Tequeños are a very popular snack you’ll find all around Latin America. You’ll find them in Peru at local bars accompanying a Pisco or a beer. They couldn’t be easier to make. Just put a square of cheese inside a wonton, press, and seal. Serve with spicy mayonnaise.
This is almost a “no-recipe recipe,” in that I will list the ingredients that you will need, but not the amounts. Please note that in the above photo my oil was just a little too hot. You really don’t need to get them this brown, although they were still delicious in spite of me 😉 Yours will be, too!
Monterey Jack cheese, or other soft, white, melting cheese
Hot sauce, such as Sriracha, or Peruvian Amarillo paste
Cut the cheese into squares that mostly match the size of the wonton wrapper, leaving ample room around the edges to seal them up.
Place the square of cheese in the middle of the wonton. Dip your finger into a bowl of cold water and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Place another wonton wrapper on top and press the edges firmly to seal.
In a frying pan, heat up some vegetable oil. How much you’ll need will depend on how big your pan is. I like to use a smaller pan because you can use less oil that way. I prefer to shallow fry, so pour enough oil into the pan to cover the bottom well, and then some. About ¼ inch of oil in the pan should do it.
Once the oil is hot, and this shouldn’t take long, add a couple of the tequeños. Don’t crowd the pan. They should take less than 30 seconds per side. Remove from the pan to a paper towel lined platter and repeat until they are all fried. You may need to add additional oil from time to time if you are frying a lot of them.
Serve with spicy mayo. You can make this by measuring out the desired amount of mayonnaise that you think you’ll need and add a splash of your favorite hot sauce to taste.
You can make these ahead of time and then reheat. To do so, put them on a baking tray into a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to warm.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe and photo credit: Linda McElroy