Tofu Vegetable Crispy Wontons [Deep-Fried + Air Fried]

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Deep fry or air fry vegetables and tofu crispy wontons until crispy golden outside and tender in the middle. A crowd-pleasing, delicious appetizer, side, or snack!

several completed Tofu Vegetable Crispy Wontons spread out on a white surface

What Are Fried Wontons?

Wontons are Chinese dumplings, usually filled with ground pork and/or shrimp, served either steamed/within soup or—in American Chinese cuisine – as a fried appetizer called fried wontons. They are fried until crispy and usually served with a dipping sauce, like plum sauce, sweet and sour, hot mustard, etc.

For this vegan wontons recipe, though, we’ve ditched all animal products. Instead, these crispy treats are filled with a moreish teriyaki tofu and vegetable filling. Plus, along with a traditional deep-fried wonton method, we’re also sharing how to make air fryer wontons for crispy results with a fraction of the oil!

These crispy wontons are easy to prepare and cook in just a few minutes, perfect as a crowd-pleasing (and child-approved) appetizer or finger food at dinner parties, special occasions, or even a weeknight treat.

Plus, this makes a whopping 50 wonton batch to enjoy immediately or freeze for later – and much more budget-friendly than takeout (just like our Veggie Chow Mein or vegetable fried brown rice)!

The Ingredients and Substitutions

This vegan wonton recipe is made up of just 7 ingredients (with a 5-ingredient vegan wonton filling), primarily inexpensive pantry staples.

ingredients for Tofu Vegetable Crispy Wontons measured out against a white surface
  • Onions: We use yellow onions, but white onions would also work.
  • carrots: A regular, small carrot works wonderfully for these veggie wontons.
  • Tofu: Use extra-firm tofu pressed for 30 minutes (learn how to press your tofu here).
  • Teriyaki Sauce: Use store-bought or homemade.
  • soy sauce: Regular or reduced-sodium soy sauce works. Use tamari/coconut aminos if gluten-free.
  • Vegan wonton wrappers: You can use square (like us) or round wonton wrappers. Vegan dumpling wrappers would work in a pinch. You can purchase these from many grocery stores (in the cold section near the dairy and other doughs or frozen sections) or Asian markets.
  • Oil: When air frying wontons, we usually use olive oil. For deep frying, use vegetable oil or canola oil.

We also recommend sweet & sour sauce for dipping the veggie wontons.

How Else Could I Fill Crispy Wontons?

Once you know the method of cooking these vegan wontons, you’ll soon realize there are plenty of ways to fill and enjoy them.

  • Vegetable wontons: Add shredded cabbage and rehydrated dried shiitakes, finely chopped, to the above tofu veg mixture for delicious vegetarian wontons.
  • Vegan Cream Cheese: Combine 8oz vegan cream cheese with 2-3 tbsp green onions, soy sauce or salt, and garlic powder (to taste). For a spicy version, add some hot sauce.
  • Vegan ‘cheesecake’ sweets: Combine vegan cream cheese with powdered sugar (or erythritol), vanilla, and fruit like diced strawberries or blueberries.
  • Chocolate Vegan: Use vegan Nutella/chocolate spread dusted with powdered sugar.

How to Make Vegan Crispy Wontons?

  • 1) First, roughly chop the onion and carrot, then transfer them to a food processor to process them into a crumb consistency.
  • 2) Then, add the (pressed) tofu to a bowl with the teriyaki sauce and soy sauce and leave it to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
process shot of adding tofu to bowl of sauce
  • 3) Next, coat the bottom of a large skillet with some oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the carrot, onion, and tofu in its sauce, using a ladle/spoon/masher to mash the tofu.
  • 4) Cook, stirring often, until the ground tofu veg mixture is thoroughly cooked (5-6 minutes). Then set it aside to cool.
process shot of mixing ingredients together in pan
  • 5) To assemble the tofu vegetable wontons, add 1 tablespoon of the tofu vegetable filling to the center of a wonton wrapper, and use a damp finger along the edges of the pastry. Fold it in half to form a triangle, pressing gently to seal the edges. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.

Wonton wrappers dry out quickly, so keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel.

For Fried Wontons

  1. Add about 1 ½ inches of neutral frying oil (enough to fully submerge the wontons) to a deep skillet and heat it over medium-high heat (it should reach 350F/175C).
process shot of frying wontons in pan

To test if the oil is hot enough without a thermometer, dip a chopstick or wooden skewer into the oil. It should bubble immediately but not smoke.

  1. Fry the vegan wontons in batches for just a few minutes (2-3 minutes), flipping to evenly cook both sides until golden brown and crispy.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer any cooked fried wontons to a layer of paper towels to drain.

For Air Fryer Wontons

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 370F/188C and spray the bottom of the basket with some oil.
  2. Spread a layer of the tofu vegetable wontons into the air fryer basket, leaving space between each one for air to circulate, and spray with cooking oil (this will ensure they become wonderfully crispy).
  3. Air fry wontons for 8-10 minutes, flipping at 4 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

Repeat that with the remaining wontons before placing them all back in the air fryer for a couple of minutesso all the air-fried wontons are warm for serving.

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Have a bowl of water: To dip your fingers in to seal the vegan wontons.
  • The wonton shape: We keep things simple with a single fold, but feel free to try other shapes (ie, bringing all 4 corners together in the middle OR folding the triangle then bringing the outer corners together).
  • Don’t overcrowd the wontons: When deep frying, adding too much food can cause oil temperature fluctuations, leading to an oily, greasy disaster. In an air fryer, the air-fried wontons will steam if too close.
  • Using a thermometer to deep fry: If you have one, it’s best to ensure the oil is at the correct temperature, so the vegan fried dumplings don’t burn (if too hot) or become overly greasy/ cook unevenly (if too cold).
  • The yield: This vegan wonton recipe makes about 50 fried tofu wontons.

Can You Make Vegan Wontons Ahead?

To cut down on prep, you can prepare the filling a day in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also assemble the tofu veggie wontons and freeze them for later.

To freeze, spread them in a single layer on a tray to flash freeze until solid, then transfer them to a Ziplock/Stasher bag for up to 2 months. Cook from frozen (as long as they aren’t icy, which can be dangerous in a deep fryer), increasing the cooking time slightly.

You can technically store the assembled, uncooked wontons in the fridge for up to a day, but unless they’re securely contained (also not touching), they can dry out.

several completed Tofu Vegetable Crispy Wontons spread out on a white surface

What To Serve With Crispy Wontons

Enjoy the crispy fried wontons with your favorite dipping sauce, like sweet and sour sauce, sweet chili sauce, peanut sauce, or spicy vegan mayo.

You could also serve them as a side with a delicious stir-fry like our Spicy Sesame Tofu Stir-fry, Garlic Ginger Soup, or Tofu Lettuce Wraps.

Storage Instructions

Once cooked, the crispy wontons are best enjoyed immediately (especially the fried wontons). However, any leftovers will store in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 2 months.

Reheat them either in the oven or air fryer at 375F/190C for a few minutes (longer when frozen) until warm and crispy once more (an additional spritz of oil can help).

More Vegan Appetizers

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

  • Mince the onion and the carrot in a food processor.

  • Add the pressed tofu to a large bowl with the teriyaki and soy sauce. Marinate for 10 minutes.

  • Coat the bottom of a pan with oil and heat to medium-high. Add minced carrot, onion, tofu and any excess sauce to the skillet.

  • Using a ladle, crush the tofu until it’s crumbly. Constantly flip until the ground tofu mixture is thoroughly cooked. When finished cooking, let cool.

  • Once the mixture has cooled, apply 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the center of a wonton wrap. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle using a small amount of water to seal the tofu mixture in. Repeat as many times as necessary.

  • On medium-high heat, fry the wontons until both sides are lightly browned, set aside the finished wontons to cool.

  • Have a bowl of water: To dip your fingers in to seal the vegan wontons.
  • The wonton shape: We keep things simple with a single fold, but feel free to try other shapes (ie, bringing all 4 corners together in the middle OR folding the triangle then bringing the outer corners together).
  • Don’t overcrowd the wontons: When deep frying, adding too much food can cause oil temperature fluctuations, leading to an oily, greasy disaster. In an air fryer, the air-fried wontons will steam if too close.

Calories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProteins: 1gFats: 5gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fats: 1gMonounsaturated Fats: 3gTrans Fats: 0.02gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 166mgPotassium: 23mgFibers: 0.2gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 168IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.4mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonbudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseen ways. Plantbasedonbudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Author: Jenn Wong

Courses: Appetizers

Cuisine: Asian

Methods: Frying

Diet: vegan

Keywords: air fried, crispy, crispy wontons, finger foods, homemade wontons, tofu, tofu wontons, vegan, vegan appetizer, vegan wontons, vegetarian

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