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Bushbuck Bites: Spicy Tarakihi Wontons

Bushbuck Bites: Spicy Tarakihi Wontons


When it comes to loading up a plastic takeaway container of Chinese takeaways, wontons are a Kiwi favourite. Crispy on the outside, packed full of flavour on the inside, they tick all of our sensory boxes. But what if you could spin up your own wontons at home using fresh ingredients? This wonton recipe from Kaelah James, of Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen, uses tarakihi fish in the filling with a spicy chilli oil topping to create a New Zealand summer twist on a Chinese staple.

A word from the chef

Who doesnt love a good wonton? I've put my wild kai spin on this super comforting, warming plate of fish wontons in a spicy savoury chilli oil sauce. I used Tarakihi in this recipe. But you can use literally any white fish for this dish. I've used blue cod, hāpuka and snapper in the past and all have worked beautifully. To mince the fish you can use a food processor OR a sharp knife. I recently caught my first Tarakihi on the spear so I reckon these wontons will be back on the menu at our place sometime soon. This is a super easy recipe, the trickiest part is folding the wontons, but follow the directions below and you'll be all good. These are soft (steamed) wontons, similar to dumplings. If you want them to be crispy like the ones at the fish n chip shops, you could try and deep fry them.

Pai ki tenei kai. Enjoy!


The Ingredients


Wonton filling:

  • 400g minced (or finely chopped) fish

  • 1 egg, lightly whisked

  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 tsp minced ginger

  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • 2 tsp shaoxing wine (you can use dry sherry as a replacement)

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • Fresh Wonton wrappers 

Chilli Oil Sauce:

  • 4 Tbsp Chilli oil

  • 4 Tbsp Soy sauce

  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp sugar

The Recipe

  1. In a bowl, combine all the wonton ingredients together. Set aside.

  2. Mix all the Chilli oil sauce ingredients together, add more soy sauce or sugar depending on your preferred taste. Set aside.

  3. To wrap the wontons, place about a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Trace the outer edges of the wonton wrapper with a damp finger, and fold the wonton to form a triangle.

  4. Pinch the wonton wrapper to seal it tight and make sure theres no leakage. Then fold both corners of the wonton downwards, bring the left and right corner together and pinch to seal tight. You might want to dab a little water on both corners to help seal the wontons.

  5. Transfer the wontons to a floured surface to prevent sticking.

  6. Bring water to boil in a deep pot.

  7. Gently drop the wontons into the water and boil for approx 2-3 mins.

  8. Transfer the wontons out immediately with a strainer or slotted spoon.

  9. Shake off the excess water and transfer the wontons to a plate or bowl.

  10. Add the desired amount of chilli oil to the wontons and gently toss them to coat evenly. Scatter over some diced spring onions and serve immediately.

*Makes approx 20 wontons


Kaelah James
Kaelah James

Kaelah James, aka Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen, is a New Zealand speafisher, huntress and incredible wild food cook. She's built up a following on Instagram by sharing her delicious recipes and she's now come on board as a Bushbuck ambassador and contributor to The Campfire blog. She will be sharing wild food and catch-and-cook recipes, as well as the stories behind hunting and gathering the kai. 

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