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going from hot to cold

Recipe: fried shrimp wontons

I’ve been hearing/reading about the broiler weekend everyone has been having on the East coast. Something to be said for the ridge-trough-ridge systems that march through. Our mild and sunny days in the mountains this week gave way to a thick fog this morning followed by drizzle and then… snow. I know some of you will grimace at the mention of snow as we’re almost into May, but if I didn’t like snow, I’d be (even more of) an idiot to live here, don’t you think? I like my snow and drizzle and frizzle and grauple and hail and t-storms and rain and sun. I love the weather. Makes me feel alive. Okay wait, I am not a fan of the winds here. THAT I could easily do without and since our wind season is over, it’s time to sand and oil the patio furniture again!

I must plug a new site that Chuck [of SND, of foodgawker, of many talents] has recently launched. It’s beautiful! It’s craftgawker! Go check it out – nice craft porn.

Speaking of crafts… I had a little gathering of my betties for another stitch-n-bitch, but this time only one knitter. Everyone else – well, we all worked on different projects: bee keeping, drawing, beading, and sewing. Here’s what came of my distracted efforts (there was a visiting puppy running around that needed to be played with, you know):


bright and little

handy wallet



That was a first attempt from a design in my head. I am a novice sewer – a noodler sewer. With helpful feedback, the next iteration will be more streamlined. I’m jazzed. I love making something that someone can use. Of course, I love feeding people too. I started the session with some fried shrimp wontons. The weather was still warm, so the thought of soup wontons didn’t jive with the temperature on the deck.

rinsing green onions

slice thin



I think of wontons and dumplings to be very similar in terms of fillings. The main difference for me is that I make my own dumpling wrappers whereas I will buy wonton wrappers from my local Asian grocer. That might be because dumplings were a homemade treat growing up in my house, but wontons were almost like “convenience” food because we didn’t make the skins from scratch. I had forgotten how much I loved a good wonton though.

peeled shrimp, green onions, ginger, water chestnuts

mixed together with salt and sesame oil



When I make shrimp potstickers, I add pork to the filling or else my potstickers wind up being too dry. But I didn’t bother adding pork to these as they were going to be deep-fried. The shrimp in the photo, by the way, are pink when raw (wild caught Gulf pink shrimp from Whole Foods), just so you don’t go and cook them for the filling. Keep the shrimp RAW. I chopped them up coarsely because I like the texture of chunky shrimp in my wontons. That also means they will be a little tougher to handle during wrapping, but hey – we’re not afraid of a little extra work around here, right?

wipe the edges with water or egg white wash

fold in half on the diagonal and press the edges together

cross the wings like the wonton is embarrassed



I try to press out as much air as possible when folding these guys or else the air will heat up and expand during the frying process, puffing the wonton into a little balloon. They only take a few minutes to turn golden and then they’re done. I’ve done these with pork before too and the filling gets cooked through without any problems. I know that dayglo, sweet and sour, gloppy sauce is all the rage with fried wontons and eggrolls, but… that’s so white! I prefer (and I think my guests did too) a more traditional soy sauce-vinegar combination dipping sauce. I added a touch of sugar and grated ginger to it as well. Awesome. Huge hit with the betties.

impossible to resist



Fried Shrimp Wontons
[print recipe]

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped
3-4 stalks green onions, washed, trimmed, diced
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup water chestnuts, small dice
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tbsp sesame oil
~ 50 wonton wrappers
water or beaten egg white for sealing wrappers
oil for deep-frying

dipping sauce
1 tsp ginger, grated
1/2 tsp sugar
4 tbsps soy sauce
2-3 tbsps red wine or rice wine vinegar
chili garlic paste (optional)

Mix the shrimp, green onions, ginger, and water chestnuts in a bowl. Season with salt and sesame oil. Mix well. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper and wet the edges on one half of the wonton with the water or egg white wash. Fold the wrapper in half on the diagonal and press the edges together, pushing out any air pockets in the wonton. Daub one of the bottom corners with more water or egg white wash and fold the wings in front of the wonton so that they cross at the corners. Press together. When all wontons are folded, heat oil in a deep medium saucepan to 350°F. Fry 5-6 wontons at a time until they are golden brown. Remove and set on a rack. To make dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Serve hot wontons with dipping sauce.

36 nibbles at “going from hot to cold”

  1. Tartelette says:

    Gosh…these are just fabulous Jen. Good thing I have everything on hand to make these tomorrow for our guests and they can help with the filling and folding and frying…wait! All I *have* to do is tell them *what* to do…I am a genius :)
    Seriously, this would be good to be done as a group thing with other foodies (unless of course there are pics involved)
    Love the little wallet!

  2. Chuck says:

    Thanks for the shout out to craftgawker. I hope to see your beautiful creations on the site soon! The wontons look delicious… would love to have some right now for a midnight snack.

  3. Mrs Ergül says:

    Now I wish I were one of your betties! It just looks so good and I love anything shimps! You are right, sometimes I too forget about our soy sauce-vinegar dip!

  4. Manggy says:

    Hah, I was going to add in my cry for chili something, but of course you didn’t forget and put it there, yay :) Yeah, I much prefer it to day-glo sweet and sour sauce!
    The pink shrimp is interesting– they also seem to be less translucent than normal shrimp. I wonder if that’s because they swim in warmer water. Nyork nyork nyork. I just ate some Chinese food for lunch but already I am craving these :)

  5. Kathy says:

    It’s almost breakfast time here, and I would love a wonton or two. I don’t discriminate about certain types of foods for certain meals. When you’re hungry – all bets are off.

  6. Rosa says:

    These wontons are perfect and look really good! A delicious speciality!

    Here, everything is green and it already looks like summer… Although we had a long and cold winter, it seems that things are a little earlier than usual.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  7. Bria says:

    I make your dumpling recipe, so I’m excited to try this one!

  8. amy says:

    these look so delicious! great app. I particularly love the instruction to “cross them in front like they’re embarrassed.: :)

    Such a cute little wallet, and I agree – Chuck’s craftgawker is a *great* site. I discovered it the other week when he added the new link up top and have been losing time browsing around the site ever since… :)

  9. Fiona says:

    Yum! Any chance you could talk a little bit about the difference among vinegars? I have seasoned and unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar, Chinese rice vinegar, white, white wine, red wine, apple cider…that might be it. And who knows what I’m supposed to be doing with all that stuff?

    Except the white. I know what that’s for: skunk cleanup.

    Anyway, lovely wontons, and I’m glad you cooked them in a regular pan. I don’t have a fryer (DANGER! Will Robinson, DANGER!), so if I do this it will be in a dutch oven type pan.

  10. Caitlin says:

    Those look absolutely delicious! Then again, there’s shrimp, it’s fried… can you really go wrong? It’s funny – I knit and crochet, but I don’t ever sew. Not sure why, especially when you turn out adorable sewn things like that!

  11. charlane says:

    YUM…I love wontons

  12. Phoo-D says:

    I just picked up a package of wonton wrappers to play with. Thank you for the recipe and inspiration. These sound absolutely delicious!

  13. Pearl says:

    i think that one line, “cross the wings like the won ton is embarrassed” made me laugh out loud. it totally does look like that! and the wallet is so pretty!

  14. Mollie says:

    gha! those look soooooo good! And really easy too. These are going on the list for a party someday soon… maybe even pig roast? I’m assuming I could get them all ready and then fry at the last minute? Hrmmmm may have to look into that. Looks amazing.

    Love the embarrassed wonton line. It made me think of a line from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape I always liked about raisins… “They taste sweet, but really, they’re just humiliated grapes.”

    When I make these, I promise not to be all white and serve them with day-glo sauce :)

  15. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    *Must try wontons!
    These look fab so does the wallet!

  16. Rasa Malaysia says:

    What can I say? God bless the Chinese for inventing all these sinfully delicious morsels–wontons, jiaozi, potstickers, dumplings. :)

  17. Weekend Foodie Links : Blisstree - Family, Health, Home and Lifestyles says:

    [...] Fried Shrimp Wantons at Use Real [...]

  18. Kevin says:

    Those crispy fried wontons look so good!

  19. cindy says:

    cute little wallet…can’t sew, so high five!

    love the wontons and the dipping sauce sounds perfect.

  20. Asianmommy says:

    The wallet looks so cute.
    Yum! Shrimp wontons look perfect.

  21. katie says:

    Gawd I want those to have cheese in them, I know I am white…

  22. JessW says:

    Oh yummy! Wondering if I could put some crab in there…?

  23. sweetbird says:

    I promise that not all of us white people eat Asian food like we’re…well…white people.

    I now have a strong urge to defrost the wonton wrappers in my freezer.

  24. Melissa says:

    Nice wallet! Very cute.

    “cross the wings like the wonton is embarrassed”

    That made me giggle. And I am totally with you on those nasty sauces for wontons. Ick. I much prefer a dip like yours. The Japanese place down the street from me does it perfectly. Mmm. Maybe for dinner.

  25. Y says:

    The wallet is very cute. I’m a crafter wannabe, but I don’t have the patience or the skill, unfortunately. One thing I remember making in school was a tissue holder, and we all know how useful those are!

    Nothing beats wontons with ginger dipping sauce, or hot chilli sauce, now that I think of it. Mmmm..

  26. jo says:

    Now this makes me want to run out now and make a batch of wontons too!

  27. barbara says:

    Adding these to my to do list Jen. I’ll need to overcome my fear of deep frying first.

  28. dawn says:

    amazing, and you make it look so easy. Those sauces, I can never get enough of those sauces.

  29. Britni says:

    Jen, do you ever use Mirin in your dipping sauce? I live in Japan and they serve a sauce with the Yaki-gyoza (similar to your steamed dumplings, but after they are steamed they are fried on a hot griddle) that I just can’t quite wrap my mind around (as in, that sauce blows my mind) and for the life of me, there’s a layer of flavor that I can’t pinpoint. I’m guessing it’s Mirin, just because. Yeah, just because.

  30. Kristin says:

    Yummy looking wontons. Wish I had the dirty/stinky kitchen outside so I’d be inspired to fry. You must have a great fabric store. You have such pretty fabric.

  31. Kirsa says:

    those are mouth-watering ! I just can’t get enough of you Jen !

  32. jaden says:

    Isn’t it hard to fold wontons and photograph at the same time!?! LOL! THey look fantastic honey!

  33. jenyu says:

    Tartelette – ha ha, I hope they enjoyed the hard work and the rewards :)

    Chuck – absolutely hon!

    Mrs. E – I’m partial to shrimp too! Luckily, we can get some here (but the ocean is far far away)

    Mark – oh, I love some chili sauce with my chinese food. The pink shrimp are still pretty translucent, but they’re nice and sweet (and wild caught).

    Kathy – I prefer savory food for brekkie too!

    Rosa – thanks. We keep toggling back and forth: winter/spring.

    Bria – this is way easier!

    Amy – ;) Craftgawker is fun – a nice break from all of the food gawking (which makes me hungry…)

    Fiona – lemmesee here… The vinegars all have different tastes. The ones I use the most in Asian cooking are red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar (seasoned and unseasoned), and black vinegar. That black vinegar is addictive if you like vinegar. I mean, ummmmm! ADDICTIVE. It’s a stronger and more pronounced flavor. Jeremy doesn’t like it. I put red wine vinegar in my hot and sour soup. I use rice wine vinegar for seasoning sushi rice and for stuff like japanese cucumber salad. It’s sweeter.

    Caitlin – I am a very untalented sewer, knitter, crotcheter – so YOU CAN DO IT! :) It’s the engineer in me (and so, by extension, you should be great at it).

    Charlane – :)

    Phoo-D – yay!

    Pearl – thanks!

    Mollie – oh, I think I’d shove those shrimp wontons out of the way for a pig roast! Yes, you could totally get them ready ahead of time and fry just before serving. Just take care that they don’t get soggy and stick to one another (so space them apart). I love that movie, btw!

    MyKitchenInHalfCups – thank you :)

    Rasa Malaysia – Ha ha, you are so cute! I could just as easily say the same for you making them look so darn good on your site!!

    Kevin – thank you!

    Cindy – I can’t sew either, so I’m sure you could totally rock this.

    Asianmommy – aww, thanks.

    Katie – cheese? *shudder* :) I’m sure cheese would be good, but it’s so not in my Asian mindset :)

    JessW – I’m sure crab would be FAB!

    Sweetbird – hee hee, I jest. I love to tease my whitey friends ;) And they put up with it, as long as I keep feeding them – ha ha ha!

    Melissa – thanks sweetie. Oh, how I wish I had a Japanese place down the street from me!! Have extras for me babe :)

    Y – I’m a crafter doofus, I don’t have the skill, but I have the stupidity ;)

    Jo – yes! Go do it!! :)

    Barbara – I only overcame my fear of deep frying recently. You can totally do it :) Start with a smallish pot. And wear and apron :)

    Dawn – thanks!

    Britni – I have a bottle of Mirin for a recipe (a Japanese recipe), but I’ve never put it in my sauces. That said, I’m sure it’s good. I wonder if you’re thinking of ponzu sauce? I am *crazy* for ponzu! It’s citrusy, soy-saucey, delicious. Could that be it?

    Kristin – oh, the fabric is just from the generic JoAnn fabrics in Boulder. Batiks. I love batiks.

    Kirsa – too sweet! *blush*

    Jaden – well, I just had to clean flour out from the focus ring of the lens ;) ha ha ha. Thanks, chica. I went in search of recipe on your site FIRST! xxoo

  34. Asha says:

    can i bake these? if so, temp and time? thanks!

  35. jenyu says:

    Asha – I’m sure you could, but I couldn’t tell you for how long or what temp. I would guess something like 350°F and then check on them until they’re done?

  36. Ce mai e nou? Despre maia si altele. | Apa. Faina. Sare. says:

    [...] In afara de paine, ca m-ati intrebat :), am mai facut asa: wonton cu carne macinata (inclusiv aluatul de wonton, pe care l-am luat de aici), reteta lui Sally de noodles, adaptata de [...]

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