Asian Tuna Salad Wonton Cup Appetizers

Asian style appetizers made with cabbage tuna salad in baked wonton cups. This make-ahead finger food has Thai flavors in a crunchy shell that are perfect for a theme party or any social occasion. I guarantee this will be a hit at your next party!

tuna salad in wonton cups appetizers served on Asian steam basket with Saki bottle in background.

The filling in these wonton cups is so delicious with ingredients like light flaky tuna, crunchy cabbage, and savory sesame oil. These small bites are an ideal starter for Asian theme and Chinese themed dinner parties.

Cold Asian Appetizers

Tuna salad wonton cups are a delightful cold appetizer with international flare. Serve them alongside other snacks like wasabi cream cheese dip, and teriyaki chicken on a stick.

Serve them for an appetizer party, bridal or baby shower, or girls night in. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Easy. Since they’re served at room temperature you don’t have to worry about them staying warm.
  • Make ahead. Not only can you make the wonton cups ahead, prep the no-cook filling in advance, too. Keep it in the fridge until party time.
  • Crowd Pleaser! Most people love Asian-inspired flavors and recipes, and this combination of ingredients and textures is superb. I dare you to eat just one!
tuna salad in wonton cups appetizers.

Ingredients & Substitutions

The list looks long but many of the items are pantry staples.

  • Wonton wrappers. You’ll find these available in the produce section.
  • Canned Tuna. I highly recommend Genova brand Albacore tuna. It has a mild, clean flavor. It’s the perfect protein base for all the delicious flavors we’re adding to it.
  • Packaged slaw mix. Get the blend of fresh shredded green cabbage, purple cabbage, and carrots. I love the convenience of store bought slaw, but you can make your own blend if you like.
  • Orange juice. Without pulp is best.
  • Green onions. Adds mild onion flavor and a nice pop of color.
  • Sesame oil. A distinct tasting finishing or flavoring oil used in Asian recipes.
  • Rice vinegar. This is another pantry staple for Asian cooking. It has a mild, delicate, and somewhat sweet, flavor.
  • Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. It adds a balance of sweetness and heat, and fabulous flavor. You could also use Duck sauce, which doesn’t have the heat in it. 
  • Sesame seeds. These have a yummy nutty flavor, and add a nice crunchy texture.
  • Red pepper flakes. Optional, but highly recommended. You can adjust the amount as you like. 
  • Fresh cilantro. The perfect finishing touch for Asian-inspired tuna cups.
  • Non-stick spray. You’ll need this for making the wonton cups. You could substitute with vegetable oil and pastry brush instead.

Quick Tip

Make this recipe with chicken instead of tuna for a fantastic alternative to seafood.

How to Make It

This easy appetizer recipe comes together in just a few minutes with 4 simple steps!

  1. Cook wonton cups and set aside or store until needed.
  2. Drain the tuna and pat with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Combine tuna and all remaining ingredients (you can save a bit of the cilantro to sprinkle on top before serving) in a medium size bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours so flavors can develop.
  3. When ready, fill each wonton cup with the tuna mixture and serve.
wonton wrappers pressed into mini muffin tins, ready to make baked cups.

How to Make Baked Wonton Cups

Use a mini muffin pan.

  1. Begin by spraying the muffin tin cups with non-stick spray. The wrappers are square so you want to form them into the mini muffin cups very gently to prevent tearing them. The outer edges overlapping is normal.
  2. Once all the wrappers are in place, spray them with more non-stick spray.
  3. Cover loosely with aluminum foil if they start to get too dark; no need to fold down.

Freeze cooked wonton cups to use later. Just place them in a Ziplock freezer bag and put them in the freezer for 3 months.

cooked wonton cups in ziplock freezer bag.

Expert Tips

  • Make the filling ahead. The flavors of the tuna mixture taste best after a few hours in the fridge. So go ahead and mix up a batch earlier in the day or even the night before a party.
  • Double or halve the recipe. You can estimate that each guest will eat 3-4 tuna wonton cups. As-is this recipe makes about 6 servings (24 cups total).
  • Avoid excess moisture. Because we’re wilting (softening) the cabbage with wet ingredients, a small puddle of liquid will pool in the bottom of the bowl as it sits in the refrigerator, similar to cole slaw. To combat this I try to squeeze out any moisture when I’m scooping the filling into the cups. Alternatively you could place the mixture in a large strainer over a bowl so moisture can drip through.
  • These party appetizers hold up well for about two hours, then the wontons can begin to soften from the filling. To keep the wontons crisp for as long as possible, wait until the last minute to fill with the tuna mixture.
  • For a fun party presentation, serve these on an Asian bamboo steamer basket like I did here. Add them to an appetizer buffet, or pass them around on a tray.
tuna salad in wonton cups appetizers served on Asian steam basket with Saki bottle in background.

Serving Suggestions

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tuna salad in wonton cups appetizers serve on Asian steam basket.

Asian Style Tuna Wonton Cup Appetizers

Yield: 24 appetizer cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

These Asian style tuna wonton cups are a flavorful party appetizer. They're crunchy and delicious with ingredients like sesame oil, cabbage, and cilantro to give them an international flair.

Ingredients

  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 1 ½ cups Genova Albacore Tuna packed in olive oil, drained and patted dry (from two 7-oz. cans)
  • 2 cups packaged slaw mix (contains green cabbage, purple cabbage, and shredded carrots)
  • 3 Tablespoons minced green onions
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Thai Sweet Chili sauce (or Duck sauce or Sweet and Sour sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and place a wonton wrapper into each, forming a cup. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until crisp. Remove and let cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the tuna and pat with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  4. Combine tuna and all remaining ingredients (you can save a bit of the cilantro to sprinkle on top before serving) in a medium size bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours so flavors can develop.
  5. When ready, fill each wonton cup with the tuna mixture and serve.

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