These Asian-inspired Wonton Nachos are a fresh and delicious twist on classic nachos. With lots of elements you can prep in advance, simply crisp up some wonton chips, pile these nachos high, and watch them disappear!
My family is still doing mostly carryout for restaurant meals these days. We eat on outdoor restaurant patios when the weather is warmer, but since we live in the Midwest, it’s takeout throughout the winter.
And I can’t say that I’m not sick of it. I am!
While some food is fine for carryout, like maybe lasagna or beef stroganoff from our favorite local hole in the wall, other food just does NOT carry out well. Particularly anything where the crispiness is really at it’s peak straight out of the fryer, like fried chicken.
But probably my least favorite dish to attempt to do carryout for is nachos. Nobody wants soggy chips, and they certainly don’t survive the trip home.
So, I’ve been making nachos of all kinds at home, where we can enjoy them fresh out of the oven, immediately.
We’ll do the classic ground beef/cheese/lettuce/tomato/tortilla chips variety quite often, or sometimes make them topped with fajita veggies, but once in awhile we change it up and get creative.
These Wonton Nachos are inspired by the flavors of a pork banh mi sandwich, but turned into a crispy, crunchy plate of finger food.
What you’ll need for wonton nachos:
- ground pork – or an alternative protein. More on that below!
- garlic – for adding flavor to the pork in these Asian nachos.
- ginger – grated, fresh ginger (not the dried powder kind). If you have extra, I also use fresh ginger in bourbon glazed salmon and miso ginger dressing.
- fish sauce – I love this for the umami punch it packs!
- mayonnaise – the sweet chili mayo drizzle on top is EVERYTHING.
- sriracha – to add some spice to these nachos, in both the pork and the mayo.
- sweet chili sauce – I prefer to buy Mae Ploy brand, but you can also make your own sweet chili sauce.
- cucumber – you’ll need 1 English cucumber to make a quick pickle.
- rice wine vinegar – for pickling the cucumbers. I also use this type of vinegar to make miso dressing and orange ginger chicken.
- salt and sugar – also essential for pickling.
- wonton wrappers – I buy the 4-1/2 square wonton wrappers (usually in the refrigerated produce section of the store), and cut them in half diagonally to make chips.
- vegetable oil – for frying the wonton chips. Canola oil is good here, too.
- mozzarella cheese – I know, cheese isn’t usually a great combo with Asian flavors, but you need cheese to bind the nachos together like well, nachos. And mozzarella has kind of a neutral flavor that works well with everything else going on.
- jalapeno pepper – to add a little more spice to these wonton nachos, but feel free to omit this for milder nachos.
- cilantro and/or pea greens – just to add some green freshness on top! Use up the rest of the bunch of cilantro with my chilean sea bass recipe or on a fajita bar.
- shredded carrots – I love the crunch and color these add!
- green onions – thinly sliced, for garnish.
- lime wedges – for squeezing over just before serving.
Many of the elements of Asian nachos can be made in advance!
So, yes, there ARE quite a few elements to these wonton nachos. Nothing is hard, but it all adds up to be a bit time consuming. The good news is that a LOT of the elements can be made in advance.
MAKE THE PICKLED CUKES: The pickled cucumbers for Asian nachos can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in the fridge!
MAKE THE SWEET CHILI MAYO: This can also be kept in a covered container in the fridge for 3 days. This mayo is also great as a dipping sauce for coconut shrimp, so make a double batch if you want!
COOK THE PORK: If you want to do step 3 of this Asian wonton nachos recipe in advance, you totally can. Cool the mixture and then transfer it to the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 2 days. Bring it to room temperature for 1 hour before building your nachos.
SHRED THE CHEESE: Shred it and keep it in a ziploc bag in the fridge for 3 days. Done!
PREP THE VEG: The key to pulling these fried wonton nachos together a little quicker is to have your fresh veggies and herbs ready to go. Make sure everything is washed in advance.
You can even slice the jalapeno and green onions, and shred the carrot (shred extra for carrot cake oatmeal for tomorrow morning while you’re at it), and keep them in the fridge a day in advance.
If you do all of these things in advance, all that will be left to do when you want to make nachos is fry up the wonton chips, assemble the nachos, and bake them.
Can I use something other than pork?
Don’t eat pork? No problem! Make these Asian nachos exactly as written below, but using ground chicken in place of ground pork.
Or, if you want to get fancy, Ahi tuna wonton nachos are a restaurant classic for a reason.
If you go this route, I would probably go with a raw preparation, or just lightly sear the tuna like I do for my tuna arugula salad. Then, chop it and toss it with the garlic, fish sauce, ginger and sriracha for this Asian wonton nachos recipe.
A note on frying the wonton chips:
The wonton wrappers for fried wonton nachos cook so quickly that it’s hard to fry more than one or two wrappers at once (otherwise, they’ll burn before you have time to turn them all and get them out of the pan).
This process is a bit time consuming, but not difficult. However, if you’d like a quick shortcut, substitute unsalted plain tortilla chips (like I used for hot dog nachos) for the wonton chips in these wonton nachos.
How to build fried wonton nachos:
You’ll start these Asian nachos with a base of fried wonton chips on a big rimmed sheet pan. Then, you’ll pile on the cooked ground pork that’s been jazzed up with garlic, ginger, sriracha and fish sauce.
Then add a generous sprinkle of mozzarella cheese (not the fresh kind, but the bar kind you can shred, like I used for my Detroit pizza recipe) to bind everything together, and transfer the pan to the oven to melt that cheese.
After the cheese is nice and melty and everything is warmed through, you’ll pile this Asian wonton nachos recipe high with pickled cucumbers, carrots, jalapeños (or homemade pickled jalapenos), green onions and a drizzle of sweet chili mayo.
For me, wonton nachos aren’t complete without a flurry of something fresh, crunchy and green. Get out of here, boring iceburg lettuce.
I prefer either cilantro or sweet pea greens, if I can find them. Or both! But, if you wanted to use lettuce, you totally could.
Serve a drink with this Asian wonton nachos recipe!
For the Pickled Cucumbers:
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
For the Sweet Chili Mayonnaise:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
For the Pork:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
For the Wonton Chips:
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 6 ounces (4-1/2-inch square) wonton wrappers, cut in half diagonally
For the Assembly:
- 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and/or sweet pea greens
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Make the Pickled Cucumbers: Place vinegar, water, sugar and salt in large jar and shake to combine. Add cucumber to jar, cover, and turn to combine. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 3 days. Before using, remove cucumber from pickling liquid and gently pat dry with paper towel.
- Meanwhile, make the Sweet Chili Mayonnaise: In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce and sriracha.
- Make the Pork: In large skillet, cook pork over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through, breaking up pork with back of spoon and stirring as it cooks. Add garlic, fish sauce, ginger and sriracha; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Make the Wonton Chips: Place a medium high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 inch of oil to pan; heat until shimmering. Adding one or two wonton wrapper halves at a time, fry 2 to 3 seconds per side or until deep golden brown, reducing temperature to medium if wrappers are getting too dark. Transfer wrappers to paper towel-lined plate; repeat with remaining wrappers.
- Assemble the Nachos: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On large rimmed baking pan, layer wonton chips, cheese and pork mixture. Transfer to oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and pork is warmed through. Top with jalapeño, cilantro and/or sweet pea greens, carrots, onions and pickled cucumbers. Drizzle with sweet chili mayonnaise and serve with lime wedges.
Home Chef Tip: The wonton wrappers cook so quickly that it's hard to fry more than one or two wrappers at once (otherwise, they'll burn before you have time to turn them all and get them out of the pan). This process is a bit time consuming, but not difficult. However, if you'd like a quick shortcut, substitute unsalted plain tortilla chips for the wonton chips.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 910mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 22g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.