Recipe: Crispy Venison Wontons

Wonton Final.JPG

Southern Fried Childhood Favorites 

By Melissa Slaughter 

This is one of the staples of my childhood. My father was a hunter and my mother, being Japanese American, fused his monthly hauls with Asian staples. Yes, in this day and age, hunting is viewed as a strange and barbaric hobby. But in my family, it's a long-standing generation bonding. My grandfather did it, my father does it, and the best Thanksgiving turkey I've ever had was one my brother got. We ate everything my family hunted and this is one of the recipes that stays with me. 


My mom used to send my brother and I into the living room to watch TV while we rolled and folded wontons. It's something that I never really thought about until I became much older and started remember what family fusions we ate over the years. When I asked my mom for the recipe, she literally texted it to me despite the fact that she hadn't made it in years. I thought it was because she didn't have as many people to feed (I haven't been living at home in literally years.) 

But when I started making this, I realized it's because this is time-consuming! All the rolling and folding is easy when two teenagers are sitting in front of the TV watching reruns on Nick at Night. My mom only had to do the frying, which is time consuming enough. Now that it's just me in my dinky New York apartment, it takes a little longer to get things done. 

That being said, when I think of what it means to be Hapa, it always comes back to food. And my Southern/Japanese roots come together in recipes just like these. I plan on making these for my New Year's Day party. And you should too! 

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Venison Wontons
Crispy fried wontons filled with a gamey delicacy.
  • 2 lbs Venison Sausage
  • 2-3 stalkes Green Onions
  • 1 package Wonton Skins
  • A pinch Corn Starch
1. Clean, dry, and thinly slice the green onions. 2. Mix the uncooked ground venison and the onions in a medium sized bowl. (If your sausage is encased, remove the casing by cutting the sausage in half then stripping off the outside.) 3. Make a small venison ball. 4. Place the venison ball in the center of the wonton skin. It should fit inside the wonton skin so when it's folded over corner to corner the wonton skin can be closed. 5. In a small bowl, make a slurry with corn starch and water. Dip a finger into the slurry and wet the inside of two sides of the wonton skin. 6. Fold and press the wonton into a triangle. Slowly press the air out as you close and seal the wonton. The slurry will act as a seal. 7. Once the wonton is closed, flattened the venison ball a little bit. 8. Heat vegetable oil on med to slightly med high heat in a shallow pan (nonstick sautee pan is good.) 9. When the oil is hot, lay the wontons into the pan. (My trick is to splash a few drops of water into the oil. If it crackles, it's reach.) 10. Fry the wonton for 2-3 minutes on each side. Lower the heat a little if you need to. Keep a close eye on them to make sure you flip them before they burn. 11. Once each side is a nice golden brown and you think the meat is cooked inside, remove the wontons and place them on a paper towel lines plate. 12. Serve hot with ponzu sauce or soy sauce on the side.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Party Size

Melissa Slaughter has lived in all four time zones in the contiguous United States. A former actor in Seattle, WA, Melissa now resides in NYC as a content creator. She is the producer of the We're Not All Ninjas podcast, which she also hosts with fellow Hapa Mag writer, Alex Chester. Melissa also writes for online blogs Nerdophiles and On Stage Blog. Find her @NotAllNinjasPod.