Steamed Seafood Wontons and Dumplings
  |  First Published: October 2011

Steaming is a healthy option to frying and these small bite size dumplings are ideal for ‘single-dipping’ in the sauce or sauces of your choice.

They are also quick and easy to make; have some fun making them and get an assembly line going with family and friends.

Wonton wrappers are available in the refrigerated section of most big supermarkets or at your local Asian grocer. I’ve used a bamboo steamer for these recipes; however you could use a saucepan style steamer as well.

Seafood Wontons with Chilli Dipping Sauce

In this recipe the garlic and ginger are chopped before being put into the food processor with the prawns and crab. The garlic and ginger will take longer to process than the prawns so we chop them first to get them started so that the prawn meat does not become over processed.

If you don’t have access to Vietnamese mint, you could substitute basil.


150g peeled and deveined green prawns

150g crab meat

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp grated ginger

a pinch of salt

1 tbsp chopped Vietnamese mint leaves

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

wonton wrappers

Chilli Dipping Sauce

1 tbsp chilli oil

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 clove garlic, grated

1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar (optional)


In a food processor, combine the prawns, crab, garlic, ginger and salt. Process in short pulses until they are a rough paste. Place all of the prawn mixture, Vietnamese mint (or basil) and coriander into a glass bowl. Using a wet pair of hands, combine the ingredients in the bowl thoroughly.

Place the wonton wrappers on a clean cutting board. Take one wonton wrapper (covering the rest of the wrappers with a damp tea towel to prevent them drying out) and place a tablespoon of the prawn mixture into the centre of the wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with some water.

Gather the edges of the wrapper up around the filling, to form a basket. Now gently squeeze around the sides of the wrapper so that the prawn filling is exposed at the top. Put the wonton onto your cutting board and push down very gently (very, very gently) to flatten the bottom of the wonton. Put the completed wonton to one side and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat the wonton making procedure using tablespoons of the remaining prawn mixture and your wonton wrappers.

Line a bamboo steamer with some baking paper leaving space around the edge for the steam to circulate around your wontons. I suggest a 23cm diameter piece of baking paper in a 25cm steamer. Place your prepared wontons on the baking paper and place the lid on the steamer. Fill a wok or frypan with boiling water to a level where the water won’t touch the wontons. Bring the water to a rapid boil and steam the wonton dumplings for about ten or so minutes. You may need to add more boiling water to the wok or frypan during this time.

At the end of the steaming time, carefully remove the steamer from the wok and then carefully remove the dumplings from the steamer. Serve the dumplings immediately with the Chilli Dipping Sauce

To make the chilli dipping sauce, simply combine all the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. This sauce gives a succession of flavour sensations as it works its way across the different tastebuds that you have in your mouth.

Steamed Prawn and Spinach Dumplings

250g green prawns, peeled and deveined

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1 large handful spinach leaves, stem removed

2 green shallots, finely chopped

1 tbsp soy sauce

wonton wrappers


Finely chop the prawns. Heat the oil in a wok or frypan over a low to medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the spinach leaves and prawns to the wok and stir fry until the prawns turns pink. Remove the wok from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding the green shallots and soy sauce to the pan. Mix well to combine the ingredients and then allow to cool completely.

Place the wonton wrappers on a clean cutting board. Take one wonton wrapper (covering the rest of the wrappers with a damp tea towel) and place a teaspoon of the prawn mixture into the centre of the wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with some water.

Gather the wonton wrapper edges together and twist to seal. Place the filled dumpling to one side and cover with some plastic wrap. Repeat the process until you have used all of the prawn mixture.

Cook the dumplings in the same manner as the wontons in the previous recipe. In fact you can cook them at the same time in the same steamer if you have a large steamer.

Serve the dumplings hot with a soy dipping sauce.

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