Wonton soup is Chinese comfort in a bowl featuring delicious wonton dumplings in a flavorful broth. It’s not difficult to make and if you have a little foresight you can make enough for a future meal or two.
Homemade is the best
When I first moved to Boston I had a craving for wonton soup. At that time, Asian ingredients were less available outside of Chinatown and a trip there involved more than (I thought) I was willing to go through for wonton soup.
I found a Chinese restaurant nearby and decided to place an order – big mistake. The dumplings consisted of pieces of shrimp in a dumpling wrapper, nothing more. These weren’t the flavorful pork and shrimp wontons I was expecting. It made me wonder what a Bostonian expected, maybe this was typical? It didn’t matter, from that point on, I was going to make my own.
Channel your inner Dumpling Ninja
The most time consuming part of this dish is prepping the filling and wrapping the wontons. But those things shouldn’t stop you from making this soup.
I have memories of going to Chinatown and seeing the old Chinese ladies sitting around a table chatting and laughing while they folded dumplings. Their hands were a blur, making quick work of whichever dumpling they were making.
Nowadays, it’s more likely that you’ll find my sister and me in front of the television, big trays on our laps, doing the same thing. Our range is limited but if you put dumpling wrappers and a bowl of filling in front of us, we will turn them into dumplings ready for cooking.
How to fold wonton “mom’s way”
While I’m sure there is a reason why wontons for soup should be folded in a particular way I’m going to incur my ancestors’ wrath and say, it probably doesn’t matter that much. If you want do a simple triangle or rectangle fold – that’s great. In the end it won’t matter much when they cook. However, here is the way my mom taught me to fold wontons.
Step 1: Place a couple of teaspoons of filling in the center of a wrapper. Moisten the edges with a little water and fold into a triangle.
Step 2: Grab the two points and twist them around to form a little boat. Use a little more water to stick the corners together.
And that’s it. Set them aside, lightly covered with plastic wrap, until the broth is ready.
How to make the broth
In a pot combine chicken broth and aromatics. Allow to come to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove the ginger and garlic, taste, and adjust the seasonings. After that, add your wonton to the broth, wait until they float then cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Many recipes will have you boil the wonton separately in plain water. I prefer to cook them in the broth for more flavor.
Your broth will look lighter or darker depending on how much soy sauce is added. Some people will lightly season the broth, leaving it to the person eating to determine how much soy sauce they prefer.
A simple garnish of sliced scallions and chopped cilantro is all that’s needed but you can also add slices of char siu or quartered baby bok choy.
If you are going to make wonton it’s worth making a double or triple batch so you can use them for a future meal. After forming the wonton, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the wonton in a single layer, not touching. Place the pan in the freezer until the wonton are frozen through then transfer to a zip top bag for storage.
When you are ready to use the frozen wonton, do not defrost first, just use them straight from the freezer. Add them to your boiling stock and wait for the stock to return to a boil (the frozen wonton will drop them temperature quickly). Once the wonton start to float, cook for another 1-2 minutes.Print
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 1x
This is a warm and satisfying Chinese dumpling soup. Make and freeze a large batch of the wontons for an easy weeknight meal.
For the wontons
60 wonton wrappers
8 ounces ground pork
8 ounces shrimp, peeled, cleaned, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
2 green onions, finely chopped (about 5 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing wine (can substitute Mirin)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame oil, toasted
For the broth
3 cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2” piece of ginger, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing wine (can substitute Mirin)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
To make the wontons
Place all the wonton ingredients except the wrappers in a bowl and stir vigorously to combine. You can use your hand like a paddle to mix and blend the ingredients together. The mixture should be pasty, not crumbly.*
Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Wet the edges of two adjoining sides of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle, gently pushing out any air around the filling before sealing.Take the two opposing points of the triangle and fold around the filling. Using a little water, press the front of one corner to the back of the other corner to form a boat shape.**
Set wontons aside, lightly covered with plastic wrap, while you make the broth.
To make the broth
Place broth ingredients in a pot over high heat.
Bring broth to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 5 – 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Strain out the ginger and garlic pieces.
To finish the soup
Bring broth back to a boil. Place wontons in broth and cook for 4 minutes or until they float. Spoon broth and wontons into serving bowls.
Garnish with char siu, green onions, and cilantro. You could also add noodles and blanched vegetables to serve as wonton min (wonton noodle soup).
Serve with soy sauce and Chinese hot mustard, if desired.
*Unlike a meatball or meatloaf you don’t need to worry about overworking the filling. You want to breakdown the fat in the pork. This method helps the filling bind together without the use of egg or cornstarch.
**Wontons may be frozen at this stage. Don’t put them in the refrigerator (the wrappers will absorb moisture from the filling and get mushy). Place wontons, not touching each other, on a parchment-lined tray. Freeze solid then store dumplings in zip top freezer bags for later use.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Soup, Dumplings
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Calories: 316.34
- Sugar: 1.54 g.
- Sodium: 949.48 mg.
- Fat: 10.73 g.
- Saturated Fat: 2.93 g.
- Carbohydrates: 35.23 g.
- Fiber: 1.19 g.
- Protein: 16.94 g.
- Cholesterol: 72.87 g.
Keywords: pork, shrimp, soup