Shrimp Wontons or Wantons is one of those snacks I grew up eating at the many Chinese restaurants and food trucks in San Fernando Trinidad as a young fella. Fresh from the fryer and dipped in a basic sauce of soy sauce and pepeprsauce, it was the ideal thing to eat after dad, my younger brother and I would go watch Kung Fu movies on a Saturday afternoon. It was usually the appetizer for an amazing full-on Chinese meal, as you could ONLY get in Trinidad and Tobago. Ask any Trinbagonian and they will swear that ‘our’ Chinee (Chinese) food is unlike any you’d find elsewhere.
3/4 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
pinch black pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet (optional)
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
1 teaspoon soy sauce
pinch of salt
3 cups veg oil for frying
Tip: If you wanted to replace the shrimp with chicken, you can certainly do so.
Finely chop the prepared shrimp, scallion, scotch bonnet (no seeds and wash your hands after with soap and water) and grate the ginger. Place everything (except the veg oil and wrappers) in a bowl and combine. Allow to marinate for 15 mins.
It’s now time to prepare the little packages, called wontons for frying. I like making them all, before I start frying as they cook very fast. Take a wonton wrapper and wet 2 sides – meet at a corner… with water (on your fingers). Then place about 1/2 teaspoon of the shrimp mix in the center. Now (press the air out as you seal it) close by folding the dry corners over the wet corners. You’ll be left with a filled triangle package. Wet one of the outer corners with water and pull the other corner to touch, overlap and stick! Sounds a bit confusing, but you can watch the video below to see how simple this is.
Heat the veg oil on a medium/high flame and gently place a few of the wantons (so the hot oil doesn’t splash back at you). I did about 20 of these wontons, but you can easily get between 40-50 from the shrimp base we made. If you have remaining shrimp, freeze for another time.
Fry for about 3 mins on each side.. be sure to flip so it’s evenly cooked. In about 5-7 mins they will be nice and golden and ready to remove. Place on some paper towels to drain off the excess oil and do try to serve warm. You can always make these a couple hours in advance (if hosting people) and reheat in the oven. But they’re so much better freshly made (they may tend to go soggy after a while).
My dipping sauce was VERY basic.. soy sauce and peppersauce (hot sauce). But you can be creative with sesame oil, Hoisin, fish sacue or any other condiment/sauces you like.