Holiday times seem to bring us to the kitchen a lot more than the rest of the year. We entertain at home or go out to holiday parties and bring food with us to share. Last month, I gave you an appetizer idea: Pork and Pancetta Meatballs with Apple Cider BBQ Sauce. This month, I have another showstopper appetizer for you.
If you are just a bit adventurous, this appetizer will be the talk of your party: Crispy Wonton Shrimp with Asian Pesto.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup peanuts, toasted
- 1 jalapeño
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- Juice from 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1-2 pinches of salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.
Crispy Wonton Shrimp
- 25 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 50 round wonton skins (gyoza)
- 2 quarts canola oil for frying
1. Place 2 of the wonton wrappers side by side. Dip your finger in some water and moisten the edge of one wrapper.
2. Place 3/4 of a teaspoon of pesto in the center of the wonton. Lay one shrimp on top of the pesto so the tail protrudes from the circle.
3. Lay the other wonton skin on top of the Shrimp and firmly press together the edges of the 2 wrappers to seal around the edges.
4. Use a knife to trim any excess wrapped dough. Set aside on a tray with a little cornstarch sprinkled on it to help prevent them from sticking to one another.
5. When all of the shrimp are wrapped, heat the canola oil in a medium deep pot using a candy thermometer to read the temperature.
6. When the oil is 375F degrees, begin to fry the shrimp a few at a time cooking for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the wontons are deep golden brown.
7. Remove the cooked shrimp using a skimmer or spider to a paper towel-lined pan and repeat this process until all shrimp are fried.
8. Serve with a Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce like Mae Ploy and sliced scallions to garnish.
Serve while they are still warm and get ready for the compliments!
For other holiday appetizer inspiration, check out these upcoming cooking classes at The Chopping Block:
- Irresistible Hors d'Oeuvres Tuesday, December 26 6pm Merchandise Mart
- Winter Cocktails and Appetizers Saturday, January 6 6pm Merchandise Mart
- Winter Cocktails and Appetizers Thursday, January 25 7pm Lincoln Square