These easy homemade pork wontons are juicy, delicious and simply the best. Made with simple authentic ingredients you’ll never go back to the packaged stuff! These pork wontons are easy to make and freeze beautifully. Make a batch ahead of time and pull them out for a quick weeknight dinner. Serve them with my easy dipping sauce as an appetizer or in noodle soup for a cozy meal.
What are Wontons?
Wontons are thinly wrapped morsels of minced meat or vegetables. The wrapping is usually made of wheat and eggs. Every Chinese region has their own version of wonton fillings with various seasonings. The most recognizable ones are probably Cantonese wontons which are usually a mixture of pork and shrimp.
Wontons can also be cooked a variety of ways – deep fried, pan fried, steamed or boiled. The most common are probably deep fried with a sauce or boiled with a flavourful broth (usually chicken) with or without noodles.
What’s the Difference between Wontons and Dumplings?
Wontons and dumplings are pretty similar! I’m strictly talking about Chinese dumplings here but the biggest difference is the wrapper. Chinese wontons are square in shape, generally have a thinner wrapper than their dumpling counterparts and have egg in them giving that distinct yellow color. Dumplings on the other hand are circle shaped, thicker wrappers and are usually white.
The fillings in wontons are generally pork, chicken, shrimp and sometimes vegetables. Generally simpler. Dumpling fillings are more varied with all kinds of proteins (chicken, pork, beef, fish etc) along with mushrooms and any kind of vegetable you can think of. The reason being their thicker wrappers can handle heavier fillings without bursting.
Last but not least, wontons are more delicate and smaller in size and dumplings are generally meatier and larger – I call a wonton a ballet dancer and a dumpling a football player 🙂 There are also a bunch of different ways to wrap a wonton from a square, triangle, bonnet or ruffled sack. Dumplings generally only half moon shape with or without ruffles.
Pork Wonton Filling Key Ingredients
My pork wontons have a simple filling that is easy to make without a lot of leftover ingredients. The flavour is delicate and mild tasting so it’s hard not to eat a whole bunch at once!
This is the main ingredient in my pork wontons. For extra juiciness I would recommend a medium pork mince but a lean mince is fine too. The added egg makes sure the filling is tender and luscious.
Chives or Scallions
Chives add a delicate sweetness and ensure the pork wontons are tender. I use yellow ones because they are more mild than green ones. Either are great! If you don’t have chives, scallions work great too and give a stronger oniony flavour to the wontons.
Grated ginger adds a nice bite to the dumplings. Without it, the filling is rather bland and lacks flavour dimension.
An egg ensures a nice pasty consistency to the filling and ensures it’s not crumbly. Other recipes call for blending in a food processor or stirring it till it reaches a paste-like consistency. I find it’s a little too much arm grease to accomplish and the egg is way easier. The wonton wrapper has egg in it already so you’re just highlighting this important ingredient.
Other Wonton Filling Ideas
Given the thin wonton wrapping, I wouldn’t recommend any fillings with too much water content and keep it simple.
Instead of pork, you can try chicken instead. Chicken generally has a smoother texture and also delivers a juicy wonton.
I highly recommend adding shrimp to wontons! If you’re combining it with pork/chicken I would do a 1:1 ratio. The smooth texture and sweetness of shrimp is what makes a classic Chinese wonton. I would even recommend doing an all shrimp wonton! Cut the shrimp into bite size pieces so no need to splurge on large size shrimps.
Mushrooms are a lovely addition. Brown, shiitake or enoki are good options. I would recommend cutting them thin and no larger than a fingernail size.
Instead of chives or green onion, cilantro is also a great option and offers a nice herbaceous note.
Any Chinese vegetable would be a great addition such as bok choy, yu choy, watercress, spinach etc. I would recommend chopping up the vegetables thinly and squeezing out excess water or else the filling will become too watery. Don’t go for more than a 2:1 ratio of protein to leafy vegetables.
How to Wrap Pork Wontons
There are many different ways to wrap a wonton but I stick to the “ingot” style since it’s classic and it’s the way I grew up eating it. The wontons look like little hats and the corners are pointed so the wrappers almost act like a noodle when cooked. If you’re new to wonton wrapping, simply fold them into a triangle. The excess wrapper will float beautifully (like a noodle) in soup!
Wrapping Wonton Set up Tips
- Fill 3 tablespoons of water in your used egg bowl and use that for sealing. I call it egg water 🙂
- Layout your wrappers, filling and egg water in a line above your work surface. Having them easily accessible will allow you to wrap easier and quicker.
- Have a cookie sheet with parchment paper beside you. Put your wrapped wontons in a single layer to avoid sticking and cover with a slightly damp paper towel.
- Always cover your wonton wrappers while working. Cover with a slightly damp paper towel or plastic wrap to prevent drying out.
Wonton Wrapping Instructions – Step by Step
- Take your first wrapper and place it down in a diamond orientation.
- Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling about ⅔ from the top of the wonton wrapper leaving about ½ inch (or 1 cm) gap from the edges to make sealing easier.
- Using your middle finger, dip it into the egg/water mixture and spread it (like you’re sealing an envelope) along the two of the edges of the wrapper closest to your filling.
- Take the opposite corner of the wrapper and close it over the filling forming a triangle. Press down to seal the wonton and line up the edges as best you can. Lift up the wonton and press between your thumb and index finger to ensure a good seal.
- Place the wonton triangle with the longer filling side facing you. Take the two corners and bring them together towards you like you’re tying a bow. Overlap these corners and seal them together with more egg water.
How to wrap pork wontons – video
How to Cook Pork Wontons
Wontons cook extremely quickly especially if they are just freshly wrapped.
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Drop in wontons with a slotted spoon (to avoid splashing).
- After about 2-3 mins, stir the wontons GENTLY to make sure none stick to the bottom of the pot. If some are stuck, wait an extra 2 minutes and nudge the wontons free by scrapping the bottom of the pot with a slotted spoon.
- Wontons will float to the top when ready.
- Cook for an extra 1 – 1.5 minutes until the wrappers are almost translucent. They will continue to cook a bit when removed from the pot.
Cooking Pork Wontons from Frozen
If boiling directly from frozen, extra cooking time will be needed. Place frozen wontons directly in boiling water (no need to thaw) and follow the same steps. Wontons will float to the top when done cooking.
- Cover wonton wrappers with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to avoid drying out and hardening.
- Always have extra wrappers in case of tearing. The wrappers are delicate and prone to tearing if handled improperly.
- Never overstuff your wontons. For a 3”x3” wonton wrapper, a heaping teaspoon of filling is enough.
- Don’t overcrowd your pot when boiling. Wontons should be spaced about 1 inch apart if they were to sit as one layer at the bottom of your pot (about 10-12 wontons for an 8 inch pot). This is to prevent uneven cooking. Or worse, overcooking and making a big sludgy mess.
- Wontons are done when they float and the dough is almost translucent. Once the wontons float to the top, cook for an extra 1-1.5 minutes. Don’t overcook!
As Pork Wonton Soup
Add cooked wontons to chicken broth flavoured with some white pepper, rice wine and sesame oil. Garnish with finely chopped scallions.
As Noodle Soup
In addition to wonton soup, add some wonton noodles and make it a healthy meal!
As an Appetizer
Serve boiled wontons on a plate drizzled with a tablespoon of dipping sauce included in this recipe. Garnish with finely chopped scallion. Serve the extra sauce on the side.
Pork wontons freeze beautifully and make a great quick meal! To freeze wontons, place them on a single layer (without touching), cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. Transfer into a freezer bag after and will keep for 2 months.
Storing in the Fridge
You can also store uncooked wrapped wontons in the fridge for up to 2 days. Line your storage container with paper towel and cover over your wontons before placing the container cover. This will prevent excessive moisture in your container and make the wontons soggy. This won’t affect how they cook but will be harder to handle during cooking. The paper towels might imprint on the wontons but also won’t affect their taste.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where can I buy wonton wrappers?
Wonton wrappers can be found in the refrigerator section of most Asian grocery stores. Make sure they are square in shape, yellow in color and eggs are included in the ingredients. The wrappers should also be thinner than dumpling wrappers.
Can I substitute dumplings wrappers for wonton wrappers?
Dumpling wrappers are similar to wonton wrappers. If substituting them for wonton wrappers, you’re essentially making dumplings! If so, seal them as half moon shapes instead of following the instructions for making an ingot (hat) shape.
What is the difference between dumplings and wontons?
They are similar in the sense that they both have fillings. But the biggest difference is in the wrapper – dumplings have thicker wrappers compared to wontons which are thinner and have egg in them. Wontons are generally more delicate and smaller compared to dumplings.
How do I know if my wontons are fully cooked?
If you’re boiling or deep frying wontons, fully cooked wontons will float to the top. Cook for an extra 1-1.5 minutes and remove carefully with a slotted spoon or strainer (see how to cook wontons section).
What if my wontons are sticking to the bottom of my pot?
Wontons should float to the top when done cooking. I usually stir the pot halfway while cooking to check. If some are sticking, wait an extra two minutes and gently nudge them free with a slotted spoon by gently scraping the bottom of the pot.
What is pork wonton soup?
Pork wonton soup is pork wontons in soup. The soup base is a clear broth, usually chicken with added flavourings like rice wine, sesame oil, white pepper and garnished with green onions. Most restaurants will also add chicken powder/bouillon.
Are wontons healthy?
Deep fried wontons are generally not as healthy as boiled wontons due to the fact they are cooked in oil. The wontons themselves are light and delicate with low sodium and fat content. A great healthy meal!
For other classic Chinese recipes check out:
Chinese chow mein with shiitake mushrooms
White cut chicken breast
Homemade Pork Wontons with Sesame Soy Sauce
For Pork Wontons
- ½ lb minced medium pork (or lean pork mince)
- 3 Tbsp. yellow chive (finely chopped)
- 1 Tbsp. Shaoxing wine (or other rice wine)
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 30 3" x 3" wonton wrappers (extras in case of ripping)
For Dipping Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. scallions (finely chopped)
- ½ grated ginger
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp chilli oil (optional)
- extra scallions (for garnishing)
Make Pork Wonton Filling
- In a medium bowl, combine minced pork, chives, wine, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, salt and sugar. Mix thoroughly with a fork.
- Mix in cornstarch thoroughly.
- Add beaten egg. Filling should resemble a paste (see photos).
Make Dipping Sauce
- In a small bowl, combine light soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, scallions, grated ginger, sesame oil, sesame seeds and chilli oil (if using).
- Mix thoroughly.
Wrap Wontons (see post photos and video)
- Take the empty bowl used to beat your egg (there should be egg residue left in it) and add 3 tablespoons of water. This egg water mixture is for sealing your wontons.
- Place wonton wrappers on a plate and loosely cover it with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap (to avoid drying out). (See Note 1)
- Take your first wrapper and place it down in a diamond orientation. (see post pictures)
- Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling about ⅔ from the top of the wonton wrapper leaving about ½ cm gap from the edges. (see post pictures)
- Using your middle finger, dip it into the egg/water mixture and spread it (like you're sealing an envelope) along the two of the edges of the wrapper closest to your filling.
- Take the opposite corner of the wrapper and close it over the filling forming a triangle. Press down to seal the wonton and line up the edges as best you can. Lift up the wonton gently and press the edge between your thumb and index finger to ensure a good seal. (see Note 2)
- Place the wonton triangle with the longer filling side facing you. Take the two corners from the longer "filling" edge and bring them together towards you like you’re tying a bow. Overlap these corners and seal them together with more egg water. (see post pictures & video). (see Note 3)
- Speed up the wrapping process by making 6-8 at a time (whatever number you're comfortable with). Lay out all the wrappers, place the filling, spread egg water and seal etc. Always make sure egg water hasn’t dried up before sealing and spread a bit more if needed.
- Place finished wontons in a single layer on cutting board or baking sheet covered with paper towel (to avoid drying out).
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Drop wontons into the pot with a slotted spoon and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Wontons will sink to the bottom at first. After 2-3 mins of cooking, use your spoon to GENTLY stir the wontons so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. (Note 4)
- Wontons will float to the top when almost cooked. Cook for an extra 1-1.5 minutes. The wonton wrappers should be almost translucent (not opaque) when done.
- Remove wontons with a slotted spoon or small strainer and put on a serving plate.
- Serve immediately. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the dipping sauce and toss wontons (if desired) and garnish with scallions. Put the remaining sauce on the side.
- substitute minced pork with minced chicken
- pork chive/scallion (this recipe)
- pork and shrimp (1:1 ratio)
- pork and cilantro
- mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, brown) thinly sliced and the size of a fingernail
- add leafy vegetables (ex. bok choy, watercress, napa) finely chopped and excess water squeezed out