Pork, celery and water chestnut wontons with ma la chilli oil
- February 2019
- Makes about 36 (you’ll need 16 to serve 4)
- Hands-on time 1 hour
This recipe was created by Ching-He Huang as part of a traditional Chinese New Year menu. She’s filled wonton wrappers with a fabulously tasty pork and water chestnut filling and drizzled them in a homemade ma la chilli oil. Divine.
- 15.2g (3.2g saturated)
- 21.2g (0.8g sugars)
For the dumpling filling
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten (plus another, beaten, to seal)
- 300g minced British free-range pork belly (if you’re buying pre-packed, look for mince with a higher fat content)
- 50g celery, finely chopped
- 50g tinned water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 tbsp premium reduced-sodium light soy sauce
- 2 tsp shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Pinch ground white pepper
- 36 wonton egg wrappers (7.5cm squares; available from Asian supermarkets or online at theasiancookshop.co.uk)
For the ma la chilli oil
- 5 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp sichuan peppercorns, toasted in a dry pan and ground
- 1 tbsp chinkiang black rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp premium reduced-sodium light soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- 1 small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
- For the chilli oil, heat the rapeseed oil in a wok or small pan over a medium heat. Add the chilli flakes and the sichuan pepper and stir to combine. Cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to let the chilli flakes burn. Pour into a heatproof bowl. Stir in the black rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of fine salt, then set aside to cool (see Make Ahead).
- In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the dumpling filling except the wrappers and the beaten egg to seal (see food team’s tips).
- To make the wontons, lay out the wrappers in batches on a clean work surface. Put roughly 1½ tsp filling in the middle of each. Brush the edges of the wrapper with a little beaten egg, then gather them up and mould around the filling into a ball shape, twisting at the top to secure the dumpling. Repeat with the remaining wrappers. Set aside 4 wontons per person and freeze any unused dumplings (see Make Ahead).
- Bring a large, wide pan of water to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower in the dumplings in batches and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until they float to the surface and turn a translucent yellow (see Ching’s tip). Cut a dumpling open to check the filling
is cooked. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a serving platter or 4 individual bowls. Spoon over a little dumpling cooking water to stop them drying out, then drizzle over a little chilli oil (see food team’s tips). Garnish with the spring onions and coriander and serve.
It’s important the water isn’t boiling vigorously when you cook the dumplings otherwise they may split open.
Cook a little of the dumpling filling to check the seasoning before cooking – remember the dipping sauce will add some seasoning. The chilli oil is hot, so offer it on the side if you’re not sure how much spice your guests like.
Ma la chilli oil will keep in a sterilised jar for up to a month. Make the wontons up to 3 hours ahead, cover and chill until ready to cook. Freeze uncooked dumplings in bags for up to 1 month. Cook from frozen, adding 1-2 minutes to the cooking time.
Ma la means ‘numbing and hot’ – both characteristics of sichuan pepper.
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