These Spicy Thai Basil Wontons are incredibly juicy, and made with a savory-sweetpork, chicken, and prawn filling. They have the signature garlicky and chili flavors in a stir-fried Thai holy basil dish!
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.