Dumplings are a hearty, delicious way to get all manner of foods from plate to mouth. With a filling always surrounded by some sort of dough, they are easy to make but ultimately hard to master (try making dumplings of any sort for a party of six to eight and you’ll see). Wontons are Chinese dumplings that appear as a staple food in various regional styles of cuisine across the country. With a wide variety of fillings, folding styles, and dipping sauces, the ways to create wontons at home is practically endless.
As we are the type to never say no to dumplings, we wanted to find out how to make our own (without having the filling explode before they’re finished, of course). That led us to the recipe you’ll see below.
This recipe, which comes to us from by Tony Tan (Murdoch Books 2019), is an easy and delicious recipe accentuated by a red chili oil, which will warm the taste buds (as well as clear out the nostrils a little … a perfect thing if you’re dealing with a cold or a stuffy nose).
I adore Cantonese wontons in soups, but every once in a while I get a craving for Sichuan’s spicy wontons. Called hong you chao shou in Mandarin, these delicious dumplings are pretty common in Sichuan province but less so in Hong Kong. They’re a cinch to make and the accompanying hot sauce with toasty chili takes these morsels to another level.
- 360 g (12.75 oz) packet square wonton wrappers
- 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- 300 g (10.5 oz) minced (ground) pork with 30% fat content
- 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- .5 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp chicken stock
Red Chilli Oil:
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds, roasted
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 185 ml (6 fl oz/.75 cup) chili oil with sediment
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Pinch of sugar, or to taste
- To make the filling, put all the ingredients except the chicken stock in a bowl and mix well. Add the stock a tablespoon at a time, stirring in a circular motion until incorporated before adding the next spoonful.
- Fill a small bowl with water. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, place a teaspoonful of pork filling in the center of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the water and run it around the edges of the wrapper. Fold over to form a triangle, then dab one of the lower corners with water and fold over to the other lower corner and pinch with your thumb and index finger to seal. Repeat until
all the filling is used. Makes 30–40 wontons.
- Mix together all the red chili oil ingredients in a bowl.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook the wontons in batches until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon. Divide the wontons among serving bowls, drizzle with chili oil and garnish with spring onions.
Order your very own copy of Hong Kong Food City.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan. Murdoch Books 2019. Photo by Greg Elms. Cover designed by Murdoch
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