Pangsit goreng: my favourite party snack

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Laury Needham-Coenen

IMG_2115My grandma (oma) is a lovely little lady from Indonesia, who is at her happiest when she can cook (a trait she has gladly passed on). Over the years she has blessed our family with delicious food, and one of my favourites is a snack she makes for every birthday party: pangsit goreng.

Pangsit was always a bit of a mystery to me; my grandma has been cooking for so long that she eyeballs all of her recipes and the way she folds these deep fried delights was too quick for me to follow.

In short, pangsit goreng is deep fried wonton (although we'll be using spring roll pastry, because oma said so), filled with a meat mixture. Now that I have uncovered the enigmas, I'd love to share them with all of you lovelies.

You don't have to be a master cook and this can be a fun project to do with older kids. It's awesome to serve as a snack at parties and can be done in large quantities that keep well in the freezer. It may seem like a lot of steps, but remember that once you've figured out how to fold the pangsit goreng you'll be going pretty quick.
I've included a video of the folding process, though you can fold them however you want.

Right, let's get started!

For Β±50 pangsit you'll need:

Tools:

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr pork minceIMG_2077
  • 250 gr beef mince
  • 500 gr uncooked prawns
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 teaspoons of water
  • 1 package of spring roll pastry, 50 sheets of 19×19 cm (I use the blue Tij brand)
  • Pepper and salt
  • Oil to fry in

How to make pangsit goreng:

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Step 1: Separate the egg; place the yolk in the large bowl and the egg white in the small bowl. Mix the egg white with a bit of water — this will be the glue for the pastry. You want it to be of a runny consistency: a bit thicker than water and less gloopy than egg.

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Step 2: Cut the garlic and spring onions finely and place in the large bowl.

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Step 3: If needed, shell the prawns, then cut up finely and place in the large bowl as well. I've made them a bit chunkier here than I normally would for illustration purposes.

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Step 4: Now add all of the mince and the corn flour (season to taste). Mix up really well until the filling is incorporated and smooth.

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Step 5. Get your pastry, pastry brush, and "glue" out.

Step 6: Pull off a sheet of pastry and lay it down in front of you, with a tip pointing towards you.

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Step 7: Place about a teaspoon and a half of filling in the middle. You don't want to put too much on because it will not be cooked while the pastry goes black.

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Step 8: Brush the entire sheet with your glue, then fold in half from the top to the bottom and press.

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Step 9: Fold the longest side over to you.

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Step 10: Pick up the pangsit as shown and fold one corner across the other side, brush with glue (especially the tip).

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Step 11: Fold over the other corner and brush with glue (take care with the tip again).

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Step 12: Grab the middle of where you folded the corners and turn this over.

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Step 13: Grab the ends of the corners and stick these to the back of the pangsit goreng. If they don't stay put, brush with a bit more glue and hold on for a bit.

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Step 14: Fold the top flap down a bit and put down while you make the rest.

Step 15: Here's a video I made to clear this process up a bit. I'm sorry if I don't speak clear, I had a bad cold when I was making this!

Step 16: Heat up the oil to 170 C and fry the pangsit goreng for about 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel.

Step 17: Serve with chili sauce and enjoy!

Tips:

  • I like to pull apart all of the pastry sheets before starting to fold to save time.
  • If you want to save more time, pulse the prawn once or twice in a food processor. Take care not to end up with prawn paste, though.
  • Try out some new flavours with more or less garlic, spring onions, or even some chilis.
  • You can fold these however you like, to speed up the preparation. Still, keep in mind that you don't want to add too much filling unless you want to serve the Black Raw Pangsit of Death.
  • Fried a bunch up but couldn't eat it all? No worries! You can store your pangsit goreng in a box and heat them up in the oven at 200 C for about 15 minutes or so until they're heated through (though they're tastiest when fresh).
  • Raw pangsit goreng stores for about two months in the freezer, well wrapped.
  • If you plan to take these to a party/picnic/etc. and fry them just before, place them in an open box. The steam coming off the snacks will just make the pastry soggy.

  1. I'm showing this to my husband. He'll be as excited about making them as I am about eating them!

    Quick question though. When you say the "Raw pangsit goreng stores for about two months in the freezer." Is that just the meat paste bit, or the entire parcel? Thanks!

    • Both really, I usually freeze batches of parcels but I also often have some meat paste left.
      I defrost the meat paste before using it again, the pangsit (providing they're not too big!!!) just go into the fryer.

      Mind you, I'm sure you could use the meat paste and cook it in a frying pan and serve it with some veggies πŸ™‚

  2. Oooh these look absolutely delicious! Definitely going to try this recipe out – thanks so much for posting! Looks like they'll be great for an Oscar party! πŸ™‚

    • My German grandma was Oma, too. (She moved to America in the 50s, after WWII.)

      The Dutch/German words for grandma and grandpa caught on in Indonesia, during the colonial era, and have stuck around.

      There are lots of 'Omas' and 'Opas' in Indonesia. πŸ˜‰

      • You know, the funny thing is my oma is actually part Indonesian, German and French through her (grand)parents πŸ˜›
        I believe that's also the reason they had to leave; they're not full blooded Indonesians.
        At 78 she still speaks the language, although she likes to pretend she doesn't so she won't have to translate!

  3. My mother-in-law is Dutch but grew up in Indonesia. She makes bami goreng and other yummy Indonesian food for us, and I'm learning from her. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Oh, she makes that and loads of other things too!
      I'm still trying to get her recipe for rendang, that one's a bit trickier πŸ˜›

      My oma had to move from Indonesia with her mother and siblings after the war and that's how she met my grandpa.

      I've tried getting recipes from her brothers and sisters but despite all learning from their mother they all make it differently.

      • Your oma and my mil have very similar stories, then. It's not a history I knew much about before meeting my partner, and it's such an interesting one.

      • Hey, ladies!

        I'm American but my husband and I have been living in Indonesia for the last, well, almost five years.

        I'm working on a series of English-language, easy-to-follow recipes for Indonesian classics. I mean, why doesn't anyone in America know about Indonesian food?!

        I haven't decided which recipes to cover yet, but I'm sure they'll be things like rendang, nasi goreng, nasi uduk, nasi kuning, ayam goreng, ayam bakar, pisang goreng, soto ayam, kari ayam, etc… Basically, the simple food that we eat every day. (We just got done eating breakfast. I had soto Betawi and my husband had bubur ayam.)

        Our maid, Uda, is going to help me with it ('cause let's be real — she runs my kitchen, I'm just a guest in it!) and we'll post 'em all on Offbeat Home.

        Let me know if you have any recipe requests! πŸ˜‰

        Sam

        • I'm writing recipes for klepon and spekkoek, but if you could let me know the quantities of water and sugar for black rice, I'd be very grateful!
          I don't know the name in Indonesian as oma always calls it black rice.

          I love Indonesian desserts :3

          • I have no idea! Hahaha, I just asked our maid and she said she didn't know either — I think there's a lot of food considered 'Indonesian' by the Dutch that's actually a uniquely Dutch creation — not something consumed here in Indonesia. (Like rijsttafel, we don't have that here.)

            Us Americans do it too, especially with Mexican food. As someone in Mexico about nachos and they'd be all like, "Huh what??" πŸ˜€

        • Indonesian food is yum. We do get a bit of it here in Aus, if you look in the right places…

          What we do get that is quite common here, is an Indonesian brand of 2-minute-noodles (I suppose Americans would call them ramen noodles?), the Mi Goreng flavour is very popular, (and very delicious!) you often see people (especially uni students) buying it by just grabbing one of the boxes that hasn't been unpacked onto a shelf yet.

          • Our maid devours Indomie. It's like her favorite thing to eat.

            Wanna know a secret? I don't really like Indonesian instant mie! I covertly buy imported American Top Ramen when I need a noodle fix. For shame, I know!!!

  4. I haven't given tried to pangsit goreng a go before, but I have attempted to make wantons several times with disastorous results. I can never get the folded pastry parcels to stay intact! They kept falling apart while being cooked. Once I tried to make a delicous wanton soup, using wanton pastry and a pork mince filling. The pastry entirely dissolved into the soup and it ended up as pork balls suspended in a gelatinous matrix.

    Your step-by-step photos and the video will hopefully help me along.

    • I'm not sure on this, but I know my oma prefers different types of pastry for different dishes.
      I haven't tried to make wontons yet, but I think she uses the pastry in this recipe for them too.

      You may want to stick the parcels together with a bit of egg glue.
      I've also noticed that some pastry sheets have extra flour on them, making it harder to keep your parcels together.

      Also, make sure there is no air inside the parcel after you've sealed it.
      Pressure will build up during cooking and break your wonton open.

    • Here in Indonesia, the pastry for pangsit goreng is called 'kulit pangsit', which just translates to pangsit skin.

      However, pangsit is the exact same thing as what we call wontons in America. It's actually served more commonly as a soup, but you can also find the fried variety everywhere. ('Goreng' means fried.)

      Pangsit isn't a traditional Indonesian dish, it was brought to the archipelago by Chinese settlers and was readily adapted — like many other 'Indonesian' dishes, including fried rice, fried noodles, etc… The Chinese immigrants played a massive roll in creating what is now considered Indonesian food.

      The Chinese-Indonesians call pangsit both pangsit and wonton interchangeably and the product that we call 'kulit pangsit' in Indonesia is what we call 'wonton wrappers' in America.

      So, if you buy wonton wrappers, it should work out for you — the most important steps are:
      -Don't use too much filling. There should be more wrapper than meat.
      -Don't forget to seal the wrapper with water or egg whites.
      -Don't let air bubbles/pockets form, especially around the filling.
      -Cook it hot and fast — and don't touch it once it's cooking.
      -Use a wire strainer to pull the pangsit/wontons out of the oil, not tongs.

  5. Looks yummy! I am half filipino and make lumpia (like egg rolls) all the time. This folding method looks so much easier than the lumpia rolling method! I have to try it some time.

    What is the sauce in the picture?

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