Sichuan spicy wontons (Hong You Chao Shou in Mandarin) are a delicious combination of sweet soy sauce, raw garlic, roasted red chili, and a touch of vinegar to balance the heat.
The popularity of Sichuan cuisine in the United States is currently skyrocketing. We enjoy the proliferation of restaurants serving Sichuan and Hunan cuisine in all major cities. These red chili oil wontons are one of the best Sichuan-style appetizers you can find anywhere in the United States, and we’ve eaten them in New Jersey, New York City, Chicago, Houston, and Seattle, to name a few.
To say that our group enjoys the fiery flavors of Sichuan and Hunan cuisine is an understatement. You won’t believe the incredible flavor in these wontons. It was at a restaurant where I first saw them and immediately fell in love with them. To that end, it is only fair to record our favorite recipe for future reference and share it with our dedicated audience.
These spicy wontons are a cut above the standard restaurant fare, largely thanks to the addition of homemade roasted chili oil. Avoid these on a romantic evening, as they require raw garlic. If you try making it according to our recipe and find that you don’t like it, you can always play around with the sauce’s proportions until you find a combination you like. Some people prefer spicy wontons with more garlic, sugar, vinegar, salt, or heat; others prefer them without.
Making the Wontons:
- 6 oz. of ground pork(170g)
- 1 tbsp. of finely chopped scallions
- 1/2 tsp. of sesame oil
- 1 tsp. of soy sauce
- 2 tsp. of Shaoxing wine
- ¼ tsp. of salt
- ¼ tsp. of sugar
- 1 tbsp. of peanut oil (or canola oil)
- 2 tbsp. of water
- 1 pinch of fresh ground white pepper
- 18 pcs. of wonton wrappers
For the Sauce:
- 3 tbsp. of light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. of Chinese black vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
- 6 tbsp. of homemade chili oil (plus 2 teaspoons of the toasted chili from the oil)
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp. of sesame paste
- 2 tsp. of sugar
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
For the Garnish (Optional):
- Chopped scallion
- To make the wonton filling, combine all of the ingredients (pork through white pepper) in a bowl and stir or process for 1 minute in a food processor or by hand for 5 minutes.
- Take a wrapper and fill it with about a teaspoon of the filling to make a wonton. Smear the outsides with water or egg wash using your finger (this helps the two sides seal together).
- Make a rectangle by folding the wonton in half. Wet the overlapped area with more water or egg wash and press the two outer corners together to seal.
- Repeat until no more filling can be used up; this should yield about 18 wontons. You can easily multiply any wonton recipe by two or three, enjoy a few while you can, and save the rest for another time by placing them in the freezer. To avoid sticking, set the wontons on a baking sheet or plate covered in parchment paper.
- Preparing the wontons requires boiling water. While the water is heating, prepare the sauce by combining the ingredients in a separate bowl. Add more chili peppers and not just the oil from your homemade chili oil if you like things spicy. You can get around 18-20 wontons out of this recipe.
- Gently lower the wontons into the boiling water without crowding the pan. Keep stirring so that they don’t stick together. Turn the heat down to a low boil and cook the wontons for 2 minutes or until the wrappers are translucent. I prefer a slightly chewy texture, so I remove mine from the pot when they rise to the surface after exactly 2 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the wontons from the water and place them in a serving dish. A quarter cup of the boiling water can be added to the sauce, and then it can be poured over the wontons. Serve with scallion garnish, if desired.