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As we are preparing for our Tuscany vacation that is fast approaching this Saturday, I’m going to quickly leave you with an even faster recipe.

I threw this together in less than an hour today, in a frantic effort to clean out the freezer (duh, to make way for the incoming fleet of smuggled imported Italian goods), and they turned out to be little drops of afternoon delights.  So why fish wonton?  Why fish?  See, I don’t know about you, but when other people stock up their freezer with prime rib-eye steaks from Cosco, I do mine with frozen catfish fillets.  I don’t know why.  Cheapness, possibly.  Don’t make me admit that I like frozen catfish.  I’m supposed to have taste-buds of high caliber.  How dare you.  No, the point is, I was saying… as I was cleaning out my frozen fish tank, I thought, fish wonton, why not?

Ground fish, here in Asia, is actually quite a common ingredient with wide applications.  What it lacks in meaty-ness, it gains in an uniquely light, soft and creamy texture which resembles between ricotta filling and French quenelles.  It makes a wonton that is light in body and texture, with a particular sweetness in its gentle nature.  To dress it up, I used a deeply savory olive oil with salty specks of anchovies and crispy garlic, brightened with fresh grated ginger, chopped herbs and a subtle zing of tabasco sauce.

Satisfying afternoon pick-me-ups, or, if kept ready in the freezer, light and well.. relatively healthy meal on demand.

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Yield: 25~30 wontons


  • 9.5 oz (270 grams) your favorite fish fillet (see note), cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
  • 25~30 wonton wrappers
  • TO FINISH: for 25 wontons which is about 2 servings
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlics, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp tabasco sauce, plus more to adjust
  • ground white pepper to dust


  1. MAKE WONTONS: Cut the fillet in large chunks and place into a food-processor, along with fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, grated ginger, cornstarch and ground white pepper. Pulse/run the processor until the mixture is ground into a bouncy and smooth paste. Transfer into a bowl.
  2. Place a small dollop of the fish-mixture on the center of a wonton wrapper (do not over-stuff). Dab a little water around the filling, then bring the sides of the wrapper together to close (the shape should be organic). Pinch and hold for a few seconds to let the wrapper stick, and repeat with the rest. You can place the wontons on a sheet-tray and freeze until hard, then transfer into a zip-lock bag and keep frozen until needed.
  3. TO COOK: In a small skillet, heat olive oil and anchovy fillets over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to crush the anchovies into small bits. Once it starts to sizzle, add thinly sliced garlics and cook until the edges of the garlics start to brown slightly. TURN OFF THE HEAT NOW, and add grated ginger, fresh mint, fresh basil, tabasco sauce and ground white pepper. Swirl to combine and set aside.
  4. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the wonton. They should be done 30 seconds after floating to the surface. With a slotted spoon, drain well and transfer the wontons into the skillet. Toss to coat evenly, then transfer to a serving plate. Dash with more tabasco if needed and serve immediately.


If you're using frozen fish (like I did), the weight of the fish is measured after defrosting. I had catfish fillet on hand so that's what I used, but you can use salmon, cod, or any other firm-flesh fish.
  • Meg Zhang

    March 28, 2017 at 10:20 PM Reply

    Hey Mandy, this sounds so good. Do you think it will work if I use frozen shrimps instead of fish?

  • Marsha Scott

    March 29, 2017 at 1:34 AM Reply

    OMG, there is absolutely NO way I could do all this !!! I applaud you, my dear, & I love seeing and reading this post. Now, I’m starved!!!

  • george @ icookstuff

    March 29, 2017 at 2:13 AM Reply

    Have a great trip … it always does GOOD … i loved all your dim sum posts but i’ve been sooooo busy !

  • george @ icookstuff

    March 29, 2017 at 2:15 AM Reply

    Have a great trip ! it always does GOOD …. i loved your dim sum posts but i’ve been sooooo busy lately !

  • Kari

    March 29, 2017 at 3:20 AM Reply
  • Sofia

    March 29, 2017 at 4:02 PM Reply

    Oh my fish is also full of frozen fish (and ahem, especially frozen fish heads for making fish broth). I have to learn off you to whip out wontons “in a rush”, as each time I make them it’s a bit of a ceremony.

  • June

    March 30, 2017 at 11:32 AM Reply

    Have fun in Tuscany Mandy! Will be trying this recipe out!

  • Jacqueline

    March 30, 2017 at 5:14 PM Reply

    We had these for the evening meal today… I am *very* popular with my family as a result!!
    Thank you for another great recipe: the ‘sauce’ in which the wonton are sauteed is genius!
    I’ll definitely be making these again – and keeping a supply in the freezer…

    Many, many thanks (from ‘down under’)

  • Scarlett

    April 3, 2017 at 11:05 AM Reply

    I go to Costco and stock my freezer with a giant pack of white fish as well (which I even freeze in individual pieces on a baking sheet for easy removal of only one or two pieces at a time), so I think it’s imperative that I try this now. I will provide a more valuable comment/review when I have done so.

  • jil

    April 4, 2017 at 3:29 AM Reply

    I love the idea of a delicate main dish but dressed with an intensely flavored oil – great idea, thanks!

  • Enlightenment

    April 26, 2017 at 4:09 PM Reply

    Hi Mandy,
    You can delete this post and the one further up as it seems to be spam

    ” Kari
    03.29.2017 at 3:20 AM “

  • Viktor

    May 18, 2017 at 6:05 PM Reply

    I can’t wait to try this! Look delicious! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  • Daniela

    June 6, 2020 at 6:10 PM Reply

    I made these several times. I am obsessed. So easy to make and so yummy. I’ll make them again tonight. I’m also planning of making the glass dumpling with mushrooms and gouda. Do you think I can use wanton wraps for the filling or it does not work? x

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      June 6, 2020 at 7:15 PM Reply

      Daniela, the glass dumpling wrapper has a complete different texture than wanton wrappers ;).

  • Judy

    August 16, 2020 at 10:46 PM Reply

    I made these for breakfast and I do not regret eating anchovies first thing in the morning. They were amazingly delicious. Thank you!!

  • Susie Showers

    November 24, 2020 at 6:22 AM Reply

    should the fish be cooked before mixing into the wonton filling?

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