Wonton soup has long been one of my favorite foods.

It was one of the only things I ate a small child and I have many fond memories of my small self, kneeling on a chair at our round laminate kitchen table, meticulously wrapping wonton for dinner. I would always make the wonton extra tiny.

I loved eating wonton wrappers, more so the the wonton filling, and my wonton would be 10 percent meat and 90 percent wrapper. They didn’t look anything like the wonton my family would order by the bowlfuls on the weekends at our local wonton congee noodle restaurant, but I loved making those misshapen, wonky wontons.

wonton soup | www.iamafoodblog.com

To me a bowl of wonton soup is all about comfort. It brings me back to when my teenage best friend and I would have hour-long discussions on why her grandpa’s chicken wontons were the best thing she’s ever eaten, to when Mike and I spent a whole day in Hong Kong eating and rating bowls of wonton noodle soup on an intricate five point-five-value scale, to late night 3 am emergency bowls of wonton with friends.

Biting into a wonton is biting into life.

wonton soup recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make wonton soup

  1. Make the broth. Bring the broth ingredients to a simmer and let infuse.
  2. Cook the wonton. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. When at a rapid boil, gently drop in the wonton and stir to stop them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The wonton will sink down at first and then start to float as the water comes back up to a boil and they are cooked through. Take one and cut it open to make sure, then scoop out all of the cooked wonton.
  3. Serve. Ladle the broth into a bowl. Add the wontons and finish with scallions. Enjoy!

What does wonton soup taste like?

The soup itself is a clear bullion (made from pork or chicken) that is rich and flavorful with hints of shrimp, ginger, and toasted sesame oil.

The wonton dumplings are like a meatball wrapped in a thin dumpling skin: firm, yet soft and juicy seasoned with ginger, scallions, and soy sauce.

wonton | www.iamafoodblog.com

What are wonton?

Wonton are Chinese dumpling filled with meat, typically served in a flavorful clear broth or dressed in sauce. Unlike most other Chinese dumplings, wonton wrappers are squares or trapezoids. The wrappers are slippery, thin, and supple. Wontons are usually filled with ground pork, shrimp, and aromatics. They’re incredibly popular, both as a snack, side dish, or meal. They’re served at home, in restaurants, as night market street food, You can make them at home easily and they also sell them premade, frozen, in lots of grocery stores. Weirdly, you can even get them on Amazon. But the best is homemade, which is what we’re doing here.

cooked wonton | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make wonton filling

Wonton fillings are where it’s at! Everyone and their grandma has a secret recipe for fillings. Usually when you get wonton the filling is ground pork with shrimp, but nowadays there are MILLIONS of filling combinations.

The simplest way to make wonton filling is to put everything in a bowl and mix it up. Here are some tips:

  • Protein. Wontons are a meat based dumpling, so it’s best to use a protein with some fat in it so the filling stays juicy and fluffy after cooking. This is why pork is so popular. Ground pork has just enough fat to protein ratio. Adding in some bouncy shrimp is a pro move because they add some textural contrast. That being said, you can use any ground meat you like (or even tofu), just know that your wonton will probably be a bit more dense if you’re using extra lean meat.
  • Aromatics and seasoning. Ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and shaoxing wine (read more about shaoxing here) are my weapons of choice to make these wontons absolutely irresistible.
  • Cornstarch. Mix together a bit of cornstarch with water then stir it into the ground pork. Stirring in a bit of cornstarch and water will make the insides of your wonton super tender. It’s the secret to juicy, tender wonton! When you stir in the water-cornstarch mix everything will come together into a homogenous paste, which is exactly what you want.

wonton soup | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to fold wonton

The simplest way (and the way I did it when I was small) is to just put 2 teaspoons of filling into the middle of a wonton wrapper and squish up the wrapper around the filling. That’s what I did in the photos in this post and they look chubby and cute. It’s the classic Hong Kong style wrapping. However, if you want a bit more pizzazz, you can try this:

  1. Lay the wonton wrapper out as as diamond. Place some filling near the corner closest to you.
  2. Fold/roll the wrapper up, enclosing the filling in a triangle.
  3. Press the sides to seal.
  4. Bring the opposite ends of the wrapper together and use a dab of water to seal.

Which wonton wrappers to buy

Wonton wrappers are always square, just look for a square package of dumpling wrappers (they’re in the fridge section). They’re supposed to be very thin, so choose the package that has the thinnest wrappers. You’ll find a better selection of dumpling wrappers at your local Asian grocery store. Some major grocery stores sell wonton wrappers as well, but they tend to be thicker.

wonton soup | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to freeze wonton

I like making a big batch of wonton and then freezing them so we have wonton on hand when we want a quick and easy meal. To freeze, just lay out the wonton in a single layer on a tray or baking sheet, not touching, and freeze until firm. Then gather them up and put them in a freezer safe bag or container. Cook from frozen, adding a couple of extra minutes on the cooking time.

What does wonton mean?

I’ve always loved wonton, mostly because of how they taste, but also because wonton in Chinese (雲吞) means swallowing clouds. They kind of do look like fluffy little delicious clouds floating in broth :)

How many wonton per person

A good rule of thumb is 8-10 as a snack/starter and 12-16 as a main.

wonton soup | www.iamafoodblog.com

How much soup per person

I would say 1 1/4 cup of soup per person is a good amount.

One last (really important) thing

There are are a lot of wonton soup recipes out there. Heck, there are actually a lot of different kinds of wonton soups in the world. That being said, if you’ve been poking around the internet and aren’t sure if the recipe you’re looking at is authentic or not, I will give you this tip: Chinese people will NEVER ever boil wontons in the soup they’re serving them in. Don’t do it!

Boiling wontons in the soup will make your soup slimy and taste weird. There’s a reason why all wonton noodle houses have at least 2 giant boiling pots: one filled boiling water for cooking wontons and one filled with that delicious broth the wontons bathe in after they’ve been cooked.

Happy wonton-ing!
xoxo steph

PS – Try these in spicy chili oil, they’re amazing

 

wonton soup recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Wonton Soup

Biting into a wonton is biting into life.
Serves 8
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients

Wonton Soup

  • 8 cups chicken stock no sodium preferred
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp optional
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce or to taste
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Wonton

  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 lb shrimp peeled, deveined, and chopped
  • 1-2 packs fresh wonton wrappers as needed

To Finish

  • 1 cup green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 lb briefly blanched leafy greens: bok choy, gailan, etc
  • 1/4 cup chili oil
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp black vinegar

Instructions

  • Make the soup: Combine the chicken stock, ginger, and dried shrimp in a stock pot over medium low heat and bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down to very low (1 to 2 bubbles) while you make the wonton.
    wonton soup | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • In a bowl, mix together the pork, ginger, scallions, soy, Shaoxing, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper. Whisk the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water and mix into the filling until the pork forms a paste. Mix in the shrimp.
    Optional: Massage the shrimp with 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing throughly, chopping, and mixing into the wonton filling.
    wonton filling | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Take a wonton wrapper and place 2 teaspoons of the meat filling near the edge. Fold/roll the wrapper up, enclosing the filling. Bring the opposite ends of the wrapper together and use a dab of water to seal. Alternatively, just wet the edges of the wrapper and bring together and pinch into a small pouch. Keep the wrappers and finished wonton covered with saran wrap as you work, to keep them from drying out.
    wrapped wonton | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Bring a second large pot of water to boil over high heat. When the water reaches a rapid boil, add in your wonton. Stir gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. They will start to float once they’re cooked through. Cook for 3-4 minutes (depending on size) or until cooked through – cut one open to check.
    cooked wonton | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Strain or scoop the solids out of the broth. Taste the broth and add in the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, to taste. Fill a bowl with the soup and add the cooked wonton and greens. Finish with scallions and enjoy!
    wonton soup | www.iamafoodblog.com

Notes

The dried shrimp, which you can find at an Asian grocery store will add a deep amount of umami to your wonton soup and make it ten thousand times better. If you don’t have any, you can skip it. I put mine in a disposable teabag for easy removal.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Wonton Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 201 Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value*
Fat 4.3g7%
Saturated Fat 0.9g6%
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 843mg37%
Potassium 724mg21%
Carbohydrates 20.1g7%
Fiber 0.8g3%
Sugar 0.1g0%
Protein 19.8g40%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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9 Comments

  1. Shawn Gryba says:

    4 stars
    Very much like mine. For a fishier flavour I add diced squid and some sambal olek for zing.

  2. Merle Llanes says:

    5 stars
    Hi, my son asked for me to make him Won Ton soup and brought some premade which looked old. So I searched for a recipe and came across yours. Tonight I made it, including the dumplings, I didn’t use as much chili oil on the bok choy, I’m Cuban so I keep the heat low, but everyone was delighted and it was simple to follow. I even used the dry shrimp for flavor also the Shaoxing wine.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi merle,
      thank you so much for commenting! i’m glad you and your son were able to enjoy this wonton soup! warms my heart :)

  3. Jeff says:

    With access to all the correct ingredients I usually am too impatient to do it correctly. The local Asian market has pot stickers including pork/shrimp / vegetable flavor that taste like good wonton even if the skins are all wrong. There is a wide selection of fresh noodles and I prefer Hong Kong style. Shanghai baby bok choy and scallions provide the greens and slivered char siu from the market goes in too. The stock is low sodium from a club that shall remain nameless. I will take two things away fron this article. I will no longer boil the dumplings in soup and I will improve the soup with your additions. Thanks.

  4. Phyll says:

    Where do you buy dried shrimp – does it come in a can/jar/container?
    Can’t wait to make this soup – it is our favorite when ordering Chinese food.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi phyll,
      it usually comes in a clear plastic bag in the refrigerator section at an asian grocery store. if you ask someone to help you find dried shrimp, they can direct you :) i’ll do a little write up on them soon!

  5. Merle Llanes says:

    5 stars
    Hi it’s Merle again, made the WonTon soup again!! Everyone loves it…..seems like no more ordering. It was so good!.

    1. Stephanie says:

      thank you so much merle so happy you guys love it :)

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