Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
- SERVES 6+ as an Appetizer (Makes Approx. 20 "purses")
- 1 package fresh wonton wrappers (I used round wrappers, but square will work too)
- 1/2 cup cooked shrimp or crab meat (or substitue 1/2 cup cooked chicken, pork, or turkey)
- handful fresh chives to "tie" the purses (you will need 1 chive per purse + a few extra)
- 1 cup (or more) canola oil (or other low-smoking oil for frying)
- 1 bottle Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, for serving (available at most large grocery store chains in the Asian section)
- SPICE PASTE:
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander (include both leaves and stems)
- 1 fresh red chili, OR 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce (such as Nam Prik Pao)
- 3 spring (green) onions, sliced
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper (or substitute black pepper)
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in tall bottles at Asian/Chinese food stores)
- If you're starting with raw shrimp, quickly remove shells and then dunk the shrimp in boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until pink and plump.
- Place cooked shrimp or crab meat (or one of the substitutes) in a food processor or chopper. Add all the spice paste ingredients, then process well.
If you don't have a food processor or chopper:Slice up the meat as finely as you can, then add all the [minced] spice paste ingredients and stir well to incorporate.
- Taste-test this mixture, adding 1/2 Tbsp. more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty (this may be the case if you're using canned shrimp or crab), add a generous squeeze of lime juice.
- To create the purses, you will need a brush (like a pastry brush) and a small bowl of water. Spread 4-6 wonton wrappers out over a clean surface (a counter-top or chopping board work well). Dip the brush in water and wet 1 inch around the periphery of each wrapper.
- Place a small amount (1/2 tsp. to 1 teaspoon) of filling in the middle of each wrapper. Now lift up the sides of the wrappers and pinch them together over the filling. Tip: It helps if you wet your fingers as you pinch in order to secure the purse.
- Place the finished purses on a clean plate. Continue making the purses in this way until all the filling has been used up.
Make-ahead Tip: If you're expecting guests, cover the plate of purses and refrigerate until just before (or just after) guests arrive - up to 24 hours ahead of time. Then continue on with the final steps.
- Pour oil into a wok or small frying pan, so that oil is at least 1 inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat. When oil forms moving lines across the bottom of the pan, try dipping in the corner of a wonton wrapper. If the oil starts to sizzle around the wrapper, it's ready for frying. If nothing happens, wait another minute and try again.
- When oil is hot enough, use tongs to lay four or five purses on their sides in the pan. Allow to fry 30 seconds, or until they turn golden-brown, then turn over. Fry until the purses are uniformly golden-brown, then drain on a clean tea towel or paper towel. Keep purses warm in the oven until ready to serve.
- Before serving, tie each purse with a chive. You have to do this carefully, or the chive with snap. I find it helps to tie the chive first, then slip it over the top of the purse.
- Serve the purses with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, available in Asian/Chinese food stores and many of the larger grocery store chains. ENJOY!