Golden Purses Thai Appetizer

Golden Purses Thai Appetizers on a platter with a side of sauce

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 28 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
151 Calories
13g Fat
6g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 151
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 527mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 16mg 80%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 124mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This delicious Thai treat makes a great party appetizer. Golden purses are a classic Thai snack or appetizer with shrimp or crabmeat as the main ingredient (roasted chicken or turkey can also be substituted). It's a Thai recipe that's easy to make and can be put together ahead of time if you're planning on having company. Just make up the purses, put them in the refrigerator, then fry up with company arrive. Thai sweet chili sauce makes a great accompaniment and can be purchased at most large grocery store chains these days.

The chives are used to tie the purses, so keep them as long as possible. You will need one chive per purse plus a few extra.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooked shrimp

For the Spice Paste:

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)

  • 1 fresh red chile pepper

  • 3 spring onions, sliced

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

For Frying and Serving

  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) package wonton wrappers

  • 1 cup canola oil, or more as needed for frying

  • 30 chives

  • 1 bottle Thai sweet chili sauce, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Golden Purses Thai Appetizer ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Place cooked shrimp in a food processor or chopper. Add all the spice paste ingredients, then process well.

    Shrimp and spices in a food processor

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Taste-test this mixture, adding 1/2 tablespoon more fish sauce if not salty enough.

    Fish sauce added to the shrimp mixture in the food processor and fish sauce in a cup

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. To create the purses, you will need a brush (like a pastry brush) and a small bowl of water. Place 4 to 6 wonton wrappers out over a clean surface (a countertop or chopping board work well). Dip the brush in water and wet 1 inch around the periphery of each wrapper.

    Wonton wrappers brushed with water and water in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Place a small amount (1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon) of filling in the middle of each wrapper. Now lift up the sides of the wrappers and pinch them together over the filling.

    Tip: It helps if you wet your fingers as you pinch in order to secure the purse.

    Wonton wrappers with filling sealed at the top

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Place the finished purses on a clean plate. Continue making the purses in this way until all the filling has been used up.

    Uncooked Golden Purse dumplings on a platter

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Pour oil into a wok or small frying pan, so that oil is at least 1 inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat. When oil forms moving lines across the bottom of the pan, try dipping in the corner of a wonton wrapper. If the oil starts to sizzle around the wrapper, it's ready for frying. If nothing happens, wait another minute and try again.

    Oil in a wok

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. When the oil is hot enough, use tongs to lay 4 or 5 purses on their sides in the pan. Allow to fry 30 seconds, or until they turn golden-brown, then turn over. Fry until the purses are uniformly golden-brown, then drain on a clean tea towel or paper towel. Keep purses warm in the oven until ready to serve.

    Golden Purses Thai Appetizers frying in wok with oil

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. Before serving, tie each purse with a chive. You have to do this carefully, or the chive with snap. We find it helps to tie the chive first, then slip it over the top of the purse.

    Fried Golden Purses Thai Appetizer on a platter, garnished with chives

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  10. Serve the purses with Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping.

    Golden Purses Thai Appetizer served on a platter with sweet chili sauce

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Tip

  • Both round and square wonton wrappers will work for this recipe.
  • Switch from canola to your preferred cooking oil with a high smoke point.
  • Make-Ahead Tip: If you're expecting guests, cover the plate of stuffed wonton purses and refrigerate until just before (or just after) guests arrive—up to 24 hours ahead of time. Then continue on with frying in step 7.

Recipe Variations

  • Use crabmeat rather than shrimp, or substitute the seafood with 1/2 cup cooked chicken, pork, or turkey.
  • Instead of red chili, use 1 to 2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce.
  • Black pepper is a good alternative to white pepper.