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!
If you want to bake these instead of frying, how long should they bake and at what temp?
School was cancelled because of snow, I had 10 kids here and was looking for a nice treat for them. We made these. Some had peanut butter and some had nutella… they were a huge hit!!! thank you so much!
I love them
YES!!! These are called Pastel and they are delicioussssss!!! I’m from Brazil and I suffer so much without pastel here un USA so I use these wraps too, it works super well!!! If you ever have a chance to go to Brazil you should eat pastel from farmers market, its such a dream, better than sex, hahha!!!
Thanks for sharing!!
These look amazing and I need a finger food to take to a small group meeting this week. Would baking them work too? I am not a big fan of frying things but I don’t want to try it and ruin it…
technically you can bake wontons, but I personally wouldn’t do it with this recipe. They turn out a little chewy and less crispy.
Oh, wow!! I am a brazilian living in New Zealand and just today I was desperately craving pastéis. Savoury, with heart of palms – my all time favorites, or mince, or cheese or anything, really! But I can’t be bothered making the dough, rolling it out, etc, so I am def buying wonton wraps next supermarket visit. And tapioca flour for pães de queijo. And guava paste for everything! Thank you for you great idea!
Just a side note… if you use whipped Cream cheese… they will explode while deep frying them, and cream cheese in hot oil is not a fun experience!
Parabens e bom saber que vc teve contato com a cultura brasileira :o) obrigada!!! e seja feliz!!!!
Thank you so much for this recipe. I loved eating pastels when I was serving my mission in Brazil and never could figure out how to make them on my own. These look every bit as good as I remember them.
I made this with the sweetened cream cheese and strawberry jam, and it tasted like deep fried cheesecake! It was so amazing!
Sara, thanks for posting all your perfected Brazilian recipes! They’re simply fabulous. I served a mission in Curitiba as well and when I got home I searched online for a while for recipes and then my mom found your blog. The wonton dough idea is great!! I am curious, did you try the pastel dough recipe that someone else posted? If so, how did it turn out? Oh! Também, amei a receita de feijão preto. Obrigada!