Spicy Thai Basil Wontons
These Spicy Thai Basil Wontons are easy to make, incredibly juicy, and are the ultimate party appetizer for Thai food and wonton lovers! They’re made with a savory-sweet pork, chicken, and prawn filling, and have the signature garlicky and chili flavors in a stir-fried Thai holy basil dish.
Friends, please say hello to my new favorite appetizer – these delicious Spicy Thai Basil Wontons! ❤️ 🥟 😋
It’s no secret I love anything with kra pow, aka Thai holy basil. I mean, just take a look at the collection of Thai and Thai fusion recipes that have this magical herb on the blog! We’ve got Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice, Thai Basil Chicken Spaghetti, and Thai Roasted Chili Fried Rice with Prawns to name just a few favorites.
My other all-time favorite appetizer is wontons, and I’m so excited to be sharing my first wontons recipe on the blog with you today! These juicy Spicy Thai Basil Wontons are so EPIC, and they are the epitome of a fusion masterpiece.
They were inspired by Chinese san xian wontons, which are a type of wonton made with three proteins in the filling – shrimp, pork, and chicken. They were also inspired by none other than the classic (and my all-time and BEYOND favorite!) Thai Holy Basil Chicken stir-fry dish, which I’m sure you’ve all probably seen and tried at your favorite Thai restaurant.
I had a stroke of genius and married the two. The result is a flavor-packed appetizer that I guarantee will be a hit in your home, at dinner parties, and on game day!
Why This Recipe Works
- They’re wonderfully savory, slightly sweet, garlicky and spicy! It tastes like you’re enjoying a Thai stir-fried holy basil dish, but in wonton form!
- They’re incredibly juicy and tender thanks to mincing half of the prawns, and cutting the rest into small pieces so that you can taste juicy little pops of prawn meat in each bite.
- Using store-bought wonton wrappers saves time. They are also easy to stuff with the filling, and make assembling the wontons a breeze.
- Pan-frying the wontons gives them delicious crispy bottoms and wonderful steamed tops with a juicy filling inside.
- They can be eaten as an appetizer, snack, or meal.
- Ground Chicken: I used a store-bought package of ground chicken. But you’re welcome to finely mince boneless and skinless chicken thighs if you like. Minced chicken breasts can be used, but be aware that they may result in less juicy wontons.
- Prawns: I used peeled and deveined black tiger prawns, but you can use shrimp if you have them on hand instead.
- Ground Pork: Try to use a ground pork that’s not too lean or excessively fatty. You can either use store-bought, or mince your own.
- Chilies: I used a combination of red and green Bird’s Eye chilies, and a few tiny, but fiery hot Thai Prik Kee Nu green chilies for extra heat! Feel free to use as many or as few chilies you like depending on your heat level preference. But note that any Pad Kra Pow (stir-fried holy basil dish) is meant to be quite spicy and garlicky. It’s what makes them and these spicy Thai basil wontons super delicious!
- Asian Red Shallots: Substitute with red onion or regular shallots if you can’t find these, or even yellow onion will work well too.
- Thai Holy Basil Leaves: This is known as spicy or hot basil, and ‘kra pow’, ‘gaprow’, and ‘bai gaprow’ in Thai. Thai holy basil has an amazing unique peppery flavor. The leaves have ridges, and the stems are furry. It tastes wonderful in Thai and Thai fusion dishes. Please do try to seek them out at an Asian supermarket or Thai groceries store. But if you can’t find it, substitute with Thai sweet basil or Italian basil if needed.
- Wonton Wrappers: I used fresh wonton wrappers purchased from a fresh noodles and dumpling skins shop. You’re welcome to use either store-bought or homemade wonton wrappers or dumpling skins. Dumpling skins tend to be thicker and are circular in shape, while wonton wrappers are square shaped and slightly thinner. Look for them in the fridge section at a Chinese grocery store, Asian supermarket, or a fresh noodles and dumplings skins shop if there’s one near you.
- Fine Sea Salt: To help break down the fibers of the chilies and garlic and makes them easier to pound into a paste using a mortar and pestle.
- Sweet Dark Soy Sauce: This is a thick and viscous type of soy sauce that has a hint of sweetness to it. You can use kecap manis too instead, which is similar.
- Prik Nam Pla: A simple spicy dipping sauce made with chopped chilies and fish sauce for serving with the wontons.
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Spicy Thai Basil Wontons
1. Pound aromatics: Pound the garlic and chilies with a pinch of fine sea salt in a mortar and pestle until you get a coarse paste.
2. Make the Thai basil mixture: In a wok or frying pan, heat oil and stir-fry the garlic chili paste until fragrant. Add the holy basil leaves and toss to combine. Then add all the sauces, sugar, and a splash of water and toss for a few more seconds. Transfer the mixture a bowl and allow to cool completely.
3. Make the filling: Finely mince half of the prawns into a paste, and chop the other half into small pieces. Mix together the prawns, ground chicken, ground pork, and some water (to help keep things moist), corn starch (to help the filling become juicy and tender), and the holy basil sauce mixture until combined well and sticky.
4. Assemble Wontons: Full details for how to assemble the wontons are in the recipe card below. I wrapped these wontons using the “seal and pleat” method like how you would wrap dumplings as they’re easier to pan-fry than if they were assembled in the traditional wonton shape. You can either make the wontons by holding the wrapper in your hand, or lay the wrappers flat on a work surface, add the filling, and seal (as pictured). Then you just lift the wontons to create the pleats. The latter method will be easier for beginners.
Place all the wontons on a parchment paper lined tray as you assemble them, and repeat until you’ve used up the remaining wrappers and filling. At this point, you can also cover the tray with cling wrap and freeze the wontons if you wish. Full details on how to freeze the wontons are below and in the recipe card.
5. Pan-fry the wontons: Heat some oil in a medium-sized nonstick skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Place 10-12 wontons flat side down in a circular pattern in the pan. Pan-fry for 1-2 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly golden. Turn the heat down and pour in about 1/2 cup of water. (Be prepared for some sizzling and splattering. You can hold up the pan’s lid as a shield if necessary.) Cover the pan and cook for a few minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the wontons are cooked. Meanwhile, prepare the Prik Nam Pla dipping sauce by mixing chopped chilies in fish sauce in a small bowl.
Remove the lid and continue cooking for a few more minutes, until the wonton bottoms are brown and crispy. Then switch off the heat and transfer the wontons to a serving plate.
6. Serve! Serve immediately with the Prik Nam Pla and enjoy!
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- To speed up the cooling process for the Thai basil mixture. Once the mixture has cooled in a bowl for 15 minutes, you can place the bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to help it cool more quickly.
- If freezing wontons, squeeze out any air before sealing the Ziploc bag and placing in the freezer to avoid freezer burn.
- Make sure there’s no air trapped inside before you seal the wontons. The air will make the wontons “bubble” while cooking, and may potentially cause them to burst open.
- Use just one or two types of proteins. You can use just shrimp, chicken, or pork. Or use any combination of two of the proteins that you like.
- Make it vegetarian/vegan. Use minced mushrooms, firm tofu (preferably firm yellow tofu like the one used in Pad Thai), red bell peppers, and carrots in place of the meat. But you’ll need to stir-fry the vegetables with the Thai basil mixture to soften them. Add them to the wok right after you stir-fry the garlic and chilies. Cook for a few minutes until the veggies are tender. Then toss through the holy basil and add the sauces and water. Let the mixture cool completely in a bowl before you assemble the wontons.
More Appetizers and Game Day Snacks
- Easy Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes
- Spicy Prawn Toast (with Everything Bagel Seasoning)
- Crispy Pan-fried Tofu
- Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs
- Garlicky Black Pepper & Turmeric Chicken Drumettes
- Or feel free to browse the entire Appetizers and Game Day recipe collections.
If you make this recipe, leave a comment and review it below with a star rating! I always appreciate your feedback. Take a photo and be sure to tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick so I can see! 😉Print
Spicy Thai Basil Wontons
These Spicy Thai Basil Wontons are incredibly juicy, and made with a savory-sweet pork, chicken, and prawn filling. They have the signature garlicky and chili flavors in a stir-fried Thai holy basil dish!
- Prep Time: 60
- Cook Time: 12
- Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
- Yield: 45 1x
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Pan-fry
- Cuisine: Thai
For the Spicy Thai Basil Wontons:
- 10 Garlic cloves – roughly chopped
- 8–12 Red Chilies (Bird’s Eye preferred, but any small hot red chilies will work), to taste – roughly chopped
- 2–6 Green Chilies (Bird’s Eye preferred, but any small hot green chilies will work), to taste – roughly chopped
- 4–6 Prik Kee Nu Green Chili (optional), to taste – roughly chopped
- Pinch of Fine Sea Salt
- 2 Asian Red Shallots – peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cups Thai Holy Basil Leaves – washed and pat-dried
- 2 TBLS Canola Oil (or any other neutral-flavored cooking oil)
- 3 TBLS Oyster Sauce
- 1.5 TBLS Light Soy Sauce
- ½ TBLS Sweet Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 TSP White Sugar
- 3 TBLS Water (room temperature or cold)
- 150 grams / 5.3 ounces peeled and deveined Prawns (or shrimp) – half finely minced, half chopped into small pieces – about ½ cm cubes
- 150 grams / 5.3 ounces Ground Chicken
- 150 grams / 5.3 ounces Ground Pork
- 1 TSP Corn Starch
- 40–45 Wonton Wrappers
For the Prik Nam Pla (Dipping Sauce):
- ¼ cup Fish Sauce
- 1–2 Bird’s Eye Red Chilies (or any other small hot red chilies) – chopped
- 1–2 Bird’s Eye Green Chilies (or any other small hot green chilies) – chopped
For Pan-frying Wontons:
- 1.5–2 TBLS Canola Oil (or any other cooking oil)
- ½ cup Water
- Prepare fresh ingredients: Roughly chop the garlic, red and green Bird’s Eye chilies, and Prik Ke Nu green chilies. Add to a mortar and pestle along with a pinch of fine sea salt and pound into a coarse paste. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Wash and pat-dry the Thai holy basil leaves. Chop any very large leaves if needed.
- Make the holy basil sauce mixture: Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shallots and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Then add the garlic chili paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the holy basil leaves and toss to combine. Then stir in the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sweet dark soy sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of water until everything is combined well. Switch off the heat, and transfer the mixture a bowl. Allow to cool completely. (Note: After 15 minutes, you can place the bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to speed up the cooling process.)
- Make the filling: Finely mince half of the prawns into a paste, and chop the other half into small pieces – about ½ cm cubes. Add the prawns to a large mixing bowl, along with the ground chicken, ground pork, 2 tablespoons of water, corn starch, and the holy basil sauce mixture. Mix thoroughly until combined well and sticky.
- Assemble the wontons: Take one wrapper and lightly dab the edges with water. Then place a heaped tablespoon of the filling in the center. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling to connect with the top half, pressing firmly to seal. Then lightly dab water on the top edges of the triangle, and use your fingers to create pleats on the top of the sealed wonton. Place on a parchment paper (nonstick cooking paper) lined tray, and repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. (Note: You can either make the wontons in your hand, or lay the wrappers flat on a work surface, add the filling, and seal. Then lift the wontons to create the pleats. The latter method will be easier for beginners. Refer to the photos above.) See notes below for storing and freezing wontons, which you can do at this point.
- Make the Nam Prik Pla (dipping sauce): Mix together the fish sauce and chopped red and green Bird’s Eye chilies in a small bowl and set aside.
- Pan-fry the wontons: Heat 1.5-2 tablespoons of oil in a medium-sized nonstick skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Place 10-12 wontons flat side down in a circular pattern in the pan. Pan-fry for 1-2 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly golden. Turn the heat down to medium-low and pour in ½ cup of water. Cover the pan with its lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the wontons are cooked. Remove the lid and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes more. The water will continue to evaporate. Once the wonton bottoms are brown and crispy, switch off the heat and transfer them to a serving plate.
- To Serve: Serve immediately with the Prik Nam Pla (dipping sauce) and enjoy!
Ingredient Notes, Cook’s Tips, and FAQs
- Chilies: Use as many or as few chilies you like depending on your heat level preference. But note that these wontons are meant to be spicy and garlicky, like a Thai holy basil stir-fried dish.
- Thai Holy Basil: Look for holy basil at an Asian supermarket or Thai groceries store. Substitute with Thai sweet basil or Italian basil if unavailable.
- Wonton Wrappers: You can use either store-bought or homemade wonton wrappers or dumpling skins. Dumpling skins tend to be thicker and are circular in shape, while wonton wrappers are square shaped and slightly thinner. Look for them in the fridge section at a Chinese grocery store, Asian supermarket, or a fresh noodles and dumplings skin shop if there’s one near you.
- Mortar & pestle: If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, smash the chilies and garlic with the flat side of your knife and finely chop until a paste-like texture is achieved. Or roughly chop them and then briefly blend in a mini blender or food processor.
- Proteins: You can make these wontons with just one or two types of proteins if you prefer, and use any combination of two proteins that you like.
- How to freeze wontons: After lining up a tray with assembled wontons, cover the tray tightly with cling wrap and freeze for 1-2 hours or until solid. Don’t leave them in the freezer for too long as they may crack. Remove the cling wrap and transfer the wontons to a freezer-friendly bag (Ziploc bag). Be sure to squeeze out any air before sealing the bag and placing in the freezer to avoid freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Follow the same method above for cooking wontons from frozen.
- If cooking less wontons: If you are only pan-frying 4-6 wontons, follow the same cooking method but pour in ¼ cup of water into the pan only.
- See post above for more tips, how to make these vegetarian, and how to steam the wontons if preferred.
Shop the Recipe
- Serving Size: 3 wontons
- Calories: 172
- Sugar: 2.7g
- Sodium: 198.8mg
- Fat: 6.8g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4.9g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 19.3g
- Fiber: 1.2g
- Protein: 8.9g
- Cholesterol: 34.1mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
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