Skip to main content
  • From the Test Kitchen: Homemade Wonton with Dipping Sauce

    We will be posting a selected recipe from the Campus and Community Foodways Test Kitchen daily, along with some background information on the institutions, recipes, and the ingredients. Drop by the Test Kitchen, in the Campus and Community "Building on Tradition" area, to see live demonstrations and meet the chefs! Visit the Festival Schedule for a complete list of demonstrations.

    29 June: Homemade Wonton with Dipping Sauce

    USDA, “Food Explorations”

    Since 1971, The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) has been a leader in providing resources on food and human nutrition information to nutrition and health professionals, educators, government personnel and consumers. As part of this outreach, the FNIC provides access to a vast repertoire of recipes to help kids and adults across the United States make healthy, delicious decisions.

    Wontons await a hot oil bath at the Test Kitchen.
    Wontons await a hot oil bath at the Test Kitchen.


    • 7 oz. firm tofu
    • 1 ¼ cup frozen, chopped spinach
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons shredded carrot
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 ½ tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
    • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper (may substitute black pepper)
    • 48 wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
    • 4 tablespoons oil for pan-frying, as needed

    Dipping Sauce:

    • 2 tablespoons sunflower butter
    • ¼ cup water
    • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • Small clove garlic, minced
    • ¼ teaspoon sriracha chili sauce (or more, if you want it spicy)
    • 1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon green onion, chopped


    1. Cut the tofu in half horizontally and lay between layers of paper towels.
    2. Place on a plate, top with another plate.  The weight of the plate will help drain excess fluid from the tofu block.
    3. After 20 minutes, discard excess fluid and mash the tofu.
    4. Thaw and squeeze the spinach until it is relatively dry.
    5. Wash and prepare the green onions and carrots. Add these vegetables to the tofu.
    6. Lightly beat the egg with the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
    7. Combine the mashed tofu and vegetables with the egg and seasonings.  Stir until well blended.
    8. Cover the filling with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
    9. To fill the wontons, lay a wrapper in front of you so that it forms a diamond shape.
    10. Wet two adjacent edges of the wrapper with water.
    11. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle.
    12. Bring the top half of the wrapper over the filling, folding into a triangle.
    13. Trying to avoid air pockets, seal the edges.
    14. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
    15. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Pan-fry the wontons in the hot oil until they are golden and crispy (about 2 minutes).
    16. Place hot fried wontons on a paper towel. Serve with dipping sauce.

    Dipping Sauce:

    1. To make the dipping sauce, place sunflower butter in a small bowl.
    2. Gradually add water, stirring until completely mixed.
    3. Add low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, chili sauce, cilantro and green onion. Set aside.


    • Substitute blanched, drained chard or 1 cup raw bok choy for the spinach
    • Add thinly sliced shiitake or other mushrooms
    • Add shredded zucchini
    • Boil or steam wontons instead of pan-frying (Bring large pot of water to a boil. Cook 10 Wontons at a time in boiling water 90 seconds. Remove from pot with slotted spoon).

  • Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.