Wonton bites

Neil Perry
Prawn wontons with chilli oil and soy sauce.
Prawn wontons with chilli oil and soy sauce. 


300g green (raw) king prawns, peeled, de-veined and minced

100g canned water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped

Stir-fried cumin lamb.
Stir-fried cumin lamb. 

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

1 tsp sea salt

1 long green shallot, finely chopped

1 tbsp yellow bean soy sauce


1 tsp sesame oil

1/4 cup Japanese panko crumbs

25 square wonton wrappers

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Chilli oil and soy sauce

100ml light soy sauce

1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp chilli oil

2 tsp caster sugar

Serves 4 as part of a shared banquet

To make the sauce, place all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.

For the wontons, combine all ingredients, except the wrappers and egg white, in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Using slightly wet hands, shape mixture into tablespoon-size balls.

Hold a wrapper in the palm of your hand and place the filling in the centre of the wrapper.

Lightly brush the wrapper edges with a small amount of egg white. Fold the sides over and squeeze the skin to close in the filling, forming a pyramid shape.

Cook the wontons in batches in simmering salted water for 3 minutes, or until floating and cooked through. Place the cooked wontons in a dish with a splash of oil to prevent them sticking together and cover to keep warm while you cook the remaining. Serve with chilli oil and soy sauce.


2 tsp cumin seeds

vegetable oil, for frying

600g good-quality lamb mince

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

45g pickled mustard greens, roughly chopped

2 tbsp pickled green chilli, roughly chopped

2 long green shallots, cut into rounds

2 tbsp fresh chicken stock

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp chilli oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar

1 bunch coriander, washed, roughly chopped

Serves 4

Roast cumin seeds in a dry pan until fragrant. Cool and gently pound in a mortar and pestle.

Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat. Stir-fry lamb mince, breaking up the clumps until browned all over. Remove meat from wok and set aside.

In the same wok, heat a tablespoon of oil and fry garlic until fragrant, then add the mustard greens and pickled green chilli. Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add the ground cumin and shallots and stir to combine.

Return the lamb mince to the wok along with the chicken stock, sugar, soy, chilli oil, sesame oil and vinegar.

Finish with chopped coriander, check the seasoning and serve with steamed rice.


• These wontons also work well fried in oil until golden.

• The wontons can be made with chicken, beef or lamb mince, or scallop or lobster meat for special occasions.

• Pickled green chillies and pickled mustard greens are available from Asian supermarkets.

• The stir-fried cumin lamb is perfect served as part of an Asian banquet, alongside a crispy chicken, steamed green vegetables and stir-fried fish fillets with XO sauce.


The wontons are really about the balance of light chilli spice and salty, umami soy. Made from mineral, creamy, unoaked chardonnay grapes, the 2008 Bernard Defaix Chablis AC ($40) from the Burgundy region of France has a pretty line of aromatic citrus fruit and light oyster shell minerals, perfect for the soy's flavour and texture.

Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Kirsten Jenkins.