Steamed wontons in chilli broth

Steamed wontons in chilli broth

Chinese Unchopped
60 mins
Cooking time
10 mins
Martin Poole

When it comes to learning about Chinese pastries, wontons are the best starting point. The pastry comes ready-made, either fresh or frozen in most Oriental supermarkets, and is very much like an egg pasta – made from egg, a medium- to high-gluten wheat flour (similar to plain flour), hot water and oil. The method of folding creates a shape much like a gold ingot (pre-20th century Chinese currency) and it is said that if you can fold your wontons in such a shape, you are giving your friends and family plenty of good wealth for years to come!


Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove
1 spring onion
a large handful coriander, plus extra to garnish
10-15 chinese chives
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, drained and soaked, (see note)
2 leaves chinese leaf cabbage
150g raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined, (optional, see note)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
20 wonton pastries

Chilli broth

Quantity Ingredient
200ml chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons chiu chow chilli oil


  1. Finely chop the garlic, spring onion, coriander, Chinese chives, soaked shiitake mushrooms and Chinese leaves and place in a mixing bowl. Finely dice the prawns (if using) and add to the mixing bowl along with the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Mix everything together.
  2. To wrap the wontons, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the centre of each pastry. Using the tip of your finger, wet all sides of the pastry with cold water.
  3. Fold the bottom corner over the filling to the top corner and press the pastry down to seal all sides (to form a triangle).
  4. Holding the base of the filling with your thumbs, pull the 2 bottom corners of the triangle towards each other, (in the school, we like to call this the ‘Dark Knight Rising’ as it looks roughly like a Batman shape).
  5. Overlap the ends and press together to form a ‘gold ingot / trough’ shape. Set aside and fold the rest of the wontons the same way.
  6. Place all the wontons in a large, deep bowl. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan, then stir in the oyster sauce and chilli oil. Pour the broth ingredients over the wontons.
  7. Set the wok up with a steamer stand and fill with boiling water to a third of the way up the sides. Put the wonton bowl into the wok, cover with a lid and steam for 6–8 minutes, until the wontons have shrivelled slightly and are cooked through. Remove from the wok and serve garnished with a little chopped coriander.


  • To rehydrate dried mushrooms, cover them in 300ml hot water and leave to soak for at least 1 hour (preferably overnight). Drain them before using, reserving the soaking water for use in your recipe, if necessary.


  • To devein a prawn, use a small, sharp knife to make a slit along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein, then pull it out. Alternatively insert a toothpick roughly three-quarters of the way up the back of the prawn and pull the vein up and out of the prawn.


  • Dumplings like these can be kept in the freezer once made. They must be cooked from frozen for 2 minutes longer than the recommended cooking time when cooking fresh, rather than allowing them to thaw out and lose their shape.
School of Wok
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