Craving your favorite Asian takeout, but tight on funds? These budget-friendly Vegetable Tofu Wontons in Chili Oil are exactly what you need! Perfect as an easy appetizer or weeknight dinner, this cheap healthy meal is simple to make and packed with flavor!
Meal Prep Wontons for an easy weeknight dinner!
Weeknight dinner might get challenging to plan and make each day of the week. If you are into meal planning, wontons should make it to your list. I like to make my wontons over the weekend and freeze them. On a busy weeknight, I steam them and enjoy them with soup or noodles because it takes under 15 minutes to serve them. And yes, that’s with this freshly-made chili oil sauce as well!
The difference between Potstickers, Wontons, and Gyozo:
Dumpling is the umbrella term used to describe pieces of dough that envelope meat or vegetable filling. There are three categories of dumplings; Potstickers, Wontons, and Gyozo classified based on country of origin, style of cooking, and type and thickness of the dough.
Potstickers are pan-fried dumplings filled with meat, vegetable, or tofu. Wonton describes steamed dumplings made from thicker square wrappers and served with soup or with soupy noodles. Gyozo is the Japanese variation of dumplings made from thinner round wrappers and steamed to perfection.
How to make Vegetable Tofu Wontons in Chili Oil:
For those who believe that wontons need to have some form of meat; this recipe will surely make you change your mind. Because these Vegan wontons have just tofu and vegetables; they are easier to make, but just as delightful to enjoy. Plus, the chili oil – an important ingredient in this recipe – takes only a couple of minutes to make. No more store-bought chili oil for me, how about you?
The recipe below is easy to customize because you can decide what vegetables to use based on what you have in the refrigerator. You can customize the filling and change it each time you make the wontons. This is amazing as most vegetables and proteins work great in the recipe. Use your favorite spices to make the chili oil. Bay leaves, star anise, ginger, scallions, and garlic work really well in the oil; so you can mix and match the spices to get different flavors each time.
Customize for a cheap healthy meal!
In this recipe I used sesame oil to make the chili oil. However, any neutral oil like vegetable or sunflower can be used. I added star anise, bay leaf, garlic, and toasted sesame seeds, but you can pick and choose the spices you like!
For the filling I used a mix of vegetables, tofu, and ginger. Again, choose your favorites to make this! Do not forget to press the tofu between paper towels to dry the tofu. You do not want the filling to be soggy.
Looking for more Asian dumpling recipes? Try these:
Next time that Asian takeout craving hits, make these steamed wontons at home. They’re simple, delicious, and most importantly, made at home with ingredients that are good for you!
- 1/4 cup Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 2 tsp Chili Flakes (I used Sichuan flakes)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Star Anise
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 inch piece ginger
- 12-15 Square Wonton Wrappers
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup minced cabbage
- 1/2 cup minced firm tofu
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- Water to seal the wonton
- Sesame Oil 1 tsp
- Chinese Five Spice 1/2 tsp
- Salt and Black Pepper powder to taste
- Scallions to top
- In a bowl add all the ingredients for the oil except ginger and oil.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pan.
- Add the ginger piece and let it turn golden brown. The ginger is used to determine the correct temperature of the oil.
- Once golden brown, add the ginger and oil to the spices.
- Mix well and set aside.
- In a pan heat oil.
- Add ginger and sauté till fragrant. Then add tofu and sauté till it is dry.
- Add in the vegetables and season with five spice, salt, and pepper. Mix and let the mixture cook till the moisture evaporates.
- Turn down the flame and let the filling cool.
- Using a square wrapper, add 1 tsp of filling and fold the wonton. Repeat for the remaining wrappers and set aside. Keep them covered with a moist towel while folding the other wontons.
- Heat water in a pan. Place a bamboo steamer on it. Arrange the wontons in a single layer, leaving some space between them.
- Cover and steam for 10 minutes, remove and serve tossed in chili oil and scallions.
Home Chef Tip: These wontons freeze really well for weeknight dinners. Fold the wontons and place them on a cookie tray. Freeze them and remove. Transfer to a box or bag and return to the freezer. These wontons do not need thawing. Place frozen wontons on a bamboo steamer and steam.
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We hope you enjoy these Vegetable Tofu Wontons from SoFabFood Home Chef, Smruti from Herbivore Cucina, as much as we do. If you love this recipe, you can find more like it by visiting our Vegetarian Section. For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!