Wontons are easy to love. They’re like a tiny little present, and the surprise inside is an extremely flavorful filling that’s bursting with garlic and soy and green onion. This meatball version is equally easy to love because that delicious, savory filling is right out there in the open. And since there’s no wrappers or dough involved, they happen to be a cinch to make, which means you can get that wonton flavor right at home anytime you’re craving it.
Most of the time, wonton filling starts with ground pork, though sometimes you might find some shrimp in the mix as well. We’ve gone with a combination of ground pork and ground chicken, and while you’re probably not going to find that combo in most Chinese restaurants, it provides a balanced flavor and a texture that doesn’t require any eggs or breadcrumbs or binder. (Which makes these low-carb and all that good stuff!)
The meat gets seasoned with plenty of green onion, garlic, and cilantro and a simple trio of soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil. (And when I say plenty, I mean it. The seasoning isn’t overwhelming in any way, but you would never think of these as bland.) There’s just a half teaspoon of fish sauce here, which gives these that umami flavor that only fish sauce can without any discernable fishy taste.
You can bake these as we’ve done, or you could brown them on the stovetop. You can eat them over a bed of rice, or tuck them into a bowl of broth and snow peas. They’re versatile little guys, and they give you yummy wonton flavor quicker than you can call for takeout.
30 minutes to prepare serves 4
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To a large bowl, add the ground pork, chicken, green onions, cilantro, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, pepper, and sesame oil. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until sticky and well combined.
- Form mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place them onto prepared baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
Recipe adapted from The Defined Dish.