The many tourists who head to Hoi An, the ancient town with its glistening lights of lanterns in old houses, should not miss out on trying one of Hoi An’s specialties, hoanh thanh chien (fried wonton dumplings).
These treats are much like the Chinese variety of wonton dumplings that are served up in soup or deep-fried. However, the hoanh thanh chien are prepared crispy and garnished with some salsa-like mix of vegetables and sweet and sour shrimp. The fried wontons are really fun to eat and can make a great appetizer and finger food snack. They are great in itself without the dipping sauce, yet many would say that having it with the sauce does a lot of wonder. The dish may not look very complicated, but it does require some time to prepare. To make the hoanh thanh chien, fresh shrimp are peeled off, ground then mixed with husked pork and minced onions and other spices. The mixing requires some good 30 minutes. The combined meat and spices are then placed into each wonton wrapper, sealed, then dropped into hot oil until golden crisp. Fried tomatoes and coriander are the most common garnishing that works beautifully with the fried dumplings. The dipping sauce it comes with is a mix of chili sauce mixed, soya sauce and vinegar. Though many people can eat hoanh thanh chien any way they want: without the dip, with a bowl of salad and mayonnaise, or sometimes even without the salsa-like topping. Either way, these treats are a must-try.