Wonton Soup

Wonton Soup

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A bowl of wonton soup is so hearty that I can eat one at any time of day and in any season of the year. Even though the dish looks intimidating to make, it is surprisingly easy once you try it out.

There are many ways to prepare wonton filling and soup. For example, you can use ground chicken to make chicken wonton soup, use ground beef to make beef wonton soup, or add noodles into the soup to make Cantonese-style wonton noodle soup. You can even use hot sauce as a base to make Sichuan-style spicy wontons.

In this post, I want to introduce the most basic and classic version – it uses ground pork, shrimp, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, and a drizzle of sesame oil to make a rich and flavorful filling that tastes so, so good. This is how we Northerners make wontons. We like to add plenty of aromatics and seasonings to make the filling very rich, so the wontons taste great, even by themselves.

How to make wonton soup 1. Prepare the filling (with and without a food processor) In a Chinese kitchen, home cooks always hand-chop all the ingredients. This is because most Chinese families do not own a food processor. Plus, many people enjoy the texture that is made by hand chopping.

If you want to make the prep easier, you can totally use a food processor or a blender to mix the filling. In this case, you can simply slice the ginger and green onion into coarse pieces. Add all the filling ingredients except the shrimp into a food processor. Process until it forms a silky paste. Then add the shrimp and blend until the shrimp are finely chopped, but do not turn into a paste.

2. Wrap the wontons The simplest way is to roll up the filling in a wrapper and press both loose ends together to lock in the filling

There’s a good chance that the wrapper will not be sticky enough and you’ll have trouble pressing the ends together. To solve this problem, you can brush some water onto the edges of the wrapper with your finger, so the wrapper will stay together while cooking.

Here is a short video I made to show you four ways to wrap wontons.

3. Prepare soup base I introduced two types of wonton broth in the recipe below.

My old wonton soup recipe (published May 26th, 2014) introduced a traditional Chinese street vendor style soup base. It uses papery dried shrimp, dried seaweed, a bit of chicken bouillon, some soy sauce, and a touch of sesame oil to turn the wonton boiling water into a simple and tasty soup that’s full of umami.

However, after moving to the US, I did find it more difficult to find the ingredients to make the Northern-style soup. That’s why I added another chicken-broth-based soup base with easy ingredients that you can get in most grocery stores.

4. Put everything together Once you’ve wrapped the wontons and made the soup, all you need to do is boil the wontons and assemble the bowls. I love to wrap my wontons in a big batch and freeze them in small portions, so I can have freshly made wonton soup ready in 5 minutes on a busy weekday.

Cooking notes 1. How to choose wonton wrappers Always use the square-shaped wrappers that are designed for making wontons. I love to use the Hong-Kong-style wonton wrappers, because of their beautiful yellow color. I always use the brand shown in the picture below when I can find them. I avoid using wonton wrappers that are too small (if edge is less than 3.5” or 8.5 cm) or too thin (the type sometimes labeled as for wontons or shumai), because they can be difficult to work with and fall apart easily.

2. Why does the filling look wet? When you add all the filling ingredient into a bowl, it might look like you’ve added too many liquid ingredients. Do not panic! This is one of the traditional Chinese ways to create a juicy filling, by beating liquid ingredients into the meat. You should mix the ground meat in a circular motion until it forms a paste that is sticky and spongy. This means the liquid is well absorbed by the meat and the filling is firm enough to wrap.

3. Cooking time The wonton cooking time can be a bit tricky to put a number on because it can vary a lot depending on the wonton size. In general, you want to keep an eye on the pot while cooking. Once the wontons float to the top, cook 1 to 2 minutes for small wontons, and 2 to 3 minutes for bigger wontons. The wonton wrappers should look semi-transparent. If a lot of wontons start to fall apart, it might mean you’ve cooked them too long. Transfer them to a bowl immediately.

Always taste a wonton before you serve them.

4. Storage and preparation The best way to serve wonton soup is to boil the soup base and the wontons fresh, and serve them immediately after cooking. If you assemble a wonton soup but don’t finish, it will stay well in the fridge for a day. But the longer you keep it there, the mushier the wontons will become.

I understand that you might not want to cook a giant batch of wontons every time. That’s why I always recommend freezing the wrapped wontons and cooking them when you plan to serve them.

To make a single serving:

(1) Boil the number of wontons you plan to serve: 5 to 6 to serve as an appetizer, 10 to 12 to serve as a main dish.

(2) For each appetizer-sized serving, boil 1 cup of soup.

For each main-sized serving, boil 2 cups of soup.

(3) Adjust the serving size in the recipe below – if you click on the number of servings, it will show a slider. You can use the slider to adjust the serving size, and the ingredient quantity will change accordingly). Then you can see the quantity you need for each ingredient that goes into the soup base.

Note, wonton soup base is quite flexible and you can adjust it according to your taste. Add another drizzle of soy sauce if it’s not salty enough. You can also add some homemade chili oil to spice it up!

Phew! That’s everything you need to know to make a bowl of authentic wonton soup!

Cooking video I made a short video to show you just how easy it is. The video is slightly different from the recipe below because I recorded it a long time ago and it only contains the street-vendor-style soup base. But the cooking process is the same.

More dim sum recipes Chinese Beef Dumplings

How to Make Shumai (Steamed Dumplings)

Mom’s Best Pork Dumplings with Cabbage

How to Make Chinese Dumplings from Scratch

Addictive Kimchi Pork Steamed Bun

Authentic Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Cantonese Chicken Egg Roll

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

5 from 3 votes

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Wonton Soup

Prep Time

1 hr

Cook Time

5 mins

Total Time

1 hr 5 mins

A bowl of wonton soup is so hearty that I can eat one at any time of day and in any season of the year. Even though the dish looks intimidating to make, it is surprisingly easy once you try it out.

Course: Appetizer, Main

Cuisine: Chinese

Keyword: Dim Sim

Servings: 60 to 80 wontons

Calories: 259 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pack wonton wrappers (80 wrappers)
  • 4 stalks baby bok choy cut to bite-size (or 4 cups baby spinach)
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 batch cilantro, chopped (Optional)
  • 1/2 lbs (230 g) ground lean pork
  • 1/2 lbs (230 g) peeled shrimp, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 slices ginger or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 8 cups hot broth from the wonton boiling water
  • 8 tablespoons papery dried shrimp or to taste
  • 8 big pieces of dried seaweed for soup prepared according to instruction (*Footnote 1)
  • 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 8 teaspoons sesame oil
Read the whole recipe on Omnivore's Cookbook