Tofu Wontons in Chile Oil

March 31, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by WoonHeng Chia
Author Notes

These little parcels are packed with tofu and vegetables, then drenched in an ultra-savory sauce made from a mixture of chile oil, black vinegar, and soy sauce. (One of my favorite brands is Master Brand, or you can make your own.) Wontons are a type of dumpling, typically using a square wrapper. The size is usually smaller than traditional jiaozi and the filling is often meat (like pork) or seafood (like shrimp). With meaty tofu and umami-dense dried mushrooms, these wontons just happen to be vegan, with no shortage of flavor. On Lunar New Year, it's believed that eating dumplings will bring good fortune. But to me, it’s a perfect family activity any time of year, when everyone can sit together, wrap dumplings, and share laughter and joy.
WoonHeng Chia

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • Wontons
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, plus more for the water
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, softened in hot water and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped carrots
  • 2 cups roughly chopped cabbage
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 3 ounces firm tofu
  • 1/4 teaspoon mushroom or umami seasoning
  • Sesame oil
  • 30 square wonton wrappers, thawed to room temperature
  • Sauce and garnishes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, heated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chile oil with sediment
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • Chopped scallions or cilantro
  • 1 splash toasted sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds
In This Recipe
  1. To make the filling, heat a large nonstick skillet and add the oil. Sauté the mushrooms and carrots for 1 minute.
  2. Add the cabbage and cook for 1 minute or so until just tender. (You can increase the cooking time if you prefer softer cabbage.) Season with some salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a food processor and add the tofu. Pulse into smaller bits.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in salt, pepper, mushrooms seasoning (if using), and sesame oil to taste. Let it cool completely.
  5. To assemble the wonton, place a wrapper on your palm or a flat surface. Add a teaspoon of filling in the middle. Bring the edge closest to you to meet the opposite edge, forming a rectangle. Use your fingers to seal, pushing out the air bubbles as much as possible. Now turn around the rectangle upside down, so the sealed edge is facing you, and bring both pointy corners to cross over in the middle, yielding a hat.
  6. Repeat the above step with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling, until you run out of one or the other.
  7. To cook the wontons, bring a pot of water to boil. Add a drizzle of neutral oil.
  8. Carefully drop in the wontons and cook until they float, 1 to 2 minutes. Let the wontons stay afloat for a few more seconds.
  9. While the wontons are cooking, combine the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, chile oil, and pepper in a large bowl. Adjust to taste.
  10. Once the wontons are ready, use a strainer to transfer them to the bowl with sauce. Garnish with chopped scallions or cilantro, a swirl of sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kaito Kikuchi
    Kaito Kikuchi
  • Sarah Yaffa
    Sarah Yaffa
  • WoonHeng Chia
    WoonHeng Chia
  • txchick57

8 Reviews

txchick57 March 27, 2021
MYfavorite F52 contributor!1 Another winner.
Author Comment
WoonHeng C. March 31, 2021
Thanks so much! :-) Hope you like this recipe too. Have a beautiful day. Best, WoonHeng
JLGM March 26, 2021
I've been waiting for a reason to make a new batch of chili oil... usually I end up waiting until warmer weather when I make 凉皮 every week. Excited to try this dish and work it into my springtime rotation!
Author Comment
WoonHeng C. March 31, 2021
Yay, I love liang pi and really enjoy it when the weather is warmer. Hope you like this dish. Have a great day. Best, WoonHeng
Kaito K. March 25, 2021
I love wontons and really wanted to like these (and the photos look amazing!), but I was pretty disappointed by the lack of umami in the wontons and found them quite bland. I might revisit it with ground pork instead of tofu.
Author Comment
WoonHeng C. March 25, 2021
Hello Kaito, thanks so much for your feedback. I added the mushrooms seasoning which is to give the wontons the umami flavor that I liked. Hope you get to try some soon. Have a beautiful day. Sincerely, Woon Heng
Sarah Y. March 25, 2021
This recipe seriously boosted my "cook" ego. The wontons were a huge hit - everyone loved. I've never made wontons before, however, this recipe was simple enough to knock out of the park. I added Chinese chives to the filling, which added a great flavor. Will absolutely be making again soon.
Author Comment
WoonHeng C. March 25, 2021
That's so awesome, Sarah. Thanks so much and really happy that you liked the recipe. I'm very happy you'll make them again soon. Thanks bunches, Woon Heng