Shanghai Wonton Soup - Shanghai Street Food
Prep time
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This Shanghai wonton soup recipe comes directly from my childhood in China. A favorite breakfast or afternoon snack, this steaming bowl Shanghai Wonton soup or "little" wonton soup (xiao hun tun, 小馄饨) uses thin wonton wrappers and a small pork filling with Chinese spices.
Recipe type: Soups and Stocks
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4 servings
Making the stock:
  • 1½ pound chicken bones
  • 1½ pound pork bones
  • 9 cups of water
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • Salt, to taste
For the pork filling:
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 slice of ginger, finely minced
Making & cooking the wontons:
  • ½ a pack of thin wonton wrappers (double the filling to finish the whole pack) [The original little wonton wrappers are white, but in the US, you can generally only find yellow thin wonton wrappers that are made with egg. If you find the white ones, use those!]
  • A few drops of sesame oil in each bowl
  • A pinch of ground white pepper in each bowl
  • Chopped scallion (about ½ a scallion per bowl is plenty)
  1. Making the stock:
  2. In a soup pot, bring all the ingredients to a boil, scooping away any impurities (i.e. foam, etc.) that float to the top. Simmer at your burner’s lowest setting for at least 3-4 hours. A slow simmer makes the stock tasty, yet clear. When the stock is finished cooking, add salt to taste. You can also use this stock for other dishes—the flavor is clean and delicious.
  3. For the pork filling:
  4. Mix everything together, stirring in one direction for about 5-8 minutes until the mixture takes on a paste-like texture. This is best done by hand rather than with a mixer—get your arm workout in for the day!
  5. Making & Cooking the wontons:
  6. To wrap the wontons, place a ½ teaspoon of filling on the wrapper. Fold in half, and gently squeeze around the top of the filling, as shown in the photos.
  7. Heat up the stock if you made it in advance or if it has cooled. In a separate pot, boil the water for cooking the wontons. While you’re waiting, add the sesame oil and ground white pepper to each of your serving bowls.
  8. Once the water boils, add the wontons, and stir lightly. The wontons are done once they float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the wontons, and add them to the soup bowls. Ladle over the stock, top with the chopped scallions, and enjoy!
Recipe by The Woks of Life at