Updated: Mar 20, 2020
You can serve wontons with or without soup and fold them a number of ways. In today's recipe, I will be focusing on traditional Sichuan wontons. Since Sichuan is a region best known for its spicy, almost mouth numbing, flavor these wontons are served with a rich chili oil based sauce. This renders a sweet and savory wonton that packs a punch (it's not as hot as it looks). The umami soy sauce, combined with garlic and chili oil is balanced by vinegar that will have you craving them constantly and impress all your foodie friends. Enjoy!
3 lbs green cabbage (or Chinese chives)
1 ½ pounds ground pork (or ground pork belly or shrimp)
2/3 cup shaoxing (rice) wine
½ cup oil
1 large egg
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2/3 cup water, plus more for assembly
60 wonton wrappers (can be found at any asian market and are generally thinner than dumpling wrappers)
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 green onions
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppers
8 tablespoons chili oil (store bought or homemade) plus 4 teaspoons chili flakes
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons ChinKiang vinegar
3 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 green onions, finely minced
Chopped cilantro, toasted ground sichuan peppercorn flakes and sesame seeds for garnish
Prepare the aromatic water
Combine salt, green onions, ginger, and Sichuan pepper corns in a small bowl. Stir to mix well. Add boiling water and let infuse for 20 minutes, strain, and discard all the solid ingredients. I find that using an aromatic water renders a much smoother and richer dumpling filling and you do not bite into a piece of ginger etc. However, if you do not feel like doing this, it is perfectly traditional to finely chop all the ingredients (omit the peppercorns, water, and cornstarch) and then mix into the meat.
Prepare the chili oil
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to mix well.
Make the wontons
Add the minced meat into a large bowl. Mix in the aromatic water, egg, and white pepper. Lastly add the cornstarch to thicken until it turns into a smooth sticky paste.
Place half a teaspoon of filling (or 1 teaspoon filling for bigger wontons) in the middle of the wrapper.
With your finger wet the top half of the wonton wrapper.
Bring the bottom half to the top half to form a triangle and compress to remove all air bubbles and make it stick
Take the bottom points of the triangle and bring them together. Place some water on the center to where they overlap and stick together.
Once you have wrapped 15 or so wontons, cover them with a wet paper towel to prevent them from drying out.
If you choose not to cook the wontons immediately they will stay good in the fridge for up to a day and the freezer for a month. I highly recommend making extra wontons as they are eaten quickly and its very convenient to have on hand, just pull out of the freezer and you have a delicious dinner in less than 10 minutes! See below for more info on how to store and cook the frozen wontons.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the wontons, 20 at a time, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add some cool water after about one minute then cook until the wontons are floating on the top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer desired amount of wontons to bowls (I'd recommend around 8).
Pour 2 tablespoons of the sauce on top and mix well to coat the wontons then serve!
If you would like to freeze your wontons, simply tightly seal the tray you placed them on and place it in the freezer. After the wontons are completely frozen, you can transfer them into an airtight large ziplock bag.
How to cook frozen wontons
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and carefully add the wontons a few at a time. Stir gently to prevent sticking. Bring to medium high heat and wait until they float to the top. Add some cool water and keep on high heat and make sure wontons again float to the top.