Crispy fried wonton wrappers conceal a medley of veggies in this make-ahead Crispy Veggie Wontons appetizer. Whip up a batch the day before your gathering and then toss them in the oven before guests arrive.
I could fill volumes with all the things I wanted to do this past holiday season but didn’t. Time was at a premium and so was money. But when you focus on the things that didn’t happen, you guarantee disappointment.
That’s why I vowed to embrace imperfection last year. When you do that, you free yourself to see all the good that happens — even when things aren’t storybook perfect.
Sure, we didn’t see the local holiday stage productions or venture into New York to see the Radio City Rockettes or pause in Boston for Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. We didn’t even have time to chop down a tree this year (fortunately, we had a fake to use instead). But all of that doesn’t matter.
We decorated the house with our collection of nutcrackers and two (fake) trees. I surprised the kids by hanging lighted garland around a doorframe and hung our kissing ball. And we baked cookies together in the little spaces of time available — making just enough to gift and enjoy without wasting any.
And we got to see my daughter, Paige, light up on stage again and again. She performed in a touring show of The Nutcracker here in Maine and it was magical.
Plus, we had lots of family time here and in Connecticut, gave wonderful gifts that we were excited about and got some too.
It was another perfectly imperfect holiday season. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Likewise, sometimes recipes are perfectly imperfect too (and you should make them anyway). Like this appetizer. These are delicious wontons with a perfect, crunchy outside. They are easy to make. But they are decidedly not quick — which, for me, is where the (unavoidable) imperfection lies.
There’s no avoiding that these Crispy Veggie Wontons take a while to make. You have to make the filling and then individually fill and seal each wonton. Of course, you don’t have to do this alone. I’ve enlisted the help of my kids before. And at a party last year, a whole group of us folded dozens of wontons. Because of the amount we made, it wasn’t necessarily faster but the company was nice.
Fortunately, these reheat really well in the oven. So once you take the time to make them, you can stick them in the fridge (or maybe even the freezer) and reheat them later. Quickly (350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes until they are sizzling).
All of this is to say that while these aren’t quick, you should make them anyway. They’re tasty, crunchy and good — perfect for digging into while playing board games or watching games of the other sort.
And maybe invite a few others to help you make them. Though it won’t necessarily speed them up, the company will be nice.
You can find this and more quick and easy appetizer recipes in my newest cookbook, The Easy Appetizer Cookbook. It’s available for wherever books are sold.
I’d love it if you’d order it from an indie bookstore (my preferred one is The Briar Patch in Bangor, Maine, which will have signed copies). You can also find an indie near you or order from your preferred online bookstore (more order links can be found here).
For the wontons:
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 bunch scallions, white, light green and green parts thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Wonton wrappers (about half a 12-oz. package or 30 wrappers)
- Canola oil
For the dipping sauce:
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
To make the wontons:
- On each of the wonton wrappers, add 1 tablespoon of the carrot mixture. Moisten the edges of the wontons with water using a clean fingertip and fold into a triangle shape. Press together the edges of the wonton wrapper to seal. Continue until all the ingredients have been used.
- Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the wontons in a single layer (cook them in batches, if necessary) and cook, flipping once, until golden on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side).
- Remove to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.
To make the dipping sauce:
These can be made ahead and heated just before serving. To do so, spread cooked wontons on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Wonton wrappers can be found in the produce section of most grocers near the tofu.