It's all about the sauce! Make this delicious spicy sauce by simmering chili oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar with a mixture of warming spices and a bit of sugar. Boil the wontons and pour the sauce all over for a savory and spicy wonton dish packed with flavor.
Why This Recipe Works
This wonderful spicy wonton dish goes by many names:
- Spicy wontons
- Chili oil wontons
- Wontons in chili oil
- Red oil wontons
However you call it, it is delicious!
It's also simple to prepare. Make the spicy sauce by simmering together a few key ingredients (chili oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar) with garlic and spices (chili flakes, sugar, five spice, star anise). The sauce because super flavorful and intense.
Then boil wontons. Place the wontons in a bowl and top with the spicy sauce. It is ready to eat ^_^
This makes a simple meal for one...or for ten! It is endlessly adaptable (make fresh wontons, buy frozen wontons, etc). Change up the sauce (more/less garlic, spices, chili, etc). The world is yours.
This recipe is all about the sauce. There are several wonton sauce recipes that we make often and love. There's the classic dumpling dipping sauce, there's the sesame sauce (sooo good!), the Sichuan/Szechuan dumpling sauce, and today we have this very tasty spicy sauce!
The sauce starts with a base of chili oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. We add sugar for sweetness and then flavor it with lots of minced garlic, chili flakes, five spice, and star anise.
Don't skip the sugar! I often omit sugar when making savory recipes, but the sugar is essential for this recipe. It makes all the difference and rounds out the sauce beautifully.
The spices are essential and gives this sauce so many layers of flavor. You can really taste all the different elements.
This sauce is thicker than most other dumpling and wonton sauces because we cook it over the stove for 5-10 minutes. This cooking time does three things:
- Melts/dissolves the sugar.
- Infuses the spices into the sauce.
- Thickens the sauce.
The thicker texture of the sauce really helps it coat each wonton so nicely. Oh man, it is really delicious.
Pro Tip: Make double (or triple) the recipe and keep the sauce in the fridge. The sauce keeps for a week so you can use it all week long for wonton lunches and dinners.
Whenever we visit a city with a location of Din Tai Fung, we make sure to stop by for lunch/dinner. In addition to their famous soup dumplings, we always order the Wontons with House Spicy Sauce. This recipe was inspired by that wonton dish and adapted from What To Cook Today.
You can use any type of wontons or dumplings for this recipe.
If you plan to make wontons at home, try our simple Pork Wontons recipe.
I fold 100-200 of these wontons at a time (it's a fun weekend afternoon activity), and freeze them in small bags of 20. When we want a quick and simple home cooked dinner after a long day the wontons are waiting for us in the freezer. Just boil, toss with the sauce, and eat ^_^
Or you can buy frozen wontons or dumplings (which we do at Costco Hawaii), no judgement!
Here's what you'll need:
- Chili oil
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Chili flakes
- Five spice powder
- Star anise
- Green onion
- Wontons, fresh or frozen - this is our go-to wonton recipe
Step by Step Directions
Let's get cooking!
Make the sauce.
First make the sauce. In a small pot, mix together the chili oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, minced garlic, chili flakes, five spice powder, and star anise.
Cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is melted and the mixture is infused with all the spices and star anise. It should smell really good! Remove from heat.
Let the spicy sauce cool and then discard the star anise. Set aside.
Cook the wontons.
Next, cook the wontons. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the wontons. Cook for about 2-3 minutes for fresh wontons and 5-6 minutes for frozen wontons.
Use a strainer to remove the wontons and slide them into a bowl. Place 10 wontons in a bowl.
Note: I usually serve 10 wontons per person, but feel free to serve more or less depending on how hungry you are and if you plan to serve any other dishes with the wontons. I like to serve vegetable dish on the side to make it a complete meal.
Plate and enjoy.
Top with 1-2 tablespoons of the spicy wonton sauce and chopped green onions. Gently mix. Eat and enjoy!
Note: There are many different ways to plate the dish. You can spoon the sauce on top of the wontons, mix and eat.
Or you can put the sauce in the bottom of a bowl and then top it with the wontons. Depending on how big your bowl is, the sauce gets pushed up the sides of the bowl so you can see it peeking out. That's how they serve it at Din Tai Fung.
Some people also like to serve the sauce in a side bowl for dipping. All ways are correct and delicious.
FAQs and Tips
Store any leftover sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The sauce keeps for about 1 week. Stir before using.
You can make both the spicy sauce and the wontons ahead of time. But don't cook the wontons or combine with the sauce until right before serving.
This is a wonderful dish for meal prep. I make large batches of wontons and keep them in the freezer. I also make a big potion of the spicy sauce and keep that in the fridge. Whenever you're hungry, you can put together the meal in under 10 minutes! Just boil the wontons and top with the sauce.
Spicy Wontons Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- First make the sauce. In a small pot, mix together the chili oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, minced garlic, chili flakes, five spice powder, and star anise.
- Cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is melted and the mixture is infused with all the spices and star anise. It should smell really good! Remove from heat. Let the spicy sauce cool and then discard the star anise. Set aside.
- Next, cook the wontons. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the wontons. Cook for about 2-3 minutes for fresh wontons and 5-6 minutes for frozen wontons. Use a strainer to remove the wontons and slide them into a bowl. Place 10 wontons in a bowl.
- Top with 1-2 tablespoons of the spicy sauce and the chopped green onions. Gently mix. Eat and enjoy!
- Store any leftover sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The sauce keeps for about 1 week. Stir before using.
- Recipe adapted from What To Cook Today.