Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fried Wontons are a super delicious appetiser or snack that look super impressive but are super simple to make.
Sometimes, when it comes to dinner, one dish just isn’t enough.
Heck, sometimes one location for dinner isn’t enough.
And so, one hot and buzzing night in the port town of Hoi An, Vietnam, we decided a roaming dinner was the order of the
day, err… night, and discovered a beloved local delicacy: Crispy, tasty and super moreish Vietnamese Fried Wontons.
Our lives have never been the same since, really.
The Night of the Epic Roaming Dinner began with a simple entrée of roll-your-own summer rolls.
Pulling up tiny plastic chairs at our tiny plastic table, we nestled down away from bustling foot traffic and tucked into soft pork filled rice paper rolls dipped in spicy sweet and sour sauce.
Hoi An’s streets had darkened while we munched, and were now lined with merry-makers walking and talking under the glinting lamplight.
We set out in search of second course, crossing the river over an old stone bridge as fiery paper lanterns bobbed along in the water, flowing slowly downstream.
And then we spotted it.
Just a simple roadside cart, but it was the answer to all our foodie dreams. Piled high with deliciousness, we found not just main course, but second entrée as well. (Second entrée’s a thing, right?)
As it turned out, second entrée was one of Hoi An’s most famous bites: Cao Lau. A legendary dish of chewy noodles made according to a secret recipe (closely guarded by tight-lipped Hoi An families), topped with thick slices of Chinese char siu pork, crispy greens and crunchy croutons. Yum!
But it wasn’t over just yet. Time for main course. 😉
Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Fried Wontons (Hoanh Thanh Chien)
The crowning glory of the evening was a batch of piping hot, crispy, golden fried wontons that hit the table in front of us, smothered in a quirky combo of bright, sweet and fruity flavours unlike any other Vietnamese dish we’d gorged on before.
Oh. My. God. Yum.
One bite and we knew we needed to recreate our own. Helen Le’s recipe over at Danang Cuisine helped us decode the ingredients, which we then adapted and added a few extra flavours and ingredients to make it closer to the version we had in Hoi An.
With origins tracing back to the port town’s influx of Chinese migrants, we’re pleased to report that Vietnamese Fried Wontons are super quick and easy to make. Simply mix up your filling, seal some inside each wrapper in a fancy triangular shape, fry until golden and enjoy. No fussy sealing pattern or skills required.
Alternatively, for a slightly healthier version you can steam or simmer them in your favourite Asian soup broth.
So guys, what do you think? Are Vietnamese Fried Wontons the best snack everrr? If you love these, be sure to check out our Japanese Pork Gyoza recipe too, and don’t forget our other awesome Asian recipes.
- Blender or food processor
- Small frypan
For the Wontons:
- 20 square wonton wrappers
- 160 g pork roughly diced into small pieces
- ½ shallot chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cm fresh ginger grated
- 2 tsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp vegetable oil we used soybean oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Extra vegetable oil for cooking
- Small bowl of water
For the Sweet & Sour Sauce:
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ shallot finely diced
- 1 tomato finely diced
- ½ cup pineapple finely chopped
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha or to taste
- 1 tsp lime juice or to taste
- 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water
For the Wontons:
- Add the pork, chopped shallot, garlic and ginger into a blender or food processor and give it a whirl. Add in the hoisin sauce, fish sauce, vegetable oil and cornstarch, season with pepper and give it another whirl until everything has nicely blended. Set aside.
- Now get ready to wrap your wontons. Take a wonton skin in your hand and place a teaspoon of filing on top. Your goal is to create a triangle wonton, so spread the filling out in a thin layer across one half of the skin. Dab some water along the outside edges, then fold the other half of the skin across the top and press with your fingers to seal. Repeat until you've used up all the filling.
- To fry, pour the vegetable oil in a small frypan until it's a couple of centimetres deep. Gently heat to a medium heat, then fry the wontons in batches until the filling has cooked and the outside is a deep golden brown (a few minutes on each side should do the trick).
For the Sauce:
- Heat the vegetable oil in a small frypan and add the garlic and shallots. Get them nice and fragrant, then add your tomato and pineapple. Cook and stir until nice and soft.
- Now add the spring onions and fish sauce, season with sriracha and lime juice to taste. Pour in the cornstarch mixture and stir until it starts to thicken. Add a little more of any seasoning til you're happy with the flavour, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Slather your wontons in the sweet and sour sauce and serve immediately.
Variations & Substitutes
- If you don’t feel like making the sweet and sour sauce, you can also make a simple dipping sauce by mixing soy sauce, chilli sauce and vinegar. Or if you’re feeling a bit fusion-y, why not top with mayonnaise or your favourite aioli?
- For a slightly healthier version you can steam or simmer them in your favourite soup broth.