Get ready for some amazing Beef Wonton! These little pockets of appetizers are filled with tasty ground beef and spices, making every bite super delicious.
These wontons are a bit crisp at the bottom and perfectly tender and juicy after steaming. Serve them with my homemade wonton sauce, and for those sensitive to gluten, try my homemade gluten-free wonton wrappers. You’ll love how easy and delicious they are!
Ready to dive into the delicious world of wonton beef recipe? Each ingredient in this recipe plays a special role, from adding depth of flavor to creating the perfect texture. Let’s explore what goes into making these mouth-watering morsels and why each component is key to the dish’s success.
- Warm water: Used to infuse flavors from other ingredients, creating a richly flavored liquid that’s added to the beef for moisture and taste.
- Spring onions: Add a fresh, slightly sharp flavor to the beef and also bring a pop of color and texture to the dish.
- Whole Star anise: Imparts a sweet, licorice-like flavor, adding depth and warmth to the overall taste profile.
- Whole Sichuan peppercorns: Contribute a unique aroma and a tingling, slightly numbing sensation, enhancing the dish’s complexity.
- Ginger: Offers a sharp, spicy kick that complements the beef and adds freshness to the wontons.
- Ground beef (80% lean; 20% fat): Provides the main body and rich flavor of the filling, with a balance of lean and fat for juiciness.
- Egg white: Acts as a binding agent, helping to keep the filling cohesive and tender.
- Oyster sauce: Offers a savory depth with a hint of sweetness and umami, enriching the beef’s flavor. Can also use Vegetarian oyster sauce.
- Light soy sauce: Brings a salty, umami quality without overpowering the other flavors.
- Dark soy sauce: Adds color and a slightly sweeter, more intense soy flavor compared to light soy sauce. See my Chinese pantry staples for gluten-free brands I use.
- Coarse sea salt: Enhances the overall flavor profile of the filling.
- White pepper: Provides a subtle, earthy heat, different from the sharper bite of black pepper.
- Shiitake Mushroom seasoning (or chicken bouillon), optional: Adds an extra layer of umami and depth, if used.
- Toasted sesame oil: Introduces a rich, nutty aroma and taste, rounding out the flavor complexity.
- Olive oil: Helps to keep the filling moist and adds a subtle richness.
- Wonton wrappers, square shape: The base for wrapping the filling, their texture allows for a delicate yet crisp bite when cooked. For gluten-free people, use my homemade gluten-free wonton wrappers.
- Avocado oil (for cooking): A high-smoke-point oil ideal for pan-searing the wontons.
- Chive and Fresh Cilantro (for garnish): Add a fresh, herbaceous note and a vibrant visual appeal to the finished dish.
- Wonton sauce: Complements the wontons with additional flavor, usually a mix of savory, sweet, and spicy notes and a touch of vinegar flavor.
Substitutions and variations
- Wonton Fillings: Not a ground beef fan? No problem! Try using ground pork, or shrimp, or go Vegetarian with chopped shiitake mushrooms and firm tofu. Fancy something sweet? How about dessert-style wontons with cream cheese? For more creative ideas, check out my wonton filling ideas (coming soon)!
- Different Ways to Fold Wontons: Want to wrap your wontons in a more fun way? Explore my guide on how to fold wontons with 6 different styles and add an extra twist to your cooking.
- No Sichuan Peppercorns and/or Star Anise?: It’s okay to Skip the Sichuan peppercorns. If you have it, add a small pinch of ground star anise powder to the warm water. Alternatively, use a blend of ground cinnamon powder with cloves for a similar aromatic effect.
- Other Cooking Methods: Want to try something different? Boil the wontons and add them to beef wonton soup. For soup-friendly shapes, see my wonton egg drop soup recipe for inspiration on folding techniques that are perfect for soup broth.
How to make ground beef wontons
Now that we’ve got our flavorful ingredients ready, let’s roll up our sleeves and start making these irresistible steamed wontons! The process is simpler than you might think, and I’ll guide you through each step to ensure your wontons turn out perfectly every time.
- Flavoring the Water: Warm the water and mix with chopped white part of green onions, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, and ginger. Squeeze and massage the aromatics in the water, then cool to room temperature. Strain and keep the flavored water.
- Preparing the Beef Filling: In a bowl, combine ground beef and egg white. Gradually add the flavored water in four parts, stirring constantly in one direction. Then, mix in dark and light soy sauces, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, shiitake mushroom seasoning, and both sesame and olive oils until the mixture is sticky. Finally, stir in chopped scallions.
- Wrapping the Wontons: Place a small amount of beef mixture filling on a square wonton wrapper. Moisten edges with water, lift two opposite corners to meet above the filling, then seal the other two corners to form a star shape.
- Cooking the Wontons: In a nonstick large pan, heat avocado oil over medium-low heat. Add wontons, flat side down, and pan-sear until crispy (about 2-3 minutes). Add a bit of water, cover, and steam for about 3 minutes until the filling is cooked (internal temperature should reach 160F/70C). Uncover and evaporate any excess moisture.
- Serving: Transfer wontons to a plate, drizzle with wonton sauce, and garnish with chopped chive and cilantro. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
How to keep ground beef wonton filling moist and tender
- Choose Fattier Ground Beef: Opt for ground beef with 80% lean and 20% fat. This higher fat content ensures your wontons are juicy and flavorful.
- Add Egg White: Incorporating egg white is crucial as it adds moisture and helps keep the meat silky and tender. It acts as a binder, making the filling smooth.
- Use Fragrant Warm Water: Avoid cold water, as it tightens the meat. Also, steer clear of boiling water to prevent precooking the meat. The sweet spot is room-temperature water infused with aromatics and herbs. This flavored water imparts its taste into the meat and rehydrates it, enhancing both flavor and texture just like how the wontons are made in China.
- Herbs in Water for Dual Benefits: When you add peppercorns, star anise, and ginger to the water, it’s not just for taste. This trick keeps the filling smooth because the meat gets the herb flavors from the water. That way, you don’t have to put the actual herbs in the meat.
- Incorporate Olive and Toasted Sesame Oil: These oils are added to the ground meat to seal in moisture. They contribute to a richer flavor and prevent the filling from drying out, maintaining its tender texture.
How to make ahead, store, freeze, and reheat
Planning to savor these steamed wontons later? No problem! Let’s talk about how you can easily prepare them in advance, store them for future meals, freeze them for long-term use, and reheat them to enjoy anytime.
- Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare your wonton filling a day in advance. This will cut down your prep time. Just cover the container or bowl tightly with saran wrap and pop it in the fridge overnight.
- Storing and Freezing Wontons: It’s easy to freeze these wontons for later! Spread them out on a large lined sheet pan, leaving some space between each one. This is called flash freezing. Freeze them like this for 2 hours or until they’re solid. After that, just transfer the frozen wontons to a freezer-friendly bag. The best part? You can cook them straight from frozen, no defrosting needed!
- Reheating Cooked Wontons: Got leftovers? No problem. To reheat, place the wontons in a microwave-safe bowl, add half a tablespoon of water (this helps to steam them), and cover. Heat them on medium in the microwave for about 1 minute or until they’re warm all the way through.
What to serve with ground beef wontons
Ready to round out your Beef Wonton meal with the perfect accompaniments? From zesty sauces to hearty noodles and fresh veggies, these pairings will take your wonton experience to a whole new level. Let’s explore these delicious options!
- Dipping sauces: Choose from classic Wonton dipping sauce for a traditional touch, Shacha sauce for a unique Taiwanese flavor, spicy Garlic chili sauce for a kick, or sweet Egg roll sauce for a fruity sweet flavor.
- Pair with Noodles: Pair your wontons with Spicy peanut noodles for heat, Garlic chili noodles for boldness, Stir fried Shanghai rice cake, or Rice paper noodles for a lighter accompaniment.
- Serve with vegetables: Balance your meal with the refreshing crunch of Spicy cucumber salad, the softness of Chinese steamed eggplant salad, or the familiar taste of Steamed bok choy with garlic oyster sauce.
- Choose the Right Beef: Select ground beef with an 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio. This ensures your wontons are juicy and full of flavor.
- Egg White Magic: Add an egg white to your filling. It helps bind the ingredients together, making the filling smooth and tender.
- Flavorful Water Technique: Use room temperature water infused with aromatics like star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, and ginger. This adds depth to the filling’s flavor and keeps it moist.
- Stir in One Direction: When mixing the filling, consistently stir in one direction. This technique develops the right texture, making the filling sticky and elastic.
- Oil for Moisture: Incorporate olive and toasted sesame oil into the filling. Oils help seal in moisture, keeping the wontons tender.
- Taste test first before wrapping: You can pan fry a small amount of the wonton filling with meat first before wrapping the whole batch.
- Wonton Wrapper Dampness: Keep your wonton wrappers covered with a damp cloth while working. This prevents them from drying out.
- Sealing Wontons Properly: Ensure the edges of the wontons are sealed tightly to prevent them from opening while cooking.
- Don’t Overfill: Use just the right amount of filling (1 to 1.5 teaspoons) – too much can cause the wontons to burst during cooking.
- Cooking Technique: Pan-sear first for a crispy bottom, then steam to cook the filling thoroughly while keeping it juicy.
- Freezing Method: Flash freeze uncooked wontons before storing them in the freezer. This keeps them from sticking together and maintains their shape.
- Reheating Leftovers: Steam reheated wontons with a bit of water in the microwave to restore their moisture and warmth.
Chinese wontons typically consist of a thin dough square wrapper filled with a mixture of seasoned meat (usually pork), seafood, or vegetables, often served in broth, with chili sauce, or fried.
Wonton meat filling is usually made of ground pork, sometimes combined with shrimp, chicken, or beef, seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and other spices for flavor.
Place a small amount of filling (typically 1 tsp) in the center of a wonton wrapper, moisten the edges with water, fold, and press edges together to seal, forming your desired shape.
More Chinese wonton and dumpling recipes you might like
If you love wontons and dumplings, check out these related dishes, each offering its unique twist on classic flavors. Dive into these recipes for more delicious adventures!
- Wonton Egg Drop Soup: A comforting soup featuring wontons made with a blend of shrimp and ground pork, served in a savory, delicious broth. Perfect for a cozy meal.
- Shrimp Wontons: Experience the delight of these shrimp wontons, boiled to perfection and then tossed in a tantalizing spicy dipping sauce for a flavor-packed treat.
- Rice Paper Dumplings: These crispy veggie dumplings, pan-seared to a golden crisp, are a delight. They’re air fryer friendly too, making them a perfect, healthier snack or side dish.
Beef wonton recipe
For beef wontons:
- 12 tbsp warm water
- 2 whole spring onions, divided (Half of one whole white scallion part, lightly pounded and roughly chopped to add to the water; the remaining ones finely chopped to add to the meat)
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 tsp Whole Sichuan peppercorns
- 0.25 oz ginger, julienned
- 1 lb ground beef, 80% lean; 20 % fat
- 1 whole egg white
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce, or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce, or coconut aminos
- ½ tbsp dark soy sauce, or coconut aminos
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- ⅛ tsp White pepper
- 1/2 tsp Takii Shiitake mushroom seasoning, or chicken bouillon, optional
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 45 pieces wonton wrappers, square shape, either yellow or white colored
To season the ground beef:
- Heat up the water in a kettle to warm temperature. In the meantime, take one spring onion and separate the white and green parts. Roughly chop the white part and transfer into a small bowl. For the remainder of the spring onions, finely chop them. Set aside to use later.
- Add the star anise, sichuan peppercorns, and ginger to the small bowl with the roughly chopped white scallion part. Add the warm water to the bowl and use your hands to gently squeeze and massage the aromatics for 1 minute so the flavor can soak into the water. Set it aside to cool to room temperature. We are going to discard the aromatics and save the flavored water only. Strain the water through a sieve and discard the aromatics.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef and egg white. Gradually add-in the flavored water, divided to 4 times, while stirring the beef in one single direction. Each time as you pour in a small amount smooth, the ground beef will absorb the liquid. Continue to stir in one single direction until all the water is poured in and absorbed.
- Then, add the seasonings – dark and light soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, mushroom seasoning, and sesame and olive oil. Keep stirring in the same direction until the mixture is well combined and feels a bit sticky with some elasticity, about 2-3 minutes. The oil will help seal in the moisture.
- Finally, add the chopped scallions both green and white parts. Stir and mix again then cover the bowl and set it aside in the fridge. TIP: You can do this up to a day in advance or a few hours the same day.
To wrap the wontons (Pyramid fold):
- Start with a square wonton wrapper and add 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of the ground beef filling into the center. Dap the wrapper with a small amount of water along the edge then take two opposite corners of the wrapper and lift them up to meet above the filling. Pinch just the tips of these corners together, leaving the rest unsealed for now.
- Next, grab the remaining two corners, lifting them towards the pinched point. Gently seal these corners with the already pinched tips, forming a gathered top. This creates a unique, four-pointed star shape.
- Set them aside in a large lined baking sheet pan.
To cook the wontons (Pan sear and steam from fresh):
- In a large, ideally 12-inch wide, nonstick pan, preheat over medium-low heat until it feels warm.
- Add 1 tbsp oil, carefully add the wontons with flat side down and leave some space between them. Pan fry over medium heat until the bottom turn crisp brown, about 2- 3 minutes then, add ¼ cup room temperature water and immediately cover the pan and lower heat to medium-low.
- Steam the dumplings until the filling is cooked through at the center, about 3 minutes. You can also test the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should read at least 160F (70C) when inserted near the center where the filling is.
- Uncover, and cook for 1 extra minute to evaporate the moisture in the pan.
- Carefully transfer the wontons, using a spatula, to a large serving plate. Drizzle with wonton sauce and garnish with chive and cilantro, if using. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
- To make ahead: Prepare your wonton filling a day in advance. This will cut down your prep time. Just cover the container or bowl tightly with saran wrap and pop it in the fridge overnight.
- Storing and Freezing uncooked wontons: Once wrapped, Spread them out on a large lined sheet pan, leaving some space between each one. Freeze them like this for 2 hours or until they’re solid. After that, just transfer the frozen wontons to a freezer-friendly bag. You can cook them straight from frozen, no defrosting is needed!
- Reheating Cooked Wontons: Place the wontons in a microwave-safe bowl, add half a tablespoon of water (this helps to steam them), and cover. Heat them on medium in the microwave for about 1 minute or until they’re warm all the way through.
- To cook the wontons from frozen: Pan sear over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add ¼ cup water. Steam for 5 minutes. Open the lid and pan sear them further until the moisture in the pan evaporates about 1 minute. You can also test the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should read at least 160F (70C) when inserted near the center.
- To steam wontons without pan frying: Place the wontons in a large lined bamboo steamer and steam over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. The ground beef filling will be tender moist delicious.
- To boil the wontons: you can also boil the wontons and serve with my wonton sauce and a touch of garlic chili sauce. I recommend wrapping the beef wontons in a different shape that’s more suitable for boiling. See my how to fold wontons for 6 different styles of folding.
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