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).
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- 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.