Sweet and savory. Slippery and slick. Juicy and tender. Hot and sour. Garlicky. So. Freaking. Good. These are all words that should enter your head as you slide back a bowl of suanla chaoshou, the Sichuan-style wontons that come coated in an intensely aromatic sauce made with vinegar, garlic, and roasted chili oil. It's the sauce that brings on the contrasts with its almost overly intense flavor, thanks to sweet Chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce, and plenty of chili oil with crunchy bits of fried dried chilies.
'wonton' on Serious Eats
Sweet and savory. Slippery and slick. Juicy and tender. Hot and sour. Garlicky. So. Freaking. Good. These are all words that should enter your head as you slide back a bowl of suanla chaoshou, the Sichuan-style wontons that come coated in an intensely aromatic sauce made with vinegar, garlic, and roasted chili oil.
When my sweet tooth takes hold, I want my desserts to be stuffed, sugary, dippable, and dripping. I want big flavor in small packages, and I want it fast. That's why these sweet wontons became an instant favorite of mine, and they come together in just 30 minutes.
Cinnamon sugar cream cheese wontons are the dessert dumplings of your dreams.
I never need an excuse to eat Asian noodle soups, but it being the dead of winter and the start of Chinese New Year, the timing seemed particularly good for rounding up a few of my favorites.
My favorite version of wonton soup—the version that's good enough to eat like a meal and not just an MSG headache-inducing appetizer, is the rich, shrimp and pork version served in Hong Kong. The broth, a far cry from the salty, one-dimensional versions I had as a kid, is made with chicken and pork, with a rich body and a faint aroma of the sea. The wontons are stuffed fuller than most, folded into little round parcels, filled with juicy pork and shrimp pop out as you bite through the thin, thin skins; the shrimp crunching under your teeth as you chew.
A classic wonton soup made with Chinese superior stock flavored with chicken, pork, ham, and shrimp. The wontons are stuffed with a mixture of pork and shrimp. The shrimp are brined in a solution of salt and baking soda to make them extra crisp.
If there's one takeaway that's stuck with me since my trip to China last Spring, it's that vinegar and pickling are fundamental to Sichuan cuisine--at least as fundamental as the chiles and heat that food is so well known for. It wasn't until that trip that I made a connection about a bunch of my favorite dishes at Fuloon, arguably one of the best Chinese restaurants in the Boston area: They've all got a sour component.
Wontons for dessert? You betcha. These crunchy chocolate filled envelopes are delicate, light as air, and dusted with sweet Chinese five spice.
[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]...