Ground Beef Wontons

Ground beef wontons on a platter

The Spruce

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 10 to 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
197 Calories
11g Fat
13g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 280mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 164mg 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.)

Wontons are flour-based wrappers filled with various meat and vegetable mixtures that are then deep-fried until crispy. Ground beef wontons are an easy appetizer to make at home, but can also be enjoyed as a meal or even a snack.

Wontons are also a popular food item at Japanese Obon festivals in the West, a Buddhist tradition that dates back more than 500 years. Wonton plates are often sold as a meal with rice, salad, and tsukemono (pickles).

You’ll find that wontons are folded in a number of ways, but most Japanese wontons are often folded into simple triangles. This shape is not only easy to make but also quick to prepare, which is important if you are preparing large quantities.

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Click Play to See This Ground Beef Fried Wonton Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 small onion, chopped, about 1/2 cup

  • 1 small celery stalk, chopped, about 1/4 cup

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste

  • Cold water

  • 1 (12-ounce) package wonton wrappers

  • 2 to 3 cups canola oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for ground beef wontons

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  2. In a large pan, add olive oil and sauté chopped onions and celery until translucent. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

    Celery and onions added to pan with oil

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  3. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until browned and cooked through. 

    Ground beef in a skillet with celery and onions

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  4. Line a mesh colander with paper towels and drain beef mixture for about 5 to 10 minutes to remove excess oil. This also allows the filling to cool prior to wrapping.

    Draining ground beef for wontons
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  5. Prepare your work station with a small bowl of cold water, wonton wrappers, and a tray for the finished wontons.

    Wonton wrappers alongside a bowl of water

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  6. Put a wonton wrapper on your work surface and place a heaping teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of a wonton wrapper.

    Ground beef in the middle of wonton wrapper
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  7. Dip your finger in the water and moisten two adjoining edges of the wonton.

    Edges of wonton wrapper moistened with water

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  8. Fold the dry edges over the meat mixture and seal with the moistened edges, pressing firmly and sealing the triangular-shaped wonton closed. (When sealing, try and minimize the amount of excess air inside the wonton. Air will cause the wonton to "puff up" when fried.)

    Sealed edges on ground beef wontons

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  9. Repeat with more wontons until all of the mixture is used.

    Ground beef wontons folded and on a plate
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  10. Heat canola oil in a medium pot on medium-high. The ideal frying temperature is about 375 F. If you do not have a thermometer, test the oil with a small piece of uncooked wonton wrapper and if the wrapper quickly bubbles and floats to the top then the oil is ready.

    Heating the oil to temperature for frying

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  11. Fry no more than 4 wontons at a time so as not to crowd the pot. It only takes about 30 to 40 seconds on each side to fry the wontons to a golden color.

    Frying wontons in a pot of hot oil

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  12. Remove wontons from the oil and drain on paper towels.

    Wontons draining on a paper towel

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  13. Once the wontons have cooled slightly, serve, with or without a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

    Cooked beef wontons garnished with cilantr0

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What's the Difference Between Wontons and Dumplings?

Wontons are basically fried dumplings that are filled with a mix of vegetables and meat, typically ground beef or pork. Wontons wrappers are typically thinner and made with wheat flour, whereas dumplings can be made from potato or wheat flour. Both can be boiled, steamed, or fried.

Variation

Feel free to substitute ground chicken, turkey, or pork as lower-fat alternatives. You can also fill wontons with shrimp or even crab and cheese.

How to Serve Wontons

While these wontons can be enjoyed as is, sometimes they're served with a dipping sauce. A simple sauce that is very easy to prepare is a mixture of equal parts ketchup and Japanese tonkatsu sauce. Another easy sauce idea is using a bottled jar of duck sauce (which is similar to a mixture of apricot preserves) and savory ingredients such as garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili.

How to Store Beef Wontons

Like many fried foods, wontons are best the day they are made. However, they can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days and reheated in a frying pan on the stove top in hot oil, so as to crisp up.

If you would like to make the filling ahead of time, it is good for up to two days in advance, and can be cooked and frozen ahead of time as well.