Hoi An Wontons with Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • Preparation: 20 mins
  • Cooking: 30 mins
  • Skill level: Medium
  • Servings: 4

Description Hoi An Wontons with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Hoi An is a Vietnamese port town that was an important hub of commerce from the sixteenth through the eigthteenth centuries, particularly for Chinese and Japanese merchants. The local architecture was influenced by the early Chinese settlers, and today the town is filled with old, single-story Chinese shophouses and temples with moss-covered terra-cotta tile roofs - it looks like the set of a kung fu movie. This Vietnamese dish here also has a strong Chinese and Japanese influence. You’ll find udon noodle soups and Cantonese char siu (barbecued pork), as well as these fried pork-and-shrimp wontons. These are the same wontons that we use in the Wonton Noodle Soup, but here they are sealed like ravioli for frying.


  • Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 Thai chiles, stemmed and minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (such as Roma or Early Girl), cored and diced
  • ¾ cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Fish sauce
  • 50 square wonton wrappers (1-pound package)
  • Pork-and-shrimp wonton filling
  • Cornstarch, for dusting
  • Canola oil, for deep-frying

Method Hoi An Wontons with Spicy Tomato Sauce

1, To make the tomato sauce, in a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until light golden brown. Add garlic and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, 45 seconds more, until aromatic. Stir in the rice wine, tomatoes, and stock and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat so the mixture is at a gentle simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, to blend the flavors.
2, Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the fish sauce. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and process until smooth. Keep warm. (The sauce can be made a day ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated; reheat before using.)
3, To form the wontons, place a wonton wrapper on a work surface. Lightly brush the edges of the wrapper with water and place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center. Top with a second wonton wrapper, pressing to enclose the filling and form a square, like a ravioli. Force out as much air as possible as you seal the edges to prevent the wontons from puffing up when you fry them. Transfer the finished wontons to a baking sheet or large tray lightly dusted with cornstarch. Repeat until you have used up all of the filling.
4, Pour the oil to a depth of 2 inches into a wok or high-sided pot and heat over high heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place near the stove. Place a second rimmed baking sheet alongside. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
5, When the oil is ready, add one-third of wontons to the oil and fry for 3 minutes, until deep golden brown and crisp. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain briefly, then transfer to the second sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining wontons in two batches, always allowing the oil to return to temperature between batches.
6, Arrange the wontons on a platter and serve immediately, accompanied by the tomato sauce. Dip the wontons in the sauce and eat.

Chef's Note

Hoi An Wontons with Spicy Tomato Sauce is adapted from the book Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan. Copyright © 2012 by Charles Phan

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