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Tempt your friends with this tantalizing spicy, sweet- sour sauce, perfect for dipping crispy Asian-inspired wontons. The zing in the tangy sauce compliments the scrumptious little treats packed with ground meat goodness. Make them ahead, pop them in the freezer and when the party starts, drop them in a hot pan for a quick, tempestuous treat.

What better way to get on everyone’s “nice” list for the holidays!

Crisp Wontons & Temptingly Spicy Sweet Sour Sauce

Crisp Wontons

Ingredients:

½ package Wonton Wrappers, square-shaped, about 14 pieces (found in Asian groceries or major supermarkets)

For the Filling:

½ pound ground pork
2 stems scallions, chopped
½ cup chopped carrots
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 egg
½ teaspoon ginger powder
Sesame oil, 1 or 2 drops
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for cooking
Water, a few tablespoons to seal wontons

Directions:

1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling together. Blend well.

2. Make sure wonton wrappers are chilled, but easy to handle. Separate individual wrappers, place on a dry plate to work on.

3. Fill the center each wrapper with half a teaspoonful of filling.

4. Pick one end of the wrapper and fold diagonally to cover filling, shaping it lilke a triangle.

5. Get both tips of the wonton triangle and fold one over the other. It should look like the bottom of a letter envelope. Seal the tips with drops of water.

6. In a deep skillet, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to medium high. When oil temperature is hot enough, quickly deep fry wontons, around 2 minutes on each side. Turn them around quickly. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil, when done. Deep fry wontons a few at a time. Do not overcrowd the skillet or temperature of the oil will get cooler.

7. Serve hot and crisp together with the Spicy Sweet Sour Sauce.

Spicy Sweet Sour Sauce

Ingredients:

1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup white vinegar
¼ cup Ma Ploy Thai chili sauce (found in Asian groceries)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed into ¼ cup cold water

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, mix together the ketchup, vinegar, chili sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Blend well and bring to a boil.

2. Once the chili sauce boils, add the cornstarch + water mixture. Stir this quickly until it boils. This will thicken the sauce to a gravy-like consistency. Serve this with the crispy wontons.

NOTES: You can substitute ground chicken or turkey for the wonton filling if preferred. Try not to overstuff wonton filling or the wrapper burns quickly and there won’t be enough time for the meat to cook.

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Elizabeth Quirino believes that “food brings the world together.” She loves to cook, develop recipes, photograph & write about her culinary adventures on her 2 blogs Asian in America & The Queen's Notebook. Outside the kitchen, Elizabeth paints watercolors, reads everything and ends every week with ballroom dancing. For great food stories find her on Facebook and follow Mango_Queen on Twitter.

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