Huntuns are simply dumplings, well-known in the West mostly by their Cantonese name, wontons. The skins (usually made from wheat) are filled with meat or fish or vegetables in a seasoned sauce. They are in the xiao chi (“small eats”) repertory but are also found as part of complete menus. The filling and sauce will vary with the region and the season. I discovered this version at a delightful shop in Chengdu, Sichuan, that specialises in dumplings. The authentic taste requires these wontons to be hot and spicy, but you may tone this down a little bit by reducing the amount of chilli oil.
Combine the pork, egg, sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.
Then, using a teaspoon, put a small amount of the filling in the center of each wonton skin. Bring up two sides, dampen the edges with a little water, and pinch them together to seal. Continue until you have used up all the filling or wonton skins.
In a large serving bowl, combine the garlic, onions, soy sauce, sugar, chilli oil, vinegar, and pepper. Stir to mix well.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Put in the wontons and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon to the serving bowl.
Mix gently with the sauce, garnish with peppercorns, and serve at once.
© 1990 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.