The sun had just begun to set when my stomach decided it needed to be filled. I made the short stroll from my apartment down to island at Chiang Mai gate where food stalls set up every night. Street vendors were lighting charcoal fire pits chopping fresh vegetables and placing pots of chilli flakes on tables. Preparing for a busy night dishing up fresh steaming hot food to hungry customers.
It was still early evening and most stalls were only in the process of setting up, there was nowhere to sit and have a delicious meal yet, excepts for one small store off to the right-hand corner. The owner was grinning from ear to ear and waving us in. Happily, I obliged, taking a seat and looking at the menu I knew exactly what I wanted at first glance.
The video for Wontons with Sour Vinegar Chilli Oil:
A bowl appeared in front of me, brimming to the edges with spicy broth, fat juicy wontons, noodles and a generous serving of greens. The first sip was an out-of-body experience, I felt like this magic broth was manoeuvring its way through my body and creating an explosion. I slip a whole wonton into my mouth and bite to release all the flavour encased inside that silky skin. This was the first time I tried Wontons and the start of an obsession.
We ate at this little street stall with the happy man for weeks after, especially after we had been drinking. There were healing powers in this wonton soup. Life was great until one evening, mid-sip, we discover a mealworm. Distraught is an understatement, here in my bowl is a goddamn WORM. I know people eat bugs and insects all the time, but not me. And just to let you all in on a little secret, I am petrified of worms, snails and slugs. They’re disgusting!
I leave the dish where it is, never to return. It was like a sad movie montage, I walk by looking longingly at that one that got away whilst happier memories flashed across the screen. Overly sad music plays softly in the background.
Until one day I couldn’t resist the urges, I was like a drug addict looking for that one last hit. Pushing all the bad memories to a dark spot in the back of my mind, I pulled up my socks (figuratively, it’s like 30 degrees Celsius on average) and decided to face my fears. Chopsticks in hand ready to go for when the piping hot bowl hits the table.
And you guessed it, there was another mealworm. By this time I’d accepted the fact that it was part of the dish, I had probably eaten at least twenty of those little wiggly worms by now. I pretend I didn’t see it and go on happily slurping away.
Although my recipe for wontons doesn’t contain delicious and unforgettable mealworms, it is bursting with flavours of garlic, shiitake mushrooms and ginger.
How to make Wontons
Wontons have to be one of the easiest dumplings to shape. All you have to do is first fold in half and press down to seal the edges.
Then grab the two corners and bring them towards each other and use a little water to stick together.
To make these Wontons even more flavourful and incredibly more-ish drizzle with some Spicy and Sour Chilli oil!
Home made juicy pork and shiitake mushroom Wontons is a spicy Sour Chilli Oil sauce. Perfect as a starter or for a main meal.
- 40 Dumpling wrappers
- 1/4 cup Shiitake Mushrooms
- 500 g Pork Mince
- 1 tbsp Garlic Cloves
- 3 whole Spring Onions
- 1 tsp Orange Rind
- 1 tbsp Sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine*
- 1 tsp White Pepper
- 8 whole Hot Chinese Chilli's
- 2 tsp Whole Sichuan Peppercorns
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 3 tbsp Black Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Sugar
Soak the shiitake mushrooms in boiling water for 15 minutes to rehydrate. After 15 minutes rinse, remove the stalks and coarsely chop.
Add the pork mince into a mixing bowl. Mince the spring onions and garlic, micro-grate an orange until you get a teaspoon of rind and place everything into the bowl.
Add all the other filling ingredients into the bowl and using either chopsticks or your hands moving clockwise begin to incorporate everything until a paste like texture forms.
Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Have a bowl of cold water ready. Lay your wrapper on a dry work surface and place a teaspoon of meat mixture into the centre of the wrapper. Wet the edges of the top half of the wrapper and fold in half to make a half moon shape. Pinch down the sides to seal, grabbing the two bottom corners pull them in towards each other and seal together. Lightly dust with flour and cover with a damp tea towel until you’re ready to use.
Gently drop the wontons into a saucepan of boiling water, do not overcrowd the saucepan just a few at a time, and cook for 3 minutes or until they rise to the top. Turn the heat down to low so the water is just simmering and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon, draining off the excess water. Divide into serving bowls and serve warm with chilli oil
Dry roast the chilli’s and peppercorns over medium heat until toasted and aromatic. Keep an eye on them, they can burn quickly.
Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind until the texture becomes the same as store bought chilli flakes - transfer to a heat proof bowl.
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering and hot. Immediately pour over the chilli/Sichuan peppercorn mixture and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil soy sauce and black vinegar in a small metal mixing bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour in the chilli oil mixture and mix well.
- *Shaoxing wine is a popular traditional chinese wine that is fermented from rice, originating from the Zhejiang province of Eastern China. Shaoxing wine can either be consumed as a beverage at the start of a meal or as a wine marinade in many chinese meals. You’ll be able to find it at your local grocer for cheap.
- The wontons can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or frozen up to 3 months. To freeze the wontons lay them flat and a couple of centimeters apart on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, place them into the freezer until frozen then either pop them into a ziplock bag or containers, this stops them all from sticking together.
Calorie are for a serving 0f 10 wontons without chilli oil
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