These bad boys are kind of like a crab rangoon and a fried ravioli in one. If you have never used wonton wrappers before, they are kind of amazing. When fried, they have an amazing texture that is both light and crunchy at the same time. The ricotta filling with marscapone offers a smooth cheesy filling that will melt when fried and be tasty whether its hot or room temperature.
I decided that although the fried wonton’s are delicious on their one, they needed something… hence the fried basil! One of the best things a former chef ever showed me was fried basil and how it can transform a dish. Fried basil is not only great for savory dishes like this, but its honestly one of my favorite garnishes for a plated dessert. The basil turns ultra green when fried and has an awesome crunchy texture.
1 Cup Ricotta
1/4 Cup Marscapone
Zest of 1 Large Lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan + more for garnish
1 egg, beaten + pastry brush
10-12 Fresh Basil leaves (petite leaves are great for this)
1 Package Fresh Wonton Wrappers
1/2 Cup Marinara Sauce
You will need:
1 12-16inch Piping bag
Vegetable or Canola Oil for Frying
Plate covered in paper towels
Dutch Oven for frying Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French (Dutch) Oven, Cerise (Cherry Red) w/ Stainless Knob
Slotted Spoon or Spider Spoon Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen 5-inch Spider Strainer
Makes about 30 Wontons
Assembling the Filling:
1. In a food processor combine ricotta, marscapone and lemon zest, blend until smooth.
2. Add the salt and grated parmesan, blend until smooth.
3. Scoop ricotta filling into your piping bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes (the colder the mixture is, the easier it is to pipe and it stays put better when folding it into the wonton).
Let’s get Cooking:
1. Heat up at least 4 inches of fry oil (so the wonton’s won’t stick to the bottom of the pan) in a Dutch Oven. You want something that has high sides, hold the oil and keep the oils heat level regulated.
2. While the oil heats, remove the leaves of basil from their stem and set aside.
3. Laying out 6 wontons at a time, pipe a quarter size dollop of filling into the middle of each wonton wrapper.
4. With a pastry brush, brush two adjacent sides of the wrapper with the beaten egg.
5. Fold the wonton in a triangle, covering each egg washed side with a side of wonton that was not egg washed. You should have a triangle with filling in the center.
6. Brush a little egg wash on the ends farthest from one another. Fold the sides inwards and press the ends together to seal them. The wonton will now look like a giant tortellini.
7. Repeat until all the filling is used.
8. Once all your wontons are shaped, place in the fridge until ready to fry.
Let’s get Frying:
1. Once your oil is heated to 375, you are ready to go!
2. Carefully place your fresh basil leaves into the hot oil. BECAREFUL! Because of the water in the leaves, the oil will bubble up and spit out of the pan at you.
3. Cook the basil leaves for about 1 minute and with a slotted spoon, remove them from the hot oil. Place fried basil leaves on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
4. Bring the oil back up o 375 degrees (should only take a couple of minutes) and add 2-3 wontons into the oil.
5. Cook wontons for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, rotating them about half way through.
6. Remove wontons from the hot oil and place them to cool on the reserved paper towel.
7. Repeat step 5 until all the wontons are cooked.
1. Heat up marinara sauce in a saucepan and place in a heat proof dish.
2. Plate ricotta wontons, sprinkle fried basil leaves and reserved grated parmesan over the warm wontons.
Note: If you don’t like or have the zest of a lemon, you can add a few basil leaves to the ricotta mixture to add a bit of brightness.