These mouth-watering Sichuan wontons in red oil (红油抄手 or “hong you chao shou”) are a style of dumplings originating from the province of Sichuan, China. The words 红油 or “hong you” translates to “red oil” in reference to chili oil. These wontons are typically filled with a simple ground pork mixture (and shrimp as well, in this version), boiled, drained and tossed in a spicy chili sauce with that signature red colour. Feel free to tweak the red oil sauce on the spectrums of spicy (chili oil), sweet (sugar) and earthy tang (black vinegar) to your liking. You can even whisk in a little peanut butter or tahini paste for added richness. I have had different versions of red oil wontons and all have been deeply satisfying. This recipe yields about 45 wontons.
Related: These Chinese Pan-Fried Buns with Pork Are Little Parcels of Joy
Red chili oil sauce
Assembly and serving
Prepare sauce: mix sauce ingredients together – you can leave the hot water until you’ve cooked your dumplings and add the hot water from the pot directly into the servings. Adjust amount of water to your liking, depending if you prefer it more or less soupy.
Related: Chinese Chili Oil
Prepare filling: Place shrimp, pork, scallions and ginger into bowl of food processor.
Pulse until mixture is a chunky paste. Add remaining filling ingredients. Pulse until mixture is a fluffy and smooth homogenous paste. Taste the filling for seasoning – scoop 1 teaspoon into small dish and microwave 20 seconds or until fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste (but remember they will be coated in the flavourful sauce to serve).
To fold wonton: Take one wrapper and orient it to yourself like a diamond. Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center. Dab water to dampen the upper two perimeters. Bring bottom corner to the top corner, folding in half into a triangle. Bring left and right corners toward each other. Place one of the corners on top of the over, sealing together with a bit of water where they overlap. Press firmly.
Continue wrapping wontons until filling runs out. The filling should yield about 45 wontons.
To cook: Bring large pot of water to a boil. In batches so there’s enough water for wontons to move around, gently lower wontons in, stirring frequently to prevent them sticking together or to bottom of the pot. Cook until wontons bob to the top (about 5 minutes) and continue to cook 30 seconds more. Scoop out with handled colander and place into serving bowl(s). Top with red oil sauce. Add boiling water from the pot if desired. Garnish with reserved chopped green scallions, cilantro leaves and crushed peanuts/sesame seeds.