Wonton Soup

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.

Wonton soup with pork and shrimp wonton soup served in a hearty chicken soup

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.

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Homemade wonton soup (Chinese restaurant-style)

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.

Wrapped wontons before cooking

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.

Wonton soup | Omnivore's Cookbook

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.

How to wrap wonton

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.

Wonton wrappers - Cantonese style

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.

Wrapped wontons in meal prep containers

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!

Authentic wonton soup (Chinese restaurant-style)

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

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.

Wonton soup - easy pork and shrimp wontons served in a hearty chicken soup. An authentic Chinese street vendor soup base is also included in the recipe! #chinese #dimsum #dumplings

Wonton Soup

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.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Dim Sim
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 60 to 80 wontons
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

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)
  • Homemade chili oil, for serving (Optional)

Filling

  • 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

(Option 1) Chicken soup base

(Option 2) Chinese street-style soup base

  • 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 light soy sauce or to taste
  • 8 teaspoons sesame oil

Instructions

Make the filling

  • Without a food processor: Combine ground pork, shrimp, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, salt and sesame oil in a big bowl. Mix well with a fork until everything combines well together and the mixture feels a bit sticky.
  • With a food processor or a blender: coarsely chop the ginger and garlic. Add all the filling ingredients except the shrimp. Mix until it forms a silky paste. Add the shrimp and blend again, until the shrimp are finely chopped but don’t become a paste.

Wrap the wonton

  • To make wontons, place a wonton wrapper in one hand, scoop a teaspoon of wonton filling and place it near the narrow side of the wonton wrapper (you can add more filling to the wonton if you like, as long as you can still wrap it). Fold the narrow side over the filling, then roll the filling all the way through the other side of the wrapper. Bind both ends and press together to lock the filling inside the wrapper. Brush a thin layer of water onto the wonton wrapper and press the ends together.
  • Make one wonton at a time, and line up all the wontons on a big wooden cutting board. If you aren’t going to boil the wontons immediately, use a damp paper towel (or cheesecloth) to cover the wontons to prevent them from drying out.
  • If you aren’t going to boil the wontons the same day, place them in an airtight container with several layers of wet paper towels on the bottom. This way, they can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

(Option 1) Make the chicken soup base

  • Combine the chicken stock, ginger, and soy sauce in a pot. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes. Turn to lowest heat to keep warm and start cooking wontons (see below).
  • Prepare 6 large bowls. Add the cooked wontons and bok choy. Add 2 tablespoons green onion, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil into each bowl. Pour in 1 and 1/2 cups hot broth. Garnish with cilantro and chili oil, if using.
  • Serve hot.

(Option 2) Make the street vendor style soup base

  • To prepare 1 serving of wonton soup base, add a big spoon of cilantro, 1 tablespoon papery dried shrimps, a generous piece of dried seaweed, 1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon, and some baby bok choy into a big bowl. Repeat the process to prepare the rest of the soup base in the other serving bowls. Cook wontons (see below).
  • To make 1 serving of wonton soup, use a ladle to transfer cooked wontons, bok choy, and the hot soup into a serving bowl with all the ingredients from the previous step. Drizzle 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil into the bowl and give it a gentle stir. The soup should be amber-colored. Add extra soy sauce or salt if the soup is not salty enough. Scatter green onion on top. Garnish with cilantro and chili oil, if using.
  • Serve hot.

Boiled the wonton

  • To boil the wontons, heat a big pot of water until boiling. Add 10 to 20 wontons at a time and boil over medium heat until wontons are floating on the surface of the water. Continue to boil until the wrappers are swollen, around 1 to 2 minutes for small wontons and 2 to 3 minutes for bigger ones. Take a wonton out with a slotted spoon and split it with a chopstick or fork. If the wonton is cooked through, stop heat immediately and transfer the wontons to individual serving bowls. If not, continue to boil until cooked through.
  • Once you’ve cooked the wontons, add the bok choy. Let cook until tender. Remove from the pot, drain well, and set aside.

To cook frozen wontons

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add wontons. Stir gently to prevent from sticking. Cook until bringing the water to a boil again. Turn to medium-low heat. Cover the pot with a small gap on one side, to prevent spilling. Continue boiling for 2 minutes (3 minutes for larger wontons). Stand beside the pot the whole time to monitor the broth. If the broth starts to spill, uncover and stir, and replace the cover. Uncover and continue cooking for another minute, or until the wontons are cooked through.

Notes

  1. There are many types of dried seaweed. My original recipe used a type of instant seaweed that will rehydrate immediately once placed into the hot soup. There are other types of seafood that require some soaking before using. Read the back of your package and follow the instructions accordingly.
  2. The nutrition facts for this recipe are calculated based on 1 bowl of chicken-broth-based soup containing 10 wontons.

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.9g | Protein: 21.6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1526mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 2.2g | Calcium: 4% | Iron: 12%

The post was originally published on May 26, 2014 and updated by June 13, 2018.

Wonton soup - easy pork and shrimp wontons served in a hearty chicken soup. An authentic Chinese street vendor soup base is also included in the recipe! #chinese #dimsum #dumplings

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Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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37 thoughts on “Wonton Soup

    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Matt! If you can’t easily find the dried shrimps and seaweed, try to use chicken broth with some vegetables and mushroom for the soup base. It’ll be lovely and soothing dish for family dinner 🙂 Enjoy!

      Reply
  1. Elaine

    Maggie, this wonton soup is wonderfully. So familiar and yummy. I have not make wonton soup for some days because it is really hot now. But I do miss the soup. The video is very comforting!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Elaine, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Yeah, this is not a dish for hot summer, but I do like it a lot on a rainy day. Glad you like the video. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Prash! I love soup too for any season. Sometimes I store a lot of leftover wontons in the freezer and eat a lot. It’s just so convenient for dinner!

      Reply
  2. Judit + Corina @Wine Dine daily

    Oh Maggie, your wonton soup looks beautiful and delicious! Thank you for the video it makes it so much easire to follow the recipe.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks for the kind words. 🙂 Yes, the idea is to make the recipe looks easy enough for everyone. And indeed it IS very easy. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Meggan Hill

    Maggie, this is such a beautiful, fun, flavorful soup! I pretty much only deep-fry wontons at home, but I love them in soups at restaurants so this is an obvious choice. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I love deep fried wontons too, so flavorful. But I cook the soup one more, since it’s healthier for the regular dinner 🙂

      Reply
  4. VINNIE

    Why are restaurants wontons taste better and the skins stay together better, mine become gummy inthe soup. What’s wrong?

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Vinnie, Restaurant tends to use freshly made wonton skins of the day, especially hand made wrap instead of machine made one. From my experience, the wonton wrap rolled by myself stay together better. If wontons have been frozen once, the skins are more easy to break during boiling. One more important thing is, never boil wonton for too long time. They are very easy to cook through, then the skin will start to dissolve.

      Reply
  5. Robyn

    Hi Maggie,

    I haven’t made this at home but I always enjoy your step by step instructions. I’m definitely going for it. The flavours look fantastic and what a great way to wow your dinner guests! Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  6. Melissa @ Bits of Umami

    Before I started blogging I attempted to make wonton soup with shrimp meatballs…..lets just say it didn’t work out so well. So excited to try out your broth recipe! ANNND even more excited to try these wontons. What in the world was I thinking with shrimp meatballs (insert monkey covering face emoji) 🙂

    Reply
  7. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners

    Hi Maggie,

    I just had a reader ask me if I knew of any easy won ton soup recipes so I immediately came here and found this fabulous recipe. Now I’m going to make it, too. I love how you give such great directions and take the fear out of cooking!
    Thanks so much 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I’m so glad you decide to try this one Robyn! Since you’ve mentioned it, I suddenly realized my blog only has one wonton recipe! That’s not enough! Will try to write about different fillings soon 🙂

      Reply
  8. Imilda

    Hi Maggie, did you make the wonton wrapper? The shape are not square as I find in store.

    Your wonton soup looks wonderful.. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I did make own wonton wrappers for the photos showed up here. But just to let you know, the fresh wonton wrappers we purchase at market in China is also this shape, not squared 🙂
      You can use the squared one to make this recipe just fine. Happy cooking!

      Reply
  9. Janet S

    The best wonton we have ever had.

    We have our own goat herd, so naturally all our meat is goat. This soup was just another way to incorporate our meat. Was a huge hit. Very easy to make, took no time at all to make the lil wontons. Added bonus they fried up real nice as a quick appetizer and we used the orange sause as the dip!

    I’m sure we will be making these again soon:)

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Janet, I’m so happy to hear you tried this recipe and liked it! Goat meat wontons? Wow, that sounds super delicious! Now I’m feeling hungry.
      And I love the idea of frying the wontons and serve them with the orange sauce. YUM!
      Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. Hope you have a great week Janet 🙂

      Reply
  10. Nanette Jackson

    Dear Maggie,
    I just happened upon your website and will be making some wonton’s tonight. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes.

    Reply
  11. Jenny

    Hi Maggie,
    I can’t wait to try making your wonton soup, however was wondering if you could tell me what I could do to substitute the prawns in the wontons as unfortunately I’m allergic to shellfish.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Jenny, you can replace the water with chicken broth and skip the little shrimps. It still makes a very delicious soup.
      Happy cooking and hope your wonton soup turns out great!

      Reply
  12. MARK

    Hej Maggie

    Love your website… Tried the Wonton soup but my wontons just disintegrated… You were right, the balls remained intact.. :-)… I realise the flame was on high throughout and I used spring roll wrappers since I couldn’t find wonton wraps here in ??. Any clue what went wrong…. Want to give it anther shot. Everything tasted just like I remember in HK… Awesome

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Mark, I think the problem is caused by the spring roll wrapper. They are cooked dough sheet that is designed for deep frying. The dough won’t able stick together in boiled water. The wonton wraps are raw dough sheet that stays much better together while cooking. Will you be interested in learning how to make the wonton wrappers at home? I’ll love to share the recipe sometime.

      Reply
  13. Danielle

    Wonton soup is one of my favorite soups ever. I’ll eat it any time of the year, hot or not. I love your video on the way to make wontons. I’ve never been a good wonton maker, and this makes it so easy. So many great tips in this post!

    Reply
  14. Christy Daniel

    Hello, My name is Christy. I grew up in lovely southern California and when i was in grade school, we celabrated Chinese New Year by creating name tags for our place at the teble in trad chinese lettering. I still remember the smell of the wonton soup, that my class helped make and the fillinf we got to make for the homemade egg rolls. I had a blast. It was there, and the watching of Martin Yan from “Yan can cook”. I developed a deep appreciation for chinese food and from being in southern Cali, not the americanized versions of the more tradtional fare. I have since moved to the land locked state of Utah and there arent that many great chinese places, let alone good ones. So, in my effort to bring better chinese to my family, I took what I learned from Martin Yan, one of his cook books and started cooking it at home. Ive done a pretty good job but im limitedon a few things, given where i live, and wanting to branch out. Thank you for putting out such wonderfull recipes. I love the wonton soup one. Looks absolutly mouth watering. I hope to here from you soon. Sincerly, A lover of great chinese cuisine

    Reply
  15. Catherine Rennet

    This is the best wonton soup I have ever had!!!! Thank you!!
    It was fun to make!!
    Thank you again!! So delucious!!!

    Reply
    1. Thomas

      We’re very happy to hear that, Catherine. As Maggie’s husband and official taste-tester I consider myself blessed to be able to have this wonton soup regularly 🙂

      Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Anecia, yes, the ingredients of the filling are raw when you add them into the wontons. They will be cooked through when you boil the wontons.

      Reply