A fun and delicious appetizer that can be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike; Fried Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pockets just might become your newest addiction!
This post and its photos were updated March 16, 2018.
Before the vegetarian came to be an important part of my life, I used to pride myself on my homemade, deep fried crab rolls. There’s not really a point to making them anymore, because my vegetarian doesn’t eat fish like some other vegetarians. And the amount of prep that goes into making crab rolls is just too much for one person.
Today, at work, though, I could not stop thinking about deep fried wonton wrappers; you see, that was the vessel which held the crab in place. I kept thinking that there must be a way to make something vegetarian with wonton wrappers other than the obvious pork-filled deep-fried wontons or wonton soup. After some quick research, I put this recipe together.
When john.e came home from work, he walked in the door and asked if I was grilling steak! Just that comment alone solidified this recipe as a keeper. Once he took his first bite, he said they tasted like burgers, and then asked what they were. There it was; my second reason this recipe is a keeper.
Of course, I was aiming for a burger taste, but using only vegetarian items. The fact that the vegetarian, who had not tasted a beef burger in nearly 25 years, had used steak to describe the smell, and burger to describe the taste, I was sure I had a hit on my hands.
I find immense pleasure in preparing food. And, if that food is prepared using an assembly method, I’m all the more happier. Honestly, Dear Reader, I had a great time preparing these Fried Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pockets. When no one else is home, I like to turn on my iTunes and get lost in the cooking experience.
With these, you get to prepare the filling first. If you prepare the filling ahead of time, and let it fully cool down, it will be much easier to work with. When it comes to the part where you are forming a ball of of “meat” mixture around the piece of cheese, you’ll be really happy with your decision to let the mixture be cool to the touch.
Serving these could not be any simpler. Like a regular burger, ketchup and mustard are great condiments. Maybe a big, juicy dill pickle on the side, but most likely, like myself and john.e, a helping of French fries.
Even though Fried Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pockets would make a great appetizer, you’ll need to remember that they cool down quite quickly. I guess if you’re serving them at a party where everyone is standing and milling about, that would be a good thing. You wouldn’t want scalding hot, molten-state cheese gushing out onto someone’s chin! If’ you’re planning the party route, fry them all up and place them on a wire cooling rack. Set the rack on a baking sheet and place it in your oven. Keep the heat on 150 degrees to keep them warm. Don’t leave them in there too long. They will dry out.
As you can see from the photos, by the time I took them out of the fryer, and got to the point where I was ready to take photos, I would estimate that at least twenty or thirty minutes had passed. Even in that short amount of time, the cheese had begin to solidify and become a lot less gooey. But, I prefer to eat them that way. I find that sometimes you can lose the joy that comes with tasting something when the temperature is too hot.
We love these things, and now that I’ve made them again with the goal of updating the photos, I have introduced McKenna to them as well and she loved them! But seriously, Dear Reader, how can you not love anything deep fried – especially when it’s a cute little pocket of mushrooms and cheese! Cheers!
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Fried Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pockets
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 500 grams cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 100 grams walnuts pieces
- 1 packet Club House mushroom gravy mix
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Over medium heat, in a large skillet, add the olive oil, butter, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes until mushrooms have released their moisture and have turned a very deep brown colour.
Add the garlic, walnuts, dried red chili flakes, and the mushroom gravy packet. Stir well to combine. Cook for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until mixture forms a paste. Remove from the food processor and place in a bowl. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
Once cooled, portion out 1 packed tablespoon and roll it into a ball. Push a cube of the cheddar cheese into the ball and form the mixture around the cheese. Be sure to completely cover the cheese with the mixture. Set aside and continue to do this until you have used up all of the "meat" mixture.
To assemble, place one of the balls in the center of a wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into tap water and moisten the perimeter of the wonton wrapper. Place a second wrapper on top and push the other perimeter of the two wrappers together to form a seal. I pinch the two to make sure there's a good seal. You could roll the edges together like a dumpling or pot-sticker, or use the back of a fork to press them together.
Continue to do this until all of the balls are wrapped and formed into pockets. Set each pocket aside on a wooden cutting board. Do not overlap. Cover with a kitchen towel until you're ready to fry.
Bring the vegetable oil to 350 degrees. This is optimum frying temperature for these pockets. Add just a few pockets at a time - fry in batches to avoid overcrowding or sticking. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Garnish with parsley and serve with ketchup and mustard.
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