How to make wontons – Szechuan style

Szechuan spicy wonton (红油抄手) is traditional Szechuan street food. It is spicy and savory thanks to the combination of a myriad of herbs and spices in its unique dipping sauce. The sophisticated flavor of this wonton has earned Szechuan wonton an indisputable place on the Szechuan restaurant menu. 

The Szechuan wonton is not hard to make. The process is even easier if you use the ready-made wonton wrappers and Szechuan chili oil from the grocery store. 

How to make wontons - Szechuan style

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Step by step instructions: How to make wontons

Here is the detailed instruction on how to make it at home. 

Prepare the filling for the wontons 

The main ingredient for the filling is pork. You can substitute it with two parts of chicken breast meat and one part of shrimp meat. You can, of course, use only either chicken or shrimp meat. 

I prefer to use pork because it contains some fat to make the filling tender and juicy. You can use the store-bought minced meat to save time. However, you can control the ratio between the fat and the lean pork if you make it from scratch. 

Despite whatever meat you choose, the method of how to make the wontons are the same.

Here are the steps:

  • Put the minced pork in a large bowl. 
  • Add the scallions, ginger, coriander, salt, sugar, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, water, and white pepper. 
  • Mix all the ingredients with a pair of chopsticks. Stir in one direction until it turns into a smooth paste. Some cooks smash the filling onto the bowl repeatedly, which yields the same result. 

Note: If you do not like the texture of the ginger and scallion, you can place them in a small pot with some water. Let in simmer for three minutes to extract the flavor, then add the aromatic infused water to the meat.

How to wrap the wontons

  • Scoop a teaspoon of the filling and place it at the center of the wonton wrapper. Apply some water to the side of the wrapper away from you. 
  • Fold the wrapper to seal two opposite sides to encase the filling inside. 
  • Squeeze out any air that is trapped. 
  • Make a dent on the filling so that it is easier to fold. 
  • Apply some water on one of the corners. 
  • Fold the wonton so that the dry corner is on top of the wet corner. 

I have just finished showing you how to make a beautiful looking wonton 😊. (Please refer to the video on this page for the demo.) 

How to constitute the dipping sauce for the Szechuan wonton 

The method of how to make the wontons are the same for the Szechuan and Cantonese wontons. Please refer to the wonton recipe to serve the wonton in soup, the Cantonese style. Otherwise, this is a more spicy way to enjoy the wonton, Szechaun style.

Combine the chili oil, black vinegar, spiced soy sauce. It is that simple! The amount of chili oil depends on your preference. 

You can purchase the Szechuan chili oil and the vinegar from the grocery store. As for spiced soy sauce, it is better to make it at home. 

The following sections show you how to make the spiced soy sauce. I also include a section on how to make the chili oil. 

Spiced soy sauce 复制酱油 – make it yourself 

This soy sauce is unique for Szechuan food. It can be used as a dipping sauce, dressing for salad, and as the sauce for noodles. It is also one of the primary ingredients to constitute the dipping sauce for the Szechuan wontons. 

This sauce may not be available in the supermarkets, but fortunately, you can make it at home with some common ingredients in the kitchen pantry. 

Here are the steps:

  • Place some cold water in a small pot. 
  • Add the scallion, ginger, star anise, fennel seeds, clove, cinnamon, cardamom in the water and bring it to a boil. (Note: It is no big deal if you miss out some spices, although ideally, you should get all of them.) 
  • At the soy sauce and brown sugar. 
  • Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the volume has reduced to half. 
  • Strain the sauce through a wire mesh strainer. Discard the spices. 

You need to cook down the sauce to a thick gravy. It is slightly sweet and savory as the result of the soy sauce and brown sugar. 

Note: I am using the soy sauce called 酱油 in this recipe. This soy sauce is also suitable for use in other stewing dishes like my braised pork belly. It is thicker than light soy sauce but not as thick as the dark soy sauce. If it is unavailable, you can substitute it with an equal portion of light and dark soy sauce.

How to prepare the chili oil

Another critical ingredient for the dipping sauce is the Szechuan chili oil. This item is more common than the spiced soy sauce, and you should get it easily in the Asian grocery store. It is easy to make at home too. I have a section of the video to demonstrate how to make it. 

Here are the steps:

  • Heat some oil in a pan.
  • Add the following spices when the oil is hot: cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf, and Szechuan peppercorn. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until the spices become aromatic. 
  • Put the chili flakes, salt, and vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl. 
  • Pour the boiling oil with the spices into the bowl. The oil will start to sizzle. 
  • You can remove part of the chili flakes in the oil if you like a cleaner oil.

You may use this chili oil apart from making the dipping sauce for this recipe. I like to add a teaspoon of this chili oil to any stir-fries, which can drastically improve the flavor of the dish. The taste is remarkable to mix the chili oil with noodles such as dan dan noodle.

Note: Szechuan chili oil is commonly available at most of the supermarkets where I live. You can purchase it instead of making it from scratch.

How to cook the wonton

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. 
  • Put a small batch of wontons into the water until the water is boiling again. 
  • Add a small amount of cold water to bring down to temperature. When the water is boiling for the second time, the wontons should have cooked and floated on the surface. They will turn semi-translucent when cooked. 

How to serve the Szechuan spicy wontons 

  • Remove the wontons with a colander and place them in a serving bowl. 
  • You can mix the dipping sauce with the wontons or serve separately. 
  • I like to add some chopped scallion on top as garnish. 

How long can I keep the wontons? 

Now you know how to make wontons. You can prepare a large batch and keep them in the freezer. The wontons can stay fresh for up to a month. 

Leave some space between them ( so that they will not stick together) and freeze them. When you want to eat, just cook the wontons directly in the water.

How to make wonton wrappers?

You can make your wonton wrapper by using only all-purpose flour, salt, and water. Ready-made wonton wrappers are readily available where I live. Therefore, I decided to use the store-bought wonton wrappers in this recipe to save time. That is because making wonton wrappers by hand is time-consuming.

Yield: 50 wontons

How to make wontons - Szechuan stye

How to make wontons
How to make wontons - Szechuan style

Szechuan spicy wonton (红油抄手) is traditional Szechuan street food. It is spicy and savory thanks to the combination of a myriad of herbs and spices in its unique dipping sauce. The sophisticated flavor of this wonton has earned Szechuan wonton an indisputable place on the Szechuan restaurant menu. 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

For the Wontons:

  • 250g ground pork
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 stalks scallions. chopped
  • 2 stalks coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or sherry
  • Wonton wrapper

For the dipping sauce

For the spice soy sauce

Garnish:

  • Chopped scallion

Instructions

Prepare the filling of the wonton

    1. Mix the pork, scallions, ginger, coriander, salt, sugar, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, water, and white pepper until it turns into a smooth paste.Szechuan wonton - filling
    2. Scoop a teaspoon of the filling and place it at the center of the wrapper. Fold and wrap the wontons. (Please refer to the video and the detailed steps in this article.)

Prepared the spice soy sauce 复制酱油

    1. Add the scallion, ginger, star anise, fennel seeds, clove, cinnamon, cardamom in the water and bring it to a boil.
    2. Add the soy sauce and brown sugar. Cover and simmer until the volume is reduced to half.
    3. Strain the sauce through a wire mesh strainer. Discard the spices.spice soy sauce

Prepare the dipping sauce

  1. Combine the chili oil, black vinegar, spiced soy sauce.How to make wontons - spice soy sauce

Cook the wontons

    1. Put a small batch of wontons into the boiling water over high heat.
    2. When the water is boiling again, add a small amount of cold water to bring down to temperature. How to cook wontons - cook wonton
    3. When the water is boiling for the second time, the wontons should have cooked and floated on the surface. Place them in a serving bowl.
    4. Garnish with chopped scallion. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

50

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 439mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 7/16/2020

    3 replies to "How to make wontons (quick and easy) – Szechuan style"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am pleased to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

    • Mary Millett

      I’m going to try my hand at it, will let you know how it turns out, thanks for sharing.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Mary,
        All the best and I hope you will enjoy it.
        KP Kwan

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