‘Top Chef’ Winner Mei Lin’s Recipe for Spicy Wontons With Squid-Ink Dough

Mei Lin, the winner of Bravo's "Top Chef" season 12, took Jessica Holmes into a test kitchen and showed her how to make and serve spicy wontons. The wontons feature a pork-and-chive filling inside a dough with squid ink. Chili oil and two vinaigrettes round out this dish with a flavorful kick.

This is a web exclusive segment for KTLA's California Cooking: Episode 11.

Mei Lin's new restaurant in Los Angeles is Nightshade. More information can be found here: NightShadeLA.com. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @MeiLin21.

Here's the recipe for spicy wontons:

Chili oil (alternately, using store-bought chili oil is okay)

  • 1 cup shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup baby anchovies
  • 1 1/2 cups chile de arbol
  • 1/8 cup sesame seeds (not toasted)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup fish sauce
  • 1  1/2 quarts grapeseed oil
  1. In a food processor, pulse the shallots until fine, ands do the same with the garlic separately.
  2. In a 6-quart pot, add the grapeseed oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the shallots until it gets toasty, remove and reserve. Do the same for the garlic. Add the chilies, anchovies, sesame and sugar and continue to cook for 20 minutes until it's a jam-like consistency. Add the shallots and garlic back and and finish with the fish sauce.

Sesame vinaigrette (again, store-bought is OK)

  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a high speed blender, blend all the ingredients together until emulsified.

Vinaigrette to finish the wontons

  • 1/2 cup of chili oil
  • 1/4 cup of coma vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar (or rice vinegar will do)

Pork-and-chive filling

  • 1 pound 70/30 ground pork
  • 1/2 pound garlic chives
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, minced
  • 1/4 cup ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  1. Combine together in a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Place the contents in a pastry bag for easier distribution.

Squid-ink dough (or store bought is ok)

  • 2 cups 00 flour, well packed
  • 1 1/4 cups egg yolks (18 to 20 yolks)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons squid ink
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (1/4 oz./6 g) extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Mix yolks, squid ink and olive oil together until incorporated.
  2. Combine flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix briefly to combine.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture. Turn mixer to low speed until combined. Remove paddle and attach dough hook; knead on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until dough, while it might appear crumbly, will stick together when squeezed. If your dough seems particularly, add a teaspoon or two of milk until dough just comes together. Alternatively, if it’s still sticky, knead in some more flour until it’s nice and smooth.
  4. Press dough into a ball; split in half and shape each half into a squashed ball. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest at cool room temperature for an hour, or in the fridge for longer (let return to room temperature for 30 minutes prior to rolling).
  5. Attach the flat roller to your mixer (or follow manufacturer’s instructions for other pasta rollers). Adjustment roller thickness to 1 (the thickest setting).
  6. Cut each dough ball into quarters. Using your hand, press and flatten one piece of dough to about 3/8-inch thick. Turn on the mixer to low speed and feed dough through rollers.
  7. Dust off excess flour and then fold the rolled dough into thirds, keeping the width of the piece approximately 4-5 inches. Lightly dust with more flour as needed, then feed the dough through again. Repeat this rolling and folding process once or twice more until the dough is smooth (you are basically kneading the dough and establishing the shape/width of the dough).
  8. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.