An authentic spicy wonton in chili oil recipe that yields tender wontons smothered in the most scrumptious sauce that is spicy, savory and sweet, just like the street food you’d get in Sichuan.
Spicy wonton in chili oil, also known as Hong You Chao Shou (红油抄手) in Chinese, is a traditional dim sum from Sichuan. It features small wontons with a simple pork filling, served with a rich and thick sauce that uses chili oil as the main ingredient.
If you’re looking for red oil wontons like you’d eat in a small hole-in-the-wall diner in Sichuan, you’ve come to the right place. After my gourmet trip to Chengdu, Sichuan, I was hooked on this dish and determined to recreate it at home.
This recipe is different from many spicy wonton recipes out there. There are no shortcuts used. And it guarantees maximum satisfaction with that real-deal Sichuan flavor.
Ingredients for wonton in chili oil
A good chili oil
It is the number one ingredient in Sichuan cooking and probably the most commonly used homemade ingredient. I always recommend the homemade one because it’s the most fresh, and you can find my recipe here. It requires a mere 10 minutes to make and will last practically forever in your fridge. Once you make this ingredient, you can start to cook Dan Dan Noodles and Bang Bang Chicken like a pro.
If you prefer to purchase your chili oil rather than make it, I highly recommend the Chili Crisp Oil from The Mala Market. It tastes fresh, contains no additives or preservatives, has a good ratio of oil and chili crisp, and a balanced flavor without being too spicy.
Seasoned sweet soy sauce
Seasoned sweet soy sauce is another ingredient that makes the wonton in chili oil taste authentic.
In this recipe, I use my homemade soy sauce. It is a thick, rich sauce reduced from soy sauce, sugar, aromatics, and tons of spices. It is much more fragrant than the type you purchase from a store.
If you prefer to use a bottled sauce, Lee Kum Kee Sweet Soy Sauce is a good choice. It is not as aromatic as the homemade version but it’s a good replacement.
Another option is to use regular soy sauce plus sugar. But note, in this case, the sauce will come out thinner and have a slightly different flavor.
NOTE: the Chinese style sweet soy sauce is different from Kecap Manis (the type of sweet soy sauce usually used in Southeast Asian cooking), which is much sweeter. If you use Kecap Manis for this recipe, reduce the amount by half.
The type of wonton wrapper to use
I used Shanghai Wonton Skin wrappers in my recipe, but you can use any wonton wrappers that use wheat flour and water as the main ingredients.
How to make spicy wonton in chili oil
Make the wonton filling
- Make aromatic water
- Drain the aromatic water into the ground pork
- Add the other seasonings
- Mix well until it forms a sticky paste
Instead of chopping aromatics to be included in the filling, using aromatics-infused water will create a silky texture with no risk of accidentally biting into a piece of ginger or garlic. It is simple to make and makes your wontons taste much better.
Fold the wontons
- Add a small amount of filling onto the wrapper
- Roll up the wrapper to fold in the filling
- Wet the wrapper with some water
- Fold up the two sides of the wrapper and press to seal the filling
If you’re not familiar with making wontons, make sure to check out my video below the recipe to see the folding in action!
Cook and assemble
Once you finish wrapping the wontons, all you need to do is to boil them. Then add the wonton sauce to the wontons and mix them together.
How to store and reheat
Uncooked wontons freeze well and you don’t need to thaw them before boiling. This recipe makes quite a few servings. So I highly recommend freezing the portions that you won’t consume immediately, so you can enjoy them later.
To cook frozen wontons, simply follow the same steps. The frozen wontons require a bit longer to cook through, but not by too much.
More Sichuan recipes
- Dan Dan Noodles
- Sichuan Dry Fried Green Beans
- Twice Cooked Pork
- Yu Xiang Eggplant
- Kung Pao Shrimp
- Mapo Tofu
Sichuan Spicy Wonton in Chili Oil (红油抄手)
- 1 pack wonton wrappers , thawed if using frozen
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 green onions , sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/2 lb (225 g) ground pork
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 8 tablespoons homemade chili oil (including the chili crisp)
- 4 tablespoons seasoned sweet soy sauce (*Footnote 1)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
- 2 teaspoons grated garlic
- 2 green onions , sliced
- Optional Chopped cilantro, toasted ground Sichuan peppercorn flakes, and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Prepare the aromatic water
- Combine all the ingredients for the aromatic water in a small bowl. Stir to mix well and let infuse for 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Strain and discard all the solid ingredients.
Prepare the chili oil sauce
- Combine the chili oil, sweet soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and white part of the green onion in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to mix well.
Make the wontons
- Add the minced pork into a medium-sized bowl. Add the aromatic water, egg, cornstarch, and white pepper powder. Mix until it forms a smooth and sticky paste.
- Work on the wontons one at a time. Place about half a teaspoon of filling (or 1 teaspoon for bigger wontons) on the lower third of the wrapper. Fold the bottom side over the filling, then roll the filling all the way across to the other side of the wrapper. Brush a thin layer of egg white on one end of the wonton wrapper. Bind both ends and press them together to lock the filling inside the wrapper. Place on a big plate, a finger’s width apart.
- When you’ve finished 10 to 15 wontons, cover them with a wet paper towel to prevent them from drying out.
Cook and assemble
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the wontons, 20 at a time. Stir gently with a spatula constantly, to prevent them from sticking to the bottom. Cook until the wontons are floating on top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer 7 to 8 wontons into each bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons of the sauce, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the hot broth used to boil the wontons, garnish with the green part of the green onion, and serve.
- Mix the wontons well to coat them with sauce. Enjoy!
- If you are not going to cook and serve the wontons immediately, you can store them in the fridge for a day, or freeze them for up to a month. Seal the tray of wontons with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. When the wontons are completely frozen, you can transfer them to an airtight ziplock bag to free up freezer space.
To cook frozen wontons
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add wontons. Stir gently to prevent it from sticking. Cook until the water reaches a boil again. Turn to medium-low heat. Cover the pot with a small gap on one side, to prevent it from boiling over. Continue boiling for 2 minutes (3 minutes for larger wontons). Stand beside the pot the entire time and monitor the broth. If the broth starts to boil over, uncover and stir, then replace the cover. Uncover, continue cooking for another minute, or until the wontons are cooked through.
- If you do not have sweet soy sauce, use 4 tablespoons of soy sauce plus 2 teaspoons sugar. You can use Lee Kum Kee Sweet Soy Sauce to replace the homemade version. If you use Kecap Manis, reduce the amount by half.