Crispy Thai-Style Wontons

Here is my interpretation of the familiar crispy wontons, hut with a touch of various typically Thai flavours. The wontons are easily prepared and their crisp, dry texture goes down well as an appetizer or with drinks. Wonton skins can he bought fresh or frozen from Chinese grocers. (Be sure to thaw them thoroughly if they are frozen.)

Ingredients

For the Filling

  • 350 g (12 oz) cooked fresh crabmeat
  • 100 g (4 oz) minced pork
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese white rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato purée or tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour mixed with 2 teaspoons water
  • 250 g (9 oz) wonton skins
  • 600 ml (1 pint) groundnut or vegetable oil for deep-frying

Method

Put the crabmeat and pork in a large bowl. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and mix well, either by kneading with your hand or by stirring with a wooden spoon. Add rest of the filling ingredients and stir them well into the crabmeat and pork mixture. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill it for at least 20 minutes.

In a small pan, combine all the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce, except the cornflour mixture. Bring the ingredients to the boil, stir in the cornflour mixture and cook for 1 minute. Allow to cool.

When you are ready to stuff the wontons, put 1 tablespoon of the filling in the centre of the first wonton skin. Dampen the edges with a little water and bring up the sides of the skin around the filling. Pinch the edges together at the top so that the wonton is sealed. It should look like a small, filled bag.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add a handful of wontons and deep-fry for 3 minutes until golden and crispy. If the oil gets too hot, turn down the heat slightly. Drain them well on kitchen paper. Continue to fry the wontons until they are all cooked. Serve immediately with the sweet and sour sauce.

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