Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sichuan Wontons

It's Chinese New Year and 2013 is the year of the snake. To celebrate, I cooked a dinner for some friends and we all agreed that these Sichuan wontons were the star of the show. It may have been due to me making everyone do the folding; things taste better when you make them, right? But you can't really go wrong with pork dumplings doused in a fiery sweet, salty, garlicky sauce.

These differ from the Cantonese wontons in that they don't contain prawns; I couldn't find any worth using, but in any case the sauce is so punchy that the robust flavour of the pork stands up better than with the delicate flavour of prawns. Get your friends round to do the folding and you'll be done in mere minutes.

Sichuan Wontons

Feeds 6, when served with other dishes

1 packet of wonton wrappers - you can buy these in Chinatown in the fridge section
450gr minced pork - you want a bit of fat in this
4 dried shiitake mushroom, rehydrated in boiling water for 30 minutes
1 tsp grated ginger
3 spring onions, minced
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten

Chop the mushrooms finely and mix with the pork in a large bowl. Add the ingredients except the egg (and the wrappers...) and stir well with chopsticks until it has all combined well.

Take a wonton wrapper in your hand, the point of a corner pointing to your wrist. Wet the top left and right edges with a finger dipped in the beaten egg. Add a heaped teaspoon of filling to the centre and bring the bottom edges to meet the egg washed edges to make a triangle. Gently squeeze the air out of the area around the filling and seal well. Bring the two points of the corner to meet around the front, wetting one edge with a little egg to seal it. Place on a floured plate and repeat until the wrappers are finished.

You can freeze them on a sheet and then combine in a bag once frozen, and cook from frozen. Or, if using now, cook in lightly simmering water for 5 or so minutes.

For the sauce:

6 tbsp chilli oil with its sediment
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
2 tsp finely minced garlic
1 stalk of spring onion

Combine the chilli oil, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and vinegar. Mix well until all is incorporated, and then add the minced garlic. Slice the spring onion on the diagonal but save as garnish.

When the wontons are cooked, drain them well and combine with the sauce. Scatter the spring onions on top as garnish.


Helen said...

This looks rather better than my work canteen 'Chinese new year menu'. Funny, that.

Unknown said...


Thanks for the recipe <3

Ed said...

Love the look of these. Will def have a go. Went to Dragon Palace Sunday eve for a bit of CNY action. Have a feeling we'd have been better off eating family style at yours.

Anonymous said...

Looks nice. Do you think I could replace mushrooms with something else? Some member of family don't eat them which is a shame. How long would you cook from frozen and finally, do you have a recipee on your site for Chilli Oil? If not, now worry as I know where to get one. Thanks. David.

Hollow Legs said...

Helen - I don't believe it! It looked so nice ;)

Amy - no worrieds!

Ed - next year you can all bundle round mine.

Anon - Here's the chilli oil - It's SUPER spicy and lip-numbing, so use a little less. Otherwise, you can buy it in Chinatown, something like this:

As for the mushrooms, you can substitute them with a little more oyster sauce, perhaps an extra tsp.

The Grubworm said...

Mmmmmmm - that sauce looks amazing. The wontons are also ace, but that sauce I'd it straight, guzzling fingerfulls of it. I know that I'd probably lose all feeling in my finertips after a little while. But it's a cost worth paying.

For me, that sort of pungent punchy heat-laced sauce is perfect cold weather food. Properly reviving in grey damp condition. Happy (late) CNY!