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- The Perfect Homemade Wontons: Fluttery, Flavorful, & No-Fuss!
- Chicken Wonton Recipe Highlights
- What are Wontons?
- Key Ingredients
- Easy Chicken Wonton Filling in a Food Processor
- How to Make Chicken Wontons
- Make-Ahead & Freezer Tips
- What to Serve with Chicken Wontons
The Perfect Homemade Wontons: Fluttery, Flavorful, & No-Fuss!
Wontons are one of the first Asian dishes I ever fell in love with & that’s all thanks to the Ho family. They owned the Chinese restaurant in my hometown, Mandarin Chinese, & it was my family’s SPOT. We were there several times a week & I’ve always been obsessed with their light & fluttery wontons.
Over the years, my mom became great friends with Yenping Ho, who recently let us in on some of her secrets to making totally restaurant-worthy wontons at home. It’s such a treat to share them with you today in this chicken wonton recipe!
It all starts with a homemade chicken wonton filling. Using a food processor makes for especially easy & no-fuss work – simply pulse chicken breasts with aromatics like shiitake mushrooms, green onions, Shaoxing wine, & sesame oil.
From there, fold the filling into perfectly snug dumplings with uniquely fluttery edges – just like Yenping’s! They cook up in just a couple of minutes in boiling water & the resulting boiled chicken wontons are light, delicate, & super pretty.
All that’s left to do is top them with spicy hot chili oil & devour – it’s pretty hard to beat that!
Chicken Wonton Recipe Highlights
You’re going to love learning how to make homemade chicken wontons! They’re…
FULL OF FLAVOR. Each chicken wonton is stuffed with an aromatic, umami-rich filling made of chicken breasts, shiitake mushrooms, & green onions. A spoonful of tangy & spicy hot chili oil adds an extra special finishing touch. They’re balanced, flavorful, & seriously easy to devour!
NO FUSS PREP. Making the chicken wonton filling in a food processor cuts down on nearly all the active chopping time. Meal prep is simple with several make-ahead & freezer-friendly options. Plus, wonton folding is fun once you get the hang of it!
SUPER SPECIAL. This chicken wonton recipe comes from my mom & her dear friend, Yenping, who made the best wontons at her family’s restaurant. Yenping’s method yields wontons with uniquely fluttery edges that are extra delicious, light, & super pretty. You can taste the love in every bite!
Trust me, a double batch is always a good idea! 💁🏻♀️ ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Chicken Wontons with Spicy Chili Oil, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
What are Wontons?
Wontons are Chinese-style dumplings traditionally stuffed with a hearty meat filling & then steamed or fried. The thin wonton wrapper is super light & turns a bit translucent as it cooks, which makes the filling the standout! They’re a menu staple at most Chinese-American restaurants, where you’re most likely to enjoy them in a steaming hot bowl of wonton soup. 😋 Here at the PWWB House, we love topping chicken wontons with spicy chili oil & enjoying them all on their own or alongside a dim sum spread with crispy egg rolls & stir-fried noodles.
A few more wonton FAQs:
- Why is a wonton called a wonton? ⇢ The word “wonton” roughly translates to “cloud” in Cantonese – the perfect way to describe a wonton’s light & delicate texture!
- What is wonton filling made of? ⇢ Traditionally, wontons are prepared with a ground pork or shrimp filling but we’re using chicken here for a little something different. If you love pork, be sure to check out Mom’s pork shumai dumplings!
- What is a wonton wrapper made of? ⇢ Traditional wonton wrappers are made from wheat flour, eggs, & water & are nice & thin. You can find them in most conventional grocery stores in the refrigerator section near tofu, but a trip to your local Asian grocery store is always fun, too!
Wontons are all about the filling & this chicken wonton recipe is no exception. Because chicken has pretty mild flavor, amping it up with plenty of aromatics & veggies ensures every dumpling is irresistible. There are a number of ingredients involved, but most are simple Chinese kitchen staples.
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
- Chicken – Standard boneless skinless breasts work great here! Compared to store-bought ground chicken, which often has a bit too much moisture, using minced chicken breast creates wontons with wonderful texture. You can finely chop the meat by hand, but a food processor is a great shortcut!
- Shiitake mushrooms – My family loves adding umami-rich mushrooms to bulk up dumpling fillings. Shiitakes have great meaty texture & built-in earthy flavor that amps up mild meat like chicken. We buy dried mushrooms & rehydrate them in water for about 10 minutes, but you can also use fresh ones if they’re available to you. Other mushroom varieties like white button or cremini “baby bella” work well, too.
- Scallion – Another little something special for the filling! You’ll only need the white parts for the chicken wontons (they have the most intense flavor!). Thinly slice the greens & save them for the prettiest garnish.
- Shaoxing wine – This rich & uniquely savory-sweet Chinese rice wine adds tons of flavor to the chicken wonton filling. It’s absolutely worth the purchase, especially if you love to cook Chinese dishes at home!
- Oyster sauce – Salty-sweet oyster sauce adds more umami-rich flavor to the chicken wonton filling.
- Sesame oil – For the best aromatic & nutty taste!
- Soy sauce – Another Chinese cooking staple. You’ll use some soy sauce to season the chicken wonton filling, but it’s also great to have for serving & dipping.
- Seasoning – Season the chicken wonton filling with a little bit of sugar, salt, & white pepper. Bouillon powder also amps up the chicken flavor even more.
- Cornstarch – Just a bit helps tenderize the chicken meat, sealing in its moisture in a process called “velveting.” This is common practice in a lot of Chinese recipes! Our Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry digs into how it works.
- Wonton wrappers – While you can certainly make your own, store-bought wrappers also do the trick. Pick some up from your local Asian grocery store!
Easy Chicken Wonton Filling in a Food Processor
Most traditional Chinese wonton recipes lean on a lot of knife work to create a really fine textured filling. You’ll love that this chicken wonton recipe eliminates all the fuss of hand-chopping by using a food processor to do all the work – easy!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Prep the chicken. Roughly chop chicken breasts so they fit in your food processor, then pulse the meat until it’s finely chopped. Why? ⇢ While you can chop the chicken by hand, a food processor saves tons of time by doing all of the work in about 30 seconds.
Season & marinate. Combine all the seasoning (cornstarch, oyster sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, bouillon powder, sugar, S&P) & pour it into the food processor with the chicken. Pulse again until the mixture is wet & well-blended. Then let it rest for about 20 minutes. Why? ⇢ We want the chicken to marinate & soak up all those flavors!
Finish the filling with veggies. Pulse shiitake mushrooms & whites of the green onions into the chicken mixture. Why? ⇢ We love how the veggies add meaty texture to bulk up the chicken filling. They also have tons of flavor which amp up the otherwise mild chicken breasts.
How to Make Chicken Wontons
Folding & cooking wontons is a fun kitchen project that’s really easy once you get the hang of it. Grab some friends & family for this chicken wonton recipe & have fun with it!
Wonton Prep Tip! ⇢ To set yourself up for success, we recommend preparing your workstation with wonton wrappers, chicken filling, a parchment-lined baking sheet, & a small bowl of water all within reach. Doing so helps you work efficiently & keeps wonton assembly fun!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Stuff the chicken wontons. Like most dumplings, you want the chicken wontons to have plenty of filling without being overly stuffed. Sometimes less is more! Use a teaspoon to measure the chicken wonton filling & place a spoonful in the center of a square wonton wrapper.
Fold & repeat. If you need a visual here, think of folding the wontons to look like tortellini! To do so, fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle, encasing the meat filling in the middle. Fold the top point over to meet the crease, then bring the two remaining points together with a dab of water. As you pull the two corners together, the first point with pop back up but still keep the filling nice & snug. Tip! ⇢ Leave the rest of the edges of the wonton wrapper loose – that’s Yenping’s secret to extra light & fluttery wontons!
Boil. Bring a pot of water to a roaring boil & drop the wontons in one by one. They’ll cook quickly – about 4 minutes. Tip! ⇢ You’ll know the chicken wontons are done once they start to float to the top. A slotted spoon will help you delicately remove them from the water to drain.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Make-Ahead & Freezer Tips
While we’ve taken a lot of the fuss out of this chicken wonton recipe, it’s still a bit of a kitchen project & can take some time. There are a few options to prep homemade chicken wontons in advance – when you’re ready to serve, all you have to do is boil them & enjoy!
A few make-ahead options for this chicken wonton recipe…
- Prep the chicken wonton filling in advance. Mince the chicken in a food processor, season it well, then pulse in the veggies so it’s all good to go. Store the filling in your fridge for up to 2 days, whenever you’re ready to get folding your chicken wontons.
- Stuff, fold & freeze. Once you’ve stuffed & folded your chicken wontons, flash-freeze them on the baking sheet for a few hours so they’re solid. Transfer the frozen wontons to a bag & keep them in your freezer for up to a month. You can boil them right from frozen!
What to Serve with Chicken Wontons
These homemade wontons are fantastic served in broth for wonton soup, but here at the PWWB House, we enjoy chicken wontons in a big spread of Chinese-inspired bites known as dim sum. Wontons are fantastic at a dim sum meal served alongside Mom’s egg rolls, sesame chicken wings, pork shumai, & stir-fried noodles. It’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate special occasions!
Homemade Spicy Hot Chili Oil
This simple sauce is the BEST spooned over a plate of chicken wontons. It’s inspired by the tangy, spicy hot chili oil served at our family’s favorite local Chinese restaurant in town.
To make spicy hot chili oil. ⇢ Heat a neutral oil in a skillet on the stovetop then pour it over some Sichuan chili flakes, garlic cloves, sugar, & salt. The oil immediately simmers & cooks the aromatics, which infuse the oil with tons of flavor. Let it cool, then combine the hot sauces with soy sauce & white or rice vinegar for serving, spooning it over your chicken wontons.
Make-ahead tip! ⇢ This spicy chili oil is a great thing to prep first, before making the wontons, so it has time to cool. We recommend doing this before you start the filling, but you can also store it at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
Time saving tip! ⇢ While we love homemade spicy hot chili oil, you can also serve chicken wontons with your favorite store-bought chili crisp to save time. Chili crisp has that same spicy & tangy flavor!
I can’t wait for you to try these Chicken Wontons with Spicy Chili Oil! Each dumpling is FULL of flavor & has a beautifully light texture that we can’t get enough of. They’re so easy to devour, especially with spicy hot chili sauce! 🤤
If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
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Chinese-Inspired Family Favorites
As one of the first Asian foods I ever fell in love with, wontons hold a really special place in my heart. It’s in part thanks to the Ho family, who owned the best Chinese restaurant in my hometown. Their wontons had the loveliest delicate, fluttery edges & they served them doused in a punchy spicy chili oil. Seriously crave-worthy!
Over the years my mom became great friends with Yenping Ho, who recently let us in on some of her secrets to making totally restaurant-worthy wontons at home. It’s such a pleasure to share them with you in this recipe!
For a little something different than classic pork or shrimp wontons, these wontons are stuffed with chicken filling. It comes together really quickly with the help of a food processor & it’s seriously amped up on flavor thanks to aromatic add-ins like scallion & shiitake mushrooms.
As far as dumplings go, folding wontons is just about as simple as it gets! We use Yenping’s method to create those beautiful light & fluttery edges – be sure to check out the step-by-step photos & video below to help you along! From there, quickly cook them in boiling water, toss them with a punchy sauce made with homemade spicy chili oil, & enjoy all on their own or as a part of a dim sum spread.
These chicken wontons are light, tender, & absolutely crave-worthy – I think you’re going to love them just as much as we do! ♡ Happy cooking!
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat & roughly diced into large pieces
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon low-sodium chicken bouillon powder
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water for 10 minutes & finely diced (approx. 3–4 dried mushrooms, see Recipe Notes)
- 5 green onions, white part only (reserve greens for serving), halved lengthwise & thinly sliced
- one package square wonton wrappers (approx. 50 wrappers)
- for serving: spicy hot chili oil (below), soy sauce, white vinegar, thinly sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds, etc.
for the spicy hot chili oil:
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil or high smoke point vegetable oil of choice
- 2 tablespoons Sichuan chili flakes or crushed red pepper flakes (see Recipe Notes)
- 2 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- Optional: Prepare the spicy hot chili oil:
- Place the oil in small pot over medium heat. Heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the oil is hot – it’s ready when you can place a wooden chopstick or skewer into the oil & small bubbles form around the chopstick/skewer.
- Meanwhile, as the oil heats, place the chili flakes, sugar, salt, & garlic in a wide-mouthed jar or a small ceramic bowl.
- Carefully pour the hot oil over the pepper flake mixture. The oil will immediately simmer & cook the aromatics. Set aside to cool. Once cooled completely, seal & store for up to 3 weeks.
- Prepare the chicken wonton filling:
- Place the cubed chicken breast in a food processor. Pulse 30 seconds, or until the chicken is finely chopped into coarse pieces.
- To a small bowl, add the cornstarch, oyster sauce, sesame oil, shaoxing wine, soy sauce, bouillon, sugar, salt, & white pepper. Mix to combine well. Pour over the chicken in the food processor. Pulse 5 seconds, until the wet mix is blended into the chicken well. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
- To finish the chicken wonton filling, add the chopped mushrooms & green onions to the food processor. Pulse 5-8 seconds, until the veggies are blended into the chicken well. Transfer to a bowl for chicken wonton assembly.
- Stuff & fold the chicken wontons:
- Line a quarter sheet pan with wax paper or parchment paper & place on a work surface alongside the chicken wonton filling & a small bowl of water.
- To wrap & fold the chicken wontons, place a rounded teaspoon of the chicken mixture in the center of one of the square wonton wrappers. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle. Situate the triangle such that the top point is facing down & the crease is facing up. Fold the top point to meet the crease, such that both the crease & point are now facing up. Bring the remaining ends together, adding a little tap of water & gently pressing to seal them together. As you do this the first point will pop back out, while still keeping the filling nice & snug, making what mom calls a “hat” on the back of the wonton. The wonton wrapper should be snuggly wrapped around the meat filling, similar to a tortellini but with delicate & fluttery edges.
- Set the folded chicken wonton on the prepared baking sheet & repeat chicken wonton assembly until you’ve used all of the remaining chicken mixture. (You may have some leftover wonton wrappers, which you can wrap well & freeze for the next time you make wontons).
- Boil the chicken wontons:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
- Once the water reaches a roaring boil, drop the wontons into the pot one by one – work in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pot. Cook 2 minutes, gently stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. At the 2 minute lower the heat to medium. The wontons will begin to float to the top of the pot by the 3-minute mark – cook 1 minute longer, or 4 minutes total, until the wrappers are tender & the chicken filling is cooked through.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked wontons to a serving bowl.
- If needed, bring the water back up to a full boil, then repeat until all of the wontons are cooked.
- Serving: In a small bowl, whisk 2-4 teaspoons spicy hot oil with ¼ cup soy sauce & 2 tablespoons white sugar. Spoon the mixture over the chicken wontons & finish with thinly sliced green onions & toasted sesame seeds as desired. Enjoy immediately. At our house, we most often enjoy chicken wontons alongside an entire spread of other pupus & dim sum, like Mom’s egg rolls, sesame chicken wings, char siu bao, & stir fried noodles, though you can also use the wontons to make an Easy Chicken Wonton Soup. Enjoy!
- Ingredient Notes:
- Shaoxing wine is Chinese rice wine with a rich & uniquely savory-sweet flavor. It’s readily available at Asian grocery stores or online & it’s absolutely worth the purchase if you love cooking Chinese dishes at home. Imperfect-yet-quick substitutes for the shaoxing wine in this recipe include mirin, dry sherry, or dry vermouth.
- Shiitake mushrooms: At our house, we always like to add some shiitake mushrooms to homemade wontons & dumplings; their meaty texture adds a little extra heft to the filling & their earthy flavor is delicious. If fresh shiitake mushrooms are readily available where you live, feel free to use them in place of dried. If you cannot find fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms, feel free to swap in another variety you like – white button mushrooms & cremini “baby bella” mushrooms will work well, too.
- Sichuan chili flakes: Sichaun chili flakes, which are made by finely grinding Chinese hot chili peppers into a powder, are known for their vibrant red color & light & citrusy/floral aroma. Unlike Italian-style pepper flakes, the heat of sichuan chili pepper is mild but creates a unique tingly/numbing sensation. It’s readily available at Asian grocery stores or online. If you already have Italian-style crushed red pepper in your kitchen, you can use it to make Mom’s spicy hot oil – just note that its flavor will be a little different than what’s described here.
- Storage & Reheating: Leftover boiled chicken wontons will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
- Make-Ahead Chicken Wontons: While this chicken wontons recipe is pretty straight-forward, preparing the chicken filling & folding the wontons does take a little time – it’s kind of a kitchen project in that way! If you’d like to do a little prep in advance to cut down on active hands-on time when you boil your wontons there are a few options:
- Make-Ahead Option #1: Prep the chicken wonton filling in advance. Prepare the chicken wonton filling according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions, above. Transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. The day you’d like to boil your chicken wontons, simply fill & fold the wontons according to Step 3, above, then proceed with boiling & serving.
- Make-Ahead Option #2: Freezer instructions. Prepare the chicken wontons according to Steps 2-3 of Recipe Directions, above. Arrange the folded wontons in a single layer on parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Flash freeze 1-2 hours, until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can cook the chicken wontons straight from frozen, according to Step 4 of Recipe Directions, above – add 1 minute of cook time to ensure the wontons cook through.
Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.