Kalua Pork Wontons


Kalua Pork Wontons from Our Best BitesWhen I was a kid, I went to Hawaii a few times–we went to Maui, then when my dad remarried after my mom died, we went to Kauai, then we went to Kauai again my junior year of high school. Then my husband and I went to Kauai on our honeymoon. Yes, I’m a brat.

So last summer’s trip to The Big Island was a totally different experience for me. The Big Island was…different. And wonderful and amazing and beautiful. But it was big and it was also more remote and less touristy than any of my other Hawaiian adventures.

For the first half of our trip, we stayed on the west side of the island, full of beaches and sunshine. It just has more people, both people who live there and tourists (of course, “people” is fairly relative and aside from downtown Kona, The Big Island never felt crowded or touristy to me, although in Kona, we happened to stop for lunch near a docked cruise ship, so I’m sure that contributed). After that, we headed over to the east side of the island, which was a totally different place. It’s full of jungles and waterfalls and volcanoes and rugged cliffs and far fewer tourists and way more locals. We stayed on the easternmost tip of the island in this amazing house (totally not sponsored, just thought I’d throw that in there for anyone who might be looking. Yes, that price is correct and it’s just as nice, if not nicer, in real life) that was about 25 minutes from the closest one-street town. It was totally not what you imagine when you think of a tropical Hawaiian vacation (luaus and hula dancers and lounging on the beach with an exotic drink), but that part of our trip was filled with all sorts of local adventures, including the places where we ate. Those also happened to be, like, the most delicious 5 days of my life.

One night, we went to this restaurant called Kaleo’s in Pahoa (the tiny, one-street town we were closest to). It’s so funny because that night, it was super crowded, and yet it felt like we were the only tourists in there. But everyone I’ve talked to who’s spent time on the east side of the island has talked about eating at Kaleo’s.

It’s been 8 1/2 months since we were there, and I remember that whatever I ordered was delicious, but I don’t remember what it was. But the thing that is burned into my brain is that kalua pork wontons. They were up there with the most amazing things I’d ever eaten. In my life. And, not being braggy or anything, but I’ve eaten a lot of delicious things in my life.

I’ve thought about re-creating them a lot since we’ve been home. But when you’re dealing with re-creating one of the most delicious things you’ve ever eaten ONCE in your life (and I got one, maybe two wontons), that’s a lot of pressure. That I put on myself. In case you guys haven’t noticed, I’m a tiny bit neurotic. Tiny bit.

Last week, I decided it was time. I whipped up a batch of Kalua Pork. And then things got crazy–school plays and dance costumes and doctor appointments and whatever.  And then I felt like too much time had gone by for me to comfortably use the leftover pork. So the other night, I ran to a local BBQ joint and got a pound of pulled pork (sans the BBQ sauce). And a drink because, well, I wanted one. So they handed it to me with one napkin and one fork and pity in their eyes, like I was going to go home and drink my Diet Coke and eat my pound of pork all by myself. pulled pork

All awkwardness aside, it ended up working really well, so if this is an easier alternative for you, I totally recommend it.

For the wontons, you’re going to need 1/2 pound of pulled pork, some wonton wrappers, and some garlic olive oil (I used the Our Best Bites garlic olive oil).

kalua pork wonton ingredients

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (or a couple of baking sheets) with parchment paper, drizzle with a little garlic olive oil,

pouring olive oil

brush the olive oil onto the parchment paper. Set aside.

Chop the pork into very small pieces (this is easier if it’s cold, leftover pork).

chopped kalua pork

Take a wonton wrapper and place 2 teaspoons of pork in one corner of the wrapper, leaving about 1/4″ margin.

pork on wonton wrapper

Dip your finger in a small bowl of water and run it around the margin surrounding the pork.

water on wonton wrapper

Fold the other side over the pork and press gently to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pork.

wontons on pan

With 1/2 pound of  pork, you’ll probably get somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 wontons, give or take.

When you’re finished filling the wontons, brush the prepared wontons with garlic olive oil.

brushing wontons with garlic olive oil

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

While the wontons are baking, thinly slice 1 bunch of green onions.

green onions

Then whisk together the mayo, prepared wasabi, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.

wasabi mayo

Place the mixture in a Ziploc bag. Place about 1/3 cup of Asian sweet chili sauce (like Mae Ploy) in another Ziploc bag.

sauces in bags

When the wontons are done cooking, transfer to a serving platter.

kalua pork wontons on plate

Snip a small corner off of each bag and drizzle each mixture over the wontons.

sweet chili sauce on wontons


wasabi mayo on wontons

You might not use all of either sauce–don’t go too crazy. You can squeeze whatever is left into dipping bowls and people can dip their wontons if they want to. After you drizzle the sauces, sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately. Makes about 40 wontons.

Baked Kalua Pork Wontons from Our Best Bites


woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Love Hawaii. Been there many times. Our little 4 year old is Hawaiian too, and so I’ve taken to trying to learn lots of Hawaiian recipes. We have a friend who’s a caterer, and Hawaiian, so he’d taught me several dishes…one of which is Kalua Pig. We’ve started a tradition of have a big Hawaiian feast for Christmas dinner. I’m always looking for ways to use the leftovers…this sounds great! You know what else is fantastic? Nachos! Leftover pig makes the BEST nachos…but you have to squirt some Comeback Sauce on it too. If you don’t know what that is….let me give you the recipe. BEST condiment known to man. Great on tacos, nachos, hamburgers, sandwiches. It has just about every herb and spice in your cupboard. Nachos with Comeback Sauce and Kalua PIg….YUm…better make me up some quickly. Will absolutley try this next time we have some. Here’s a link from my sister’s old blog…which is no longer active…(oh…and by the way, the potato salad recipe listed on the website too, absolutely IS the best potato salad recipe you’ll ever make.) http://scribbit.blogspot.com/2011/01/worlds-best-potato-salad-with-comeback.html WHEW! Didn’t mean for this to be such a ‘chatty comment’. 🙂

  2. These look amazing! Leftover wanton wrappers…check, Alabama’s limitless supply of places to buy smoked pulled pork…check! These are totally going to happen! Thank you!

  3. “So they handed it to me with one napkin and one fork and pity in their eyes, like I was going to go home and drink my Diet Coke and eat my pound of pork all by myself.” Ha! I know that feeling! I worked at an ice cream plant for a few years and I always got sent to the store to buy 36 half gallons of ice cream for the comparison tests. Awkward! I would always act like, yeah everybody buys a cart full of ice cream and watch peoples reactions and see if anyone asked me why I needed that much ice cream. Good times!

  4. I lived in Hawaii for two years while going to college. As soon as I read this post this morning, I wiped the drool away and knew what we would be having tonight. They were delicious. and gone way before I wanted them to be!!! Thanks for sharing, as always – you guys do not disappoint!

  5. Yummy! What would you serve with these!? Or are they more of an appetizer!?

    1. You could serve them as an appetizer, or with some kind of Asian-ish soup or salad or fried rice or noodles.

  6. These look fantastic! I’m glad I saw your IG posts about them because I recognized your post on this scraper site: http://www.tastykitchenideas.com. Not sure if you ladies go after them all, but I wanted to let you know if you didn’t already.

  7. I will be making these soon. They look delicious. I am planning kalua pork for the first time here in a few days and was wondering what I would do with a huge roast pork.

  8. When I saw these on instagram yesterday, I thought oh man I can’t make these because I suck at frying things and I was really bummed. I am so happy these are baked! So much easier!!

  9. I love anything in a wonton wrapper, and these! OH MY! I can not wait to try them. While I would generally be with Sara in the frying department, we’re trying to like be heathlier or whatever, so I’ll bake ’em. YUM. YUM.

  10. In all of my trips to Hawaii, my most favorite (and most memorable) thing I’ve ever eaten was Kalua Pork Wontons from Tidepools restaurant in Kauai. I still dream of those on a regular basis. Can’t wait to make these (although I’m totally deep frying mine ;))

    1. Hahaha! I was actually pleasantly surprised how crispy and thin the baked ones came out–if they were side by side, I don’t think I would have been able to the difference!