Wonton soup (or won ton soup as some spell it) is that wonderful soup that we love to get in Chinese restaurants.
It is a fairly simple looking soup, with plump freshly made wonton dumplings in a light, flavorful chicken broth.
There are actually several stages to making wonton soup from scratch – making the wonton filling, the wonton skins and the broth. When it is all put together it is simply delicious and I think well worth the effort.
It does take a while to make, so you can skip a step if you don’t have as much time as you’d like. I have given you the recipe and instructions for making the wonton skins, but you can certainly use store bought wrappers.
The store bought wonton skins are probably labelled egg roll wrappers in the store, but it’s the same dough, so you can use it to make these wontons. They will be delicious and save you lots of time. So suit yourself. Make the wonton skins or buy them. Either way you will be making a wonderful Chinese soup.
I love Chinese soup recipes. They are so different than those we make in the west that it’s a real taste sensation. And if you are making an Asian meal, there is not much that’s nicer to start the meal off than a piping hot bowl of won ton soup.
Most people love wonton soup because it’s super flavorful but not spicy. This recipe calls for a red Thai chili, but it’s optional. The soup will taste just as good without it, just not spicy.
Not everyone likes or can handle spicy food, so it’s nice to have this soup recipe that gives you the option. I am not a hot food person myself, so I leave it out completely.
Start out by making the soup broth. You can work on the wonton skins and filling while the broth cooks. You can also make the broth ahead, earlier in the day or even the day before. So if you don’t have lots of time, the recipe can be broken into sections.
As I said above, the wonton wrappers are the same as egg roll wrappers, so if you want to make egg rolls from scratch, just use this recipe for the wrappers. Just cut them larger. Our full egg roll recipe is here.
Both the wontons and the soup broth can be made a day ahead. Just boil the wontons in the soup broth just before you serve it.
Uncooked wontons can also be frozen until you need them. Lay them on a flat surface until they are frozen, then you can put them in a plastic freezer bag to store in the freezer. Cook the wontons straight from the freezer, in the broth.
Wonton Soup Recipe
For the Soup Broth:
- 2 pounds chicken bones
- 1 onion, small, quartered
- 1 carrot, medium, quartered
- 1 1/2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced
- 12 cups water
For the Wonton Wrappers:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup water, +1 tablespoon
For the Wonton Filling:
- 1/2 inch ginger, fresh, grated
- 2 Thai chilies, fresh small red, halved lengthwise
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 green onion, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons coriander, fresh, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
For the Broth:
- Combine the chicken bones, onion, carrot, water, the ginger and half of the chili in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for about two hours or until the mixture is reduced by half. Strain the broth through a lined sieve or a colander into a large bowl and discard the solids.
- (Note that the broth can be made ahead to this stage. Cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze it if you prefer.)
To Make the Wontons:
- Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Break the eggs into the well. With a fork, beat the eggs and water for about 10 times. Gently start to work the flour and salt from the side of the well into the egg mixture until a dough forms and becomes sticky and difficult to work with a fork. Once all of the flour is incorporated into the dough, let it rest for 10 about minutes.
- Once it has rested, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Cover and let rest for another 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into three equal portions. Place 2 portions in a plastic bag. On a floured surface, roll out the third portion almost paper thin to a diameter of 12" x 12". With a knife or pastry wheel, cut 16 3" squares for wontons skins or cut 6 inch squares for egg roll wrappers. Sprinkle a little cornstarch between the squares, stack and place in a plastic bag. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Makes 40 to 50 wonton skins or about 12 egg roll wrappers.
To Make the Wonton Filling:
- Chop the remaining chili finely. Combine in a small bowl with the pork, garlic, onion, finely chopped water chestnuts, fresh coriander, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of the wine, 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, half of the sugar and the remaining ginger.
- You can make the wontons in two ways:
- 1. Fill the center of the wrapper with 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of the pork filling, fold it over and press down the edges to seal. Then take the folded edges by the corners and overlap them to form a little hat-like dumpling as in the image below.
- 2. Place 2 teaspoons to one level tablespoon of pork filling on the center of each wonton wrapper and brush around the edges with a little water, then gather the edges tightly around the filling and pinch them together firmly to seal the wonton.
- Repeat this process with the remaining pork filling and wonton wrappers.
Finishing the Soup:
- Skim the fat from the surface of the broth and return the broth to a large saucepan if it has been stored. Add the remaining wine, remaining soy sauce and remaining sugar and bring to a boil. Add the wontons to the pot and cook, uncovered for about five minutes or until cooked through.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the wontons from the pan to bowls then ladle the broth into bowls.
- Serves 8.
If you love this wonton soup recipe, try another great Chinese soup recipe – hot and sour soup. It’s one of my favorites.
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