I haven’t been shy about my love of Brazilian food (and yes, I realize this may sound like a strange way to start a post with “wontons” in the title…). One of my favorite street foods in Brazil is something called a pastel. It’s a scrumptious little pastry filled with savory things like cheese and/or meat, or sweet, filled with things like chocolate, bananas, or jelly. They’re similar in theory to an empanada, or these meat pies, but the dough is entirely different and not nearly as thick. The first time I tasted a pastel I had an out of body experience, and they quickly became my favorite little guilty pleasure while living in Brazil. Although these little fried wonton pillows aren’t exactly the same, they’re somewhat similar in taste and texture so that’s why I love to make them so much! If you happen to have a Brazilian or Latin market nearby, you may be able to find actual pastel dough. Wontons tend to be a bit crispier than traditional pasteis, but they still taste yummy.
I often have leftover wonton wrappers when I’m making a recipe that calls for them (like this Wonton Salad or these Potstickers). Or if not, then I make sure to save a few to make this little treat. I’ve mentioned before that I rarely fry things at home, but every once and a while it’s a fun thing to do. My kids think these are so cool.
In the pictures below I’m actually using the egg roll wrappers, cut in half. however they’re the exact same size as 2 wonton wrappers. So just lay down some squares and pop some filling into them.
This isn’t rocket science, you can use a spoonful of nutella, a little peanut butter and a few chocolate chips, a slice of banana and some cininamon sugar, etc. What I did is take a big scoop of cream cheese and microwave it until it was easy to stir. I added a couple spoonfuls of powdered sugar and a few drops of almond extract. In each wonton I put in about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture and a little dollop of raspberry jam.
To seal, dip your finger in water and brush it along all 4 edges of the wonton skin. Place the top piece on and press firmly to seal.
Fry in a pan with vegetable oil according to package directions. It’s usually about 375 degrees. You can test it by dipping the edge of the wonton in and seeing if it bubbles up quickly. After they are golden brown (it just takes a few seconds on each side) remove from oil, letting the excess drip off into the pan, and then immediately place in a bowl of cinnamon sugar and coat on all sides.
You’ll want to eat these immediately! And you too with have an out of body experience.
Inside is the sweet little surprise, and it blends perfectly with the crisp pastry and sweet cinnamon sugar.
For an equally delicious savory option, fill with mozzarella cheese and dip in marinara sauce. And if you want something authentically Brazilian to wash it down with, try this lemonade!
I am planning on making cheesecake ones and baking them. Since the cheesecake needs to be refrigerated, would the wontons get soggy? Any other ideas?
Stephanie- you definitely want to eat these warm, so I’d actually pick a different filling. You get the same cheesecake-y taste from using a sweetened cream cheese (like I showed) but it still tastes good warm. They’d get soggy in the fridge- sorry!
Thank you so much for this delicious idea! I did the Nutella and Banana with a slight dusting of powdered sugar for a Girl's Night, and they were to die for!
Jackie- you could maybe make them at home and then reheat in hot oven before serving, but they are definitely best fresh!
Question: If you are making these for friends, and the dinner party is not at your own home, is it ok to make them at home, then take them? You said to serve immediately…would it still be ok?
Oh my goodness! I can not wait to try these!
i need to stop reading this blog if i'm ever going to lose my xmas weight.. lol
those look AMAZINGLY delicious!
These looks deadly. Heaven help me.
Loved this! I maded it last night:VERY YUMMY!
So I´m gonna give you my Pastel Dough Recepie, since I live in Brasil, and I love Pastel!
2 cups of flower
½ cup of warm water
1 T spoon of white vinegar
1 t spoon of salt
2 T spoon of soybean oil
1 T spoon of Cachaça
How to make the dough:
Mix the flower and the salt.
Now mix the soybean oil, the cachaça and the vinegar – in this order.
Put the warm water, the can´t be damp nor very moist.
Let it stay in the Fridge, overnight.
Preparation of the pastel:
With a rolling pin . open the dough until it´s thin. Fill the dough with the things you like, like cheasse, meat, banana, apple, and other things yummy. Damp you finger in water and gently pass it at one edge, fold, and with a fork close the dough.
Fry in very hot oil!!!
Let it sit in paper towel, so the excess oil will run out of the pastel.
Tip : To store in refrigerator or freezer , wrap it in film role.
OBS: The Cachaça is necessary to dry the dough, after it is fried. No, don´t replace it
Just had to let you know I made these for dessert tonight… delicious. I'm sure this will become a favorite. The children loved stuffing them and sealing the edges, too! Thanks again.
We had something like this in San Diego last week on our vacation there. They were so good. I am excited to now try these. Thanks for this amazing blog. I have so many favorite recipes now.
Some recipes look too perfect not to try. These are calling to me. Seems easy enough and sounds DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing these. I'll be linking on Facebook.
You know, I tried something like this last year for Valentines Day and it was kind of bad (we used bananas and I think fried them too long or something) but this inspired me to try again! So I broke out the wonton wrappers and filled them with some chocolate chips and peanut butter! Delicious!!!
These look so yummy!
I have nominated you for an award at http://bubblesballoonsandblessings.blogspot.com/2010/01/lemonade-stand-award.html
Your blog is so wonderful. I made your homemade marshmallows this year and they were a HUGE hit. HUGE. Thank you so much. I nominated you for a little blog award (as one of my favorite blogs) over here.http://brandyscrafts.blogspot.com/2010/01/lemonade-stand-award.html
Oh how I miss pasteis! I love this blog and I'm so glad I've found you two! 🙂 What a grat idea to use wonton wrappers.
mmm…chocolate and strawberries. GREAT idea Sare! I agree the dessert pizza is amazing! I've yet to make any at home that compares 🙁
Obrigada! I have always wanted a good pastel recipe. This is awesome. I served a mission in Brazil, and pasteis and me became instant friends. Que saudades! I think I will make some with choc chips and a few chopped strawberries (my favorite). Now if only we can bring their dessert pizzas to the US…I'd be in heaven!
These look simple and easy to make lovely.
Yay! I made your Asian salad the day you posted it (legit!) and now the perfect idea for the leftover wonton wrappers. Thanks!
The Damsel in Dis Dress
Kristi- I love romeo and juliets!
Que milagre! Te adoro por este receita! ooo, e romeo & juliet!
I've made these with Nutella and sprinkled with powdered sugar….pure evil!
I'm part Brazilian and we make something like this called Romeo and Juliets. They are filled with swiss cheese and guava paste. They are pretty delicious.
puff pastry won't work so well. It puffs up way too much- and actually I don't know what it would do if fried!
Leslie- that's a great idea! Um…can I come too? 🙂
Hey Sara, Thanks for this post. My hubby went to Brazil on a mission for 2 years. You just gave me an idea to Do a Brazilian style Valentines dinner. Hmmmmmm…Thanks!
Looks good, I definitly will try! Could you use puff pastry or those pastry sheets? I've seen them in chocolate!
My best friend is from Brazil and she made a meat Pasteis on "Or so she says…" (plus her Brazilian hot dog topping).
Here's the link:
Thanks for this! I'm excited to try it and to tell her about it 🙂
Que bom saber que você gosta da comida brasileira. Eu adoro pastel de feira, os seus ficaram maravilhosos!!! 😀
Oh My gosh!!!!! These look so freaking yummy I am getting the wonton wrappers tomorrow and making myself SICK with them. I'll blame you for my tummy ache tomorrow.
How beautiful! It's midnight and I'm so hungry! 🙂