This easy shortcut wonton soup base is perfect when you want an extremely quick meal. A little of this and that from the pantry (see our 10 Essential Chinese Pantry Ingredients list) makes wontons you fished out of the freezer taste like they’re floating in a tasty broth, when the soup was actually made in minutes!
This is what I do when I don’t have prepared stock on hand but still want a quick and tasty bowl of wontons. It’s also what my family and I did when times were tight and there wasn’t money for bones or meat to make soup.
This recipe includes the simplest version, as well as some additional add-ins to make it taste like you put in far more effort than you actually did!
The Power of Soy Sauce
There’s the old stereotypical view around Chinese cooking that soy sauce saves all. That of course, is not necessarily the case. There are many Chinese dishes that don’t involve soy sauce! That said, in this case, it is the key ingredient.
A small drizzle of a good soy sauce into some boiling water makes for the start of a really delicious simple wonton soup base.
When you add some sugar, sesame oil, salt and white pepper to taste, and maybe a sprinkling of scallions, the result is a delicious base for wontons. (Or even noodles—see our Yang Chun Noodle Soup recipe.)
If you don’t already have some wontons in your freezer, check out these wonton recipes and resources:
- Simple Wonton Soup (our most basic wonton recipe)
- Mom’s Chicken Wontons (ideal if you have ground chicken on hand or don’t eat pork)
- San Xian Wontons (packed with flavor from pork, chicken, and shrimp)
- Shanghai Wontons (smaller parcels in super thin wrappers)
A Cheap, Cost-saving Kitchen Hack
These days, the price of anything is enough to make your eyes pop out of your head. So we’re all for saving money on a carton of stock.
This recipe really stretches your ingredients far! And when you haven’t planned ahead to thaw out homemade stock from the freezer or to buy it from the store, this recipe means you can still enjoy a piping hot bowl of wonton soup.
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve fallen back on this recipe when cooking quick lunches for the family, fixing an afternoon snack, or making a late night dinner for myself and Bill. I hope this recipe helps save you some time, money, and headache, just as it has for me!
SHORTCUT Wonton Soup Base: Recipe Instructions
While your wontons are boiling, prepare your serving bowl. Add the light soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, chopped scallions, and white pepper.
As desired, add the optional ingredients in to taste, like the cilantro, lard, dried shrimp flakes, mushroom powder, dark soy sauce, and chili oil.
When the wontons are done cooking, add add the boiling water. (If you’re feeling super lazy, you can even use the water the wontons were cooked in—unless it is very starchy.) Also add the wontons.
Stir, and season with salt to taste if desired. Serve!
Shortcut Wonton Soup Base
Main Ingredients (for 1 serving):
- While your wontons are boiling, prepare your serving bowl. Into the bowl, add the light soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, chopped scallions, and white pepper.
- As desired, add the optional ingredients in to taste, like the cilantro, lard, dried shrimp flakes, mushroom powder, dark soy sauce, and chili oil.
- When the wontons are done cooking, add them to the bowl, and then add the boiling water (if you’re feeling super lazy, you can even use the water the wontons were cooked in—unless it is very starchy). Stir, and season with salt to taste if desired. Serve!