This Char Siu Wonton Mee is a vegan version of my papa’s favorite breakfast food from home – Kon Lou Wantan Mee (干捞云吞面, Gàn lāo yún tūn miàn).
In Malaysia, there are two main ways to order wonton noodles; one in clear soup similar to Hong Kong styled and the second is a dry version. The latter is often served with char siu, boiled or fried wontons, blanched vegetables, and paired with a pickled chile condiment.
Wonton or Wantan (Cantonese) mee is a type of yellow noodles that are usually made from egg, flour, and Kansui (枧水, jian shui) or sometimes referred to as lye water. This is the reason why it’s yellow and actually gives the noodles that springy texture.
One of the ways to prepare this type of noodle is to cook it in hot water, then rinse it over cold water, and rinse again in hot water before serving. This step is to remove the kansui taste and also give the noodles that chewy springy texture.
The chef will then toss the noodles in a special pre-made sauce usually made from soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and the chef’s secret recipe. You’ll always pair this noodle with a side of pickled green chile.
Today, we’ll see how to make this whole dish using a combination of homemade tofu char siu, vegetable wontons, and tossed noodles.
How to make Char Siu Wonton Mee
This dish is separated into a few parts and can be prepared ahead of time. The char siu in this recipe is for 2-3 servings and you can make the wontons a few days before and freeze them for later use. So, if you have prepared the char siu and wonton, you can skip to Part 3.
Part 1: Char siu
Please check out How to Make Vegan Char Siu for the full recipe. Thank you so much to all of you who made this char siu and loved it.
The char siu is made from firm tofu and coated with a layer of cornstarch before they were pan-fried until golden brown.
In the same pan, you’ll add the homemade char siu sauce and slowly coat it until the tofu absorbs all the sauce. The char siu will have a nice glossy sheen and slightly charred once they are ready.
The most important note is to allow the tofu to cool down completely before slicing into thin slices.
Part 2: Prepare the wontons
To make the wontons, we’ll use the same vegan wonton recipe with a slight change on how to pleat the dumplings.
How to wrap the wonton
Once you’ve wrapped the dumplings, lay them on a flat plate and cook them in the next step.
Note: Normally, a serving of wonton mee comes with 3-4 wontons either served along with the noodles or in a separate bowl with a clear soup. Since the wonton recipe makes about 30 wontons, you can serve them all in this dish or freeze them for future meals.
Part 3: Make the shallot oil
I love using shallot oil to make tossed noodles as the fried shallots offer a touch of sweetness to the dish. The oil is also super fragrant and makes a great base to hold any sauces.
To make the oil, add about 2 tablespoons of oil to a small pot and turn on the heat. Add the shallots.
While stirring over medium-low heat, cook shallot until they turn slightly brown. Turn off the heat and drain out the oil over a fine-mesh sieve.
Part 4: How to put them together
Before you cook the noodles, first make the sauce in a bowl.
Then, cook the noodles as directed on the package. If you are using sun noodles, first cook them in hot water.
Then, rinse in cold water and let them stay in there while you cook the wontons.
Once the wontons are ready, dish out.
Now, add the veggies to the same pot, cook for about 30 seconds. Then, add the noodles and let them cook for a few more seconds to warm it up.
Finally, top with cooked wontons and char siu for a delicious meal.
Why You Need This Vegan Char Siu Wonton (Wantan) Mee
1. This recipe is a combination of vegan char siu and wontons that you can enjoy with noodles too.
2. Delicious meal if you like to taste a little bit of everything; tofu, vegetables, wontons, and noodles
3. Easy to make – once you have the char siu and wontons ready, it only takes minutes to put them together.
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Super grateful if you can leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Char Siu Wonton Mee – Kon Lou Wantan Mee
- 2 servings of fresh noodles
- 1 large shallot 75g thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 cup of yu choy (choy sum)
Noodle sauce (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons shallot oil from above
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons vegan oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons thick caramel sauce or dark soy sauce
- splash of toasted sesame oil
- ground white pepper to taste
Tofu Char Siu
- 16 oz firm tofu drained
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- oil for cooking
Char Siu Sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegan ‘oyster’ sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- ground white pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup water
- 30 wonton wrapper
- 2 cups chopped cabbage
- 2 dried Shiitake mushrooms softened
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- 3 oz firm tofu
- ¼ teaspoon mushrooms or umami seasoning
- salt and white pepper to taste
Prepare the vegan Char Siu (BBQ Tofu)
- Combine all the char siu sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Cut tofu into 3 slabs, lengthwise. Rub all sides with cornstarch.
- Heat a non-stick pan and add in a tablespoon of oil. Using low-medium heat, pan-fry the tofu until golden brown on all sides. Tip: Do not flip the tofu until a crust is formed.
- Once the tofu is ready, add in the sauce. Coat each side with the sauce until the tofu has a nice glossy sheen. This process takes a little bit of time as you need to turn and coat each side evenly.
- Remove the tofu from the pan and let them cool down completely before slicing it into slices.
Prepare the wontons
- Heat a large non-stick pan and add in a tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté mushrooms and carrots until fragrant.
- Then add in the cabbage and cook for a minute or so (increase the cooking time if you prefer softer cabbage. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and add in the tofu. Pulse to chop the vegetables and tofu into smaller bits.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and season with salt, white pepper, mushrooms seasoning (if using), and sesame oil.
- Mix everything together until well-combined and let it cool completely.
- Now, wrap the wonton (please refer to the video for visual instruction). Take a wonton wrapper and place it on your palm or flat surface. Add a teaspoon of filling in the middle.
- Then, bring the edges together and tuck them in between your thumb and index finger. Using some pressure, press the wrapper together while slightly pushing in the filling in. This will create a tail-like dumpling with a plump filling at the bottom. Continue until you're done with the filling. You can freeze the wontons at this point or skip to the next step*.
How to put them together
- Next prepare the shallot oil: Heat a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots and stir-fry until the shallots turn slightly golden.
- Remove the pan from heat and set aside until ready to use or store the oil in a cleaned jar. Please note that the hot oil will continue to cook the shallots so turn off the heat as soon as the shallots are fully cooked through.
- Divide the noodle sauce equally into two large bowls. Set them aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a drizzle of oil.
- Slowly drop the wontons in and let them cook until they float up. Let the wontons stay afloat for a few more seconds. Dish out the wontons and place them into the bowl.
- Using the same pot, cook the noodles as directed. I rinsed mine in cold water to give it a springy texture.
- Now, cook the vegetables for about 30 seconds, then add the noodles back into this hot water.
- Remove both ingredients and transfer them to the bowl with sauce. Mix the noodles with sauce and then top with wontons and char siu. Serve warm with pickled chile.
- This recipe is a combination of the char siu and wonton in red chile oil recipe. I added them all here for easy reference.
- Please note that the wonton is wrapped slightly differently than the previous post, so choose your favorite pleating method.
- The noodle sauce is for 2 servings of noodles. I highly recommend separating the sauce into two bowls and cook the noodles in 1 serving.
- *Typically, wonton mee is served with 3-4 wontons either on top of the noodles or separately along with a bowl of soup.