.
- Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and let cool on paper towels.
- Serve immediately with sweet chili or sweet and sour sauce on the side.
*Please see tips on deep-frying in blog post.
If you prefer more texture and variety in the meat, you can add finely chopped water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, Chinese mushrooms, green onions (spring onions), or carrots. You could also add finely chopped shrimp.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 396mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 17g