Traditional Wontons

  • Active Time 45m
  • Total Time 45m
  • Rating ****

60 Wontons

These wontons can be deep-fried, steamed or boiled and may be served with any one of the accompanying dipping sauces.


  • 2 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 1/2 pound ground pork or chicken
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 60 wonton skins
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying (optional)
  • Soy-Vinegar Sauce, Orange Sweet-and-Sour Sauce, Spicy Fish Sauce or Spiced Salt
  • Soy-Vinegar Sauce:
  • Makes 1/4 Cup
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Orange Sweet-and-Sour Sauce:
  • Makes 1 Cup
  • 1 whole small dried red chile
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • In a small nonreactive saucepan, simmer all the ingredients over low heat for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  • Spicy Fish Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce*
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • *Available at Asian markets
  • Combine all the ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar thoroughly.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Spiced Salt:
  • Use this flavored salt as a dip for any fried food or as a dry rub in cooking.
  • Makes About 1/4 Cup
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and Szechuan peppercorns over moderately low heat, stirring often, until aromatic, about 3 minutes.
  • Let cool. Grind in a spice grinder or in a mortar and transfer to a bowl.
  • Add the ground pepper and salt and mix well.


In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch the cabbage for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Then squeeze out the excess water.

In a bowl, combine the cabbage with the pork, cilantro, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Toss well.

Lay out 10 wonton skins on a work surface; keep the remainder covered. Place a rounded 1/2 teaspoon of filling in the center of each skin; dampen the edges and fold over to form a triangle. Press out the air and seal the edges. Dampen the two points farthest from each other and pinch them together to form a hat, or tortellini, shape. Put the wontons on a flour-dusted baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. Repeat the procedure with the remaining skins and filling.

TO DEEP-FRY THE WONTONS: In a wok, heat the oil to almost 400 degrees F. Add the wontons in batches of 10 and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

TO BOIL THE WONTONS: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the wontons in batches and cook until they float to the top. Transfer to a colander to drain.

TO SERVE: Transfer the wontons to a platter and pass one or more of the dipping sauces


VARIATION: For vegetable wontons, in place of the pork, steam 1 1/2 pounds stemmed fresh spinach until just wilted, squeeze dry and coarsely chop. In a small saucepan, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach. Add to the bowl with the cabbage and the rest of the ingredients and proceed.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 5268

nutrition information per serving

35 calories; 1g total fat; 3mg cholesterol; 118mg sodium; 5g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 2g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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