These spicy wontons are the meditative meal prep project that our winter weekends need.
The success of these Sichuan Chilli Oil Wontons is dictated by two things – a good chilli oil and a flavoursome wonton filling. The rest takes care of itself. Best enjoyed from a large bowl, with a spoon, by yourself – napkin recommended! These wontons are perfect for freezing, so make a batch on a lazy Sunday afternoon and look forward to eating them on a dreary weeknight. The sauce can also be made ahead of time and kept in an airtight jar in the fridge. The ultimate self-care meal prep!
makes 25 to 30 dumplings
- 1 packet of wonton wrappers (fresh, or frozen and defrosted)
- 1¾ cups fatty minced (ground) pork
- 1in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- ½ tsp light (soft) brown sugar
- 1 tbsp jalapeño pickle juice (from the jar)
- A pinch of freshly ground white pepper
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 bunch of Chinese leeks, finely sliced (or 1¾ cups diced green part of a standard leek)
- 4 tbsp pickled jalapeños, finely diced
Chili Oil Sauce
- 4 tbsp light soy sauce
- 4 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar
- 6 tbsp chilli oil or Lao Gan Ma Crispy Chilli Oil
- 2 tsp sesame paste (or tahini)
- 1 tbsp light (soft) brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely diced
- 1 tsp freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 small handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped (optional)
Stand mixer is optional.
- Place all the ingredients for the filling except for the leeks and pickled jalapeños in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat the pork mixture in one direction into a sticky pale paste – about 5 minutes by hand or 2–3 minutes in the mixer. The pork should absorb all of the liquid; if it does not become a paste, add 2 tablespoons of water and continue to beat. Add the leeks and pickled jalapeños to the mixture and fold through.
- Take your wonton wrappers and a small cup of water. Begin by adding a teaspoon of filling to the centre of a wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into the water and run this around the edge of the wrapper. Fold the wonton, then arrange the filled wontons on a tray lined with baking paper.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the chilli oil sauce. I find this easiest using a mini blender or stick blender, but you can use a whisk or fork. Just make sure the sesame paste (or tahini) is properly incorporated (it can become a bit grainy).
- Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil and add the wontons. When the wontons float to the surface, they are ready – this should take 4–5 minutes. Scoop out the wontons using a slotted spoon.
- Serve with the chilli oil sauce and top with the spring onions and Sichuan pepper, and the toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander (cilantro), if using.
Excerpted from Dumplings and Noodles: Bao, Gyoza, Biang Biang, Ramen, and Everything In Between by Pippa Middlehurst. © 2020 Reproduced by permission of Quadrille. All rights reserved