Fried shrimp wontons are a tasty fried snack in T&T.
It is best enjoyed with your favorite dipping sauce like ketchup, chili sauce, pepper sauce or garlic sauce.
Here’s how I make my shrimp wontons.
What is in this fried shrimp wontons recipe
The ingredients you will need include:
- cleaned, deveined shrimp
- lime juice (if the shrimp has a fresh smell)
- store-bought wonton skin wrappers
- Caribbean green seasoning with chadon beni, garlic, chives, pepper
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- oil for frying
- water for folding
Optional ingredients that I often use:
- BBQ sauce (sweet honey BBQ sauce is my favorite)
How to make fried shrimp wontons
Prep the shrimp
Step 1: Clean the shrimp. I’m starting with already cleaned and deveined small shrimp. If you are starting with fresh, unprocessed shrimp, be sure to break the head off and remove the legs, tail and veins from each shrimp. The top vein is the shrimp’s digestive tract and can cause allergies. The bottom vein is its nerve and isn’t necessary to remove. Personally, I remove both of them.
Step 2: Rinse the shrimp thoroughly. If the shrimp has a fresh smell, add a little lime juice, mix and then rinse. Leaving the juice for too long can ‘cook’ the shrimp and make them rubbery.
Step 3: If you purchase medium to large shrimp, be sure to cut them into smaller pieces (half inch pieces are great).
Season the shrimp
Step 4: Season the shrimp with your favorite spices and seasonings. I use Caribbean green seasoning with garlic, pepper and fresh herbs from my garden like chadon beni and chives. Feel free to add oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, celery powder, Chinese seasoning and more. The seasoning possibilities are endless.
Step 5: Cover and refrigerate the shrimp for an hour to marinate.
Cook the shrimp filling
Step 6: Strain out any excess water from the shrimp after marinating.
Step 7: Next, in a small pot on medium heat, add a little oil and the marinated shrimp. Stir to prevent sticking and cover for 5 minutes.
Step 8: Remove the cover and stir again. The shrimp will release its own liquid. Allow this liquid to boil off and the shrimp to become pink to orange-ish (less than 5 minutes).
Step 9: Add in the bitters, BBQ sauce and ketchup. Mix thoroughly and allow to cook for another minute or two. With these sauces, you won’t need to add salt. But if you decide against using them, be sure to add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 10: Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Fill and fold the wontons
It’s time to fill the store-bought wonton wrappers. There are a couple different ways to fold the wontons. The ones I’m doing here look like little boats.
Step 11: Here’s how I fill and fold the wontons:
- place the entire square wrapper into a small bowl of water.
- shake off the excess water.
- place a teaspoon of the filling in the center of the square.
- fold one corner over to meet the opposite corner, forming a triangle.
- press and squeeze the edges together.
- push the filling upward slightly using your thumb.
- pull the two bottom corners of the triangle towards each other.
- place one of the bottom corners over the other and squeeze.
- place on a non-stick tray to dry out.
- lift up gently after a couple minutes to prevent sticking to the tray.
A couple notes on these steps:
#1 Some people just dab water on the edges before folding. This is fine to do, but I’ve found dunking the wrappers in water provides a better seal.
#2 The wontons are completely wet at the beginning and then dry out after a few minutes. But as they dry, they can stick to the tray. Pulling them off can tear them right where the filling is. To prevent this, gently lift off the wontons before they completely dry out.
#3 You can fold the edges over the filling too for a flat, compact wonton. By folding it this way, you can actually use less oil for frying.
Frying the shrimp wontons
Step 12: Place a large heavy pot on the stove on medium heat. Add enough oil to the pot for deep frying. Allow the pot and the oil to heat up properly. It can take about 15 minutes to heat up so get that started while you are filling and folding the wontons. Test the oil to see if it is ready by sticking a bamboo skewer into the oil. If lots of bubbles form around the skewer, the oil is ready.
Step 13: Add the wontons to the oil. They’ll sink to the bottom in the beginning but will rise up after a few seconds as the wrapper cooks. Turn the wontons to ensure even cooking and browning.
Step 14: Once the wontons are golden brown, remove from the pot and place on napkins to soak up the excess oil. Serve hot.
Tips for making wontons
If you purchase frozen wonton wrappers or store them in the freezer, be sure to take them out a couple hours beforehand. The wrappers should be completely defrosted, soft and pliable before folding.
If the wrappers are still frozen, they will break and tear as you fold. This can cause your filling to leak out or cause the oil to sputter.
If you do have tearing of the wrappers, try moistening and sealing the edges. You could also wrap the wonton with another wonton skin.
Don’t add the wontons to the hot oil unless they have dried out properly (you should see a color change and no visible sign of water). If they are still wet, the oil will sputter and may burn your skin.
What to serve with fried wontons
Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce like ketchup, mustard, pepper sauce, chili sauce, or garlic sauce.
Serve also with other Chinese recipes too like fried rice, chow mein, Chinese-style chicken and more.
Fried shrimp wontons recipe
Trinidad-style fried shrimp wontons
- 1½ cups cleaned, deveined small shrimp (half pound)
- 1½ tbsp green seasoning (with chadon beni, garlic, chive, pepper)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 2 dashes bitters
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- lime juice if necessary
- 50 store-bought wonton wrappers
- water for folding
- oil for deep frying
- Clean and devein the shrimp; rinse with lime juice if necessary.
- Mix green seasoning and shrimp together.
- Cover and refrigerate to marinate for an hour.
- Strain any excess water from the shrimp.
- Place a small pot on medium heat.
- Add a tablespoon of oil.
- Add the shrimp and stir to prevent sticking.
- Cover and cook for five minutes.
- Remove the cover.
- Allow the liquid to boil off and the shrimp to become pink (less than five minutes).
- Add bitters, BBQ sauce and ketchup. Mix.
- Cook for another minute.
- Set aside to cool.
- Place a large pot on medium heat.
- Add enough oil to the pot for deep frying.
- Leave to heat up (15 minutes).
- Place a single square wrapper into a bowl of water.
- Remove immediately, shake off the excess water.
- Add a teaspoon of the cooled filling to the center.
- Fold the wrapper along its diagonal.
- Press along the edges.
- Pull the bottom corners together, with one over the other.
- Squeeze the bottom corners together.
- Place on non-stick tray to dry out.
- Lift up after 5 minutes to prevent sticking.
- When the oil is very hot, place the dried out wontons.
- Turn after 10 – 20 seconds to ensure even brownness.
- When golden brown, remove from oil.
- Place on napkins to soak up oil.
- Serve hot.