SIMPLE WONTON SOUP

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It’s a frosty 29 degrees outside, snow is forecast for the coming week, and all I want is a bowl of this wonton soup.

This is something that seems familiar to a lot of us. It’s wonton soup…$2.25 for the small, $4.25 for the large. The most dipped-into pot in the Chinese buffet line. Those giant rubbery yellow dumplings that take at least three bites to tackle. Ugh. Such hate crimes against the wonton must stop!

Traditionally, wontons are very delicate little things, sometimes filled with vegetables and usually pork…served in a flavorful chicken soup seasoned with some sesame oil and white pepper. There are different types and versions, but for us, this is wonton soup in its simplest, purest form. It’s warm. It’s comforting. It’s the perfect cure-all for a cold day.

Head to your local Asian grocer for the wonton wrappers. You’ll see a couple different kinds, including ones made with white flour, and others made with eggs. For this recipe, you’re looking for square shaped wrappers that are white. This recipe makes about three dozen, or about four to six servings. You’ll need:

  • 10 oz. baby bok choy or similar green vegetable
  • 1 cup ground pork
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
  • Water
  • 1 pack wonton skins
  • 6 cups good chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • White pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 scallion

Start by thoroughly washing the vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the vegetables just until wilted. Drain and rinse in cold water. Grab a good clump of veg and carefully squeeze out as much water as you can.

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Very finely chop the vegetables (you can also speed up the process by throwing them in the food processor).

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In a medium bowl, add the finely chopped vegetables, ground pork, sesame oil, white pepper, soy sauce, salt, and wine.

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Mix very thoroughly until the mixture is totally emulsified—almost like a paste.

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Now it’s time to assemble! Fill a small bowl with water. Grab a wrapper and use your finger to moisten the edges of the wrapper. Add a little over a teaspoon of filling to the middle. The wrappers that we got from the market are more in a weird trapezoid shape, but the same technique will work for square wrappers.

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Fold the wrapper in half and press the two sides together so you get a firm seal.

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Hold the bottom two corners of the little rectangle you just made and bring the two corners together.

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You can use a bit of water to make sure they stick. And that’s it!

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Keep assembling until all the filling is gone. Place the wontons on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking. At this point, you can cover the wontons with plastic wrap, put the baking sheet/plate into the freezer, and transfer them to Ziploc bags once they’re frozen. They’ll keep for a couple months in the freezer, and be ready for wonton soup whenever you want it.

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To make the soup, heat your chicken stock to a simmer and add sesame oil, white pepper, and salt.

Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the wontons one at a time to the pot. Pick up the pot and use a swirling, twisting motion to keep the pot moving and prevent the wontons from sticking to the bottom. If they do stick, don’t worry, They should come free once they’re cooked. They’re done when they float. Take care not to overcook them – mushy wontons are a sin! Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon and put them in bowls.

Pour the soup over the wontons and garnish with scallions. Serve!

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SIMPLE WONTON SOUP

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

SIMPLE WONTON SOUP

Ingredients

10 oz. baby bok choy or similar green vegetable
1 cup ground pork
2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
Pinch white pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
Water
1 pack wonton skins
6 cups good chicken stock
1 tablespoon sesame oil
White pepper and salt to taste
1 scallion

Start by thoroughly washing the vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the vegetables just until wilted. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Grab a good clump of veg and carefully squeeze out as much water as you can. Very finely chop the vegetables (you can also speed up the process by throwing them in the food processor). In a medium bowl, add the finely chopped vegetables, ground pork, sesame oil, white pepper, soy sauce, salt, and wine. Mix very thoroughly until the mixture is totally emulsified—almost like a paste.

Now it’s time to assemble! Fill a small bowl with water. Grab a wrapper and use your finger to moisten the edges of the wrapper. Add a little over a teaspoon of filling to the middle. Fold the wrapper in half and press the two sides together so you get a firm seal.

Hold the bottom two corners of the little rectangle you just made and bring the two corners together. You can use a bit of water to make sure they stick. And that’s it! Keep assembling until all the filling is gone. Place the wontons on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

At this point, you can cover the wontons with plastic wrap, put the baking sheet/plate into the freezer, and transfer them to Ziploc bags once they’re frozen. They’ll keep for a couple months in the freezer, and be ready for wonton soup whenever you want it.

To make the soup, heat your chicken stock to a simmer and add sesame oil , white pepper, and salt.

Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the wontons one at a time to the pot. Pick up the pot and use a swirling, twisting motion to keep the pot moving and prevent the wontons from sticking to the bottom. If they do stick, don’t worry, They should come free once they’re cooked. They’re done when they float. Take care not to overcook them – mushy wontons are a sin! Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon and put them in bowls.

Pour the soup over the wontons and garnish with scallions. Serve!

Wontons can also be frozen for use later. Lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put the baking sheet in the freezer. Once they're frozen, transfer them into a ziploc bag and freeze for up to two months.

http://thewoksoflife.com/2013/12/simple-wonton-soup-2/

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Comments

    • says

      Kristen, we hope you feel better soon! If you were anywhere near Beijing, we’d bringing over a hot bowl of healing soup right now. : )

    • says

      Hi Ari, you can replace the bok choy with another leafy green of your choice or omit it completely. Without the veggies, just remember to add a little bit more water to the meat filling and mix it a little longer so the filling becomes a paste-like consistency. One more tip, make one or two wontons, cook and taste them first, this way you can adjust the taste before making the whole batch.

    • says

      Hi, Cate, thank you for the wonderful question, I often think about making a vegetarian version myself. I would try firm tofu along with finely chopped fresh (or re-hydrated) shiitake mushrooms. First mash up the tofu and then mix it in with the veggies along with the chopped shiitake mushrooms (just like I did with the grounded pork). Reduce the amount of wine and water because both the tofu and mushrooms will release water during cooking. The filling should be very moist, but not running with liquid. Let us know how it turns out (I think it’ll be pretty awesome), I’d love you to share your experience with our readers.

  1. DeAnna says

    I’m wondering why you need to cook the wontons in a separate pot of water instead of just dropping them into the chicken broth and letting them cook in the broth?

    • says

      Hi DeAnna, great question. The reason why we cook the wontons separately is that when boiled, the wonton skins will give off quite a bit of starch in the liquid. You don’t want all that starch in your lovely, clear broth, so the best thing to do is cook them, put them in the bowl, and then top with the broth.

    • says

      Hi, Heather, you can use ground chicken or turkey. you’ll need to use a food-processor to grind the store-bought ground chicken or turkey one more time in order to achieve a smoother texture. Sorry for using pork in most of our recipes, it’s a Chinese thing :-) And for those who don’t eat pork, you can easily substitute pork (in most of our stir-fry dishes) with chicken.

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