This Sichuan style wonton recipe is made for that batch of Sichuan red chilli oil you made. Easy to make, these spicy Sichuanese wontons have a pork filling that’s so perfectly seasoned you could eat them on your own. But why would you want to when you can generously douse them in some homemade chilli oil.
Now’s the time for your reward for making that batch of Sichuan red chilli oil – spicy Sichuanese wontons. This Sichuan style wonton recipe is a cinch. These wontons are really very easy to make and while they are a meal on their own you serve these up with some dan dan noodles, kung pao chicken, and mapo tofu, and have a proper Sichuanese feast.
I’ve been refining this recipe for quite some time and have finally settled on the best pork filling, but the real key to a satisfying Sichuan style wonton is that homemade chilli oil – so if you haven’t made a batch yet, do that now before proceeding.
Sichuan Style Wonton Recipe for the Sichuan Red Chilli Oil You Made
There are many different recipes for the pork filling for this Sichuan style wonton recipe, but the good ones all start with pork mince with a meat to fat ratio of 80/20. This allows the fat to render in the wonton while cooking, keeping the filling moist.
Some Sichuan style wonton recipes call for the addition of water to the pork mixture or suggest adding the aromatics to the water and mixing this with the pork mince. I didn’t find either of these methods particularly satisfying.
One regular ingredient that I did make a change to was the garlic. Even finely minced garlic was still making its presence felt in some of the wontons.
Ginger doesn’t bother us as much as garlic can when minced, as long as you really mix it all through, but chomping down on a semi-raw piece of garlic is not pleasant.
Many recipes don’t include finely chopped scallions (spring onions), but we enjoy that little extra depth of flavour. So instead of minced garlic, I stir in garlic powder.
And speaking of stirring, there’s an old Chinese tradition of stirring the pork mixture in one direction only for 3-4 minutes. The theory is that this keeps the filling tender and moist. And who am I to distrust an ancient Chinese tradition. It also helps to make sure all the ingredients are combined well.
To be honest, this recipe is best made by two people, one filling and folding the wontons and the other in charge of boiling the wontons, and placing the cooked wontons in a bowl with some spicy red oil in it to stop them sticking.
The reason is that most wonton wrappers dry out very quickly. That lovely little join you’ve made to finish the wonton runs the risk of coming undone if left out too long before cooking. While we’ve made trays of wontons and cooked them after we’ve made the whole batch, it’s better to cook half a dozen finished ones as soon as they’re ready to prevent them drying out.
If you are working solo, I do recommend that you make a whole tray as you get better and faster at folding them the more you make of them. I place my folded wontons on a tray lined with parchment paper and dusted with rice flour.
When each wonton is finished, it’s placed on the tray and covered by a thin, damp tea towel. A tip I learnt from an Italian chef is to give the damp tea towel a little spritz of water from a spray bottle to keep the wontons moist.
A trick I learnt from Lara’s Russian family when they made Russian dumplings is to put a little oil in the crock pots that the different types of dumplings were going into. After the dumplings finished boiling, they were scooped out and added to the crock pots which also added a little water in there as well. The pots were covered in between batches of dumplings being cooked.
Instead of a crock pot I use a Dutch Oven on low heat with some Sichuan red chilli oil in there to keep the cooked wontons warm while the others cook. Giving them a gentle stir with a soft silicone spatula or giving the Dutch Oven a gentle shake keeps the wontons from sticking to each other and sticking to the oven.
An Important Note on Wrappers and Fillings
I know from having done many cooking classes over the years that involved making filled pasta, dumplings and wontons that participants have real trouble judging the amount of filling for the size of the dough.
While I’ve written the weight of the filling for the size of the wonton wrapper for this recipe, you may have to adjust depending on the size of your wonton wrapper.
A great way to make sure you’re staying consistent with your filling is to place some parchment paper on your kitchen scale with a wonton wrapper on top of the paper. Zero your scale and place the filling on the scale until you get the weight of the desired filling correct. Repeat this a few times and it will become second nature.
If you think that’s a bit too fussy, if you’re in a city where there is a Dun Tai Fung restaurant, watch the chefs making wontons and dumplings. While they work fast, every now and then a chef will weigh a filling to make sure that they’re right on the correct weight.
Finally, don’t worry that your first couple of batches don’t look like they came from a Dun Tai Fung outlet. (And, yes, I know they’re originally from Taiwan and not Sichuan but they are perfectionists and there’s more of a chance that our readers have been to Dun Tai Fung than a grandmother’s home in Sichuan).
Unless you’ve not sealed the wontons properly, they will still taste great – and will be better next time, because they’re addictive and you’ll want to make this Sichuan style wonton recipe again and again.
Sichuan Style Wonton Recipe
- 400 gr minced pork, 80/20 mix - 80/20 mix of meat to fat
- 30 pieces wanton wrappers - 10 cm square
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ginger - peeled & very finely minced
- 1 tsp white pepper powder
- 1 tsp salt - fine salt
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp scallions - (spring onions, finely chopped)
- 1 whole egg - beaten
- ½ cup Sichuan Chilli Oil
- ½ cup scallions - (spring onions, finely chopped)
- ½ cup Chinkiang vinegar - (Chinese Black Vinegar)
- 2 tbsp White sesame seeds
- Put a large pot of water with a pinch of salt on to boil. Have a small bowl of water handy to wet the edges of the wonton wrappers.
- If your wonton wrappers are frozen, leave them out on the bench for 5 minutes before starting to fill the wrappers. If they are fresh and covered in flour to stop them sticking, brush off all the flour before starting to fill them.
- Have a tray, lined with a sheet of parchment paper and dusted with rice (or corn) flour to stop the finished wontons from sticking. Have a clean, slightly damp, light tea-towel ready to cover the finished wontons to stop them from drying out if you’re not going to cook them immediately.
- Make the wonton stuffing. Combine the ground pork with all the marinade ingredients including the egg. Mix well, stirring in one direction until all the ingredients are fully incorporated (3-4 minutes).
- At this stage you can test the seasoning of the wonton filling by making a small ball of the filling and dropping it into the boiling water for a minute. Taste and adjust if necessary. I find that wontons (and filled pastas) need a little more salt than you think.
- To form the wrapper, place it on a cutting board with 2 corners of the wrapper pointing north and south. Dip your finger in your water bowl and wet all the edges of the wonton wrapper. Place 15 gr of filling into the centre of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper in half from the bottom point to the top to form a triangle. Using the sides fo your hands remove any air pockets around the filling and seal the sides of the wonton.
- Spin the wonton 180˚ so that the point of the triangle is facing you. Wet the two corner of the wonton facing away from you, lift them and criss-cross the tips of the corners and press firmly where they meet.
- Place the finished wonton on your tray and cover with the tea-towel. Repeat the process until you have run out of wrappers or filling. You should have around 30 wontons in total.
- With the water at a gentle rolling boil, place 5-6 wontons gently in the water using a spider strainer. Make sure that the wontons do not stick to the bottom. If so, use the spider strainer to keep the water moving.
- Cook the wontons for 2 minutes or until they stay on the surface. Transfer the cooked wontons to a Dutch Oven with some red chilli oil in it. Mix to keep the wontons from sticking.
- You can either serve the wontons in a large bowl with the garnish of Sichuan Chilli Oil, scallions, a drizzle of Chinkiang vinegar and a sprinkle of white sesame seeds or serve in individual bowls and let everyone add their preferred amounts of garnish.
Do let us know if you make this Sichuan style wonton recipe here in the comments below or by email or on our social media feeds. We’ve love to know how these work out for you and if you have any tips to share.