This wonton soup recipe is super simple to make at home and despite its simplicity, it is thoroughly satisfying as a complete meal. We’ll use a pork-based filling and chicken broth as a base for the soup broth. If you have some roommates to help wrap these wontons, you’ll have dinner ready in no time!
These last for a few days in the fridge after wrapping, but this is a great recipe to make a large batch to freeze for quick dinners in the future too.
Wontons and dumplings are some of my favorite things to eat. It is completely worth making these at home for better quality and freshness. For me, control over the filling type and seasoning is very important.
What’s the difference between wontons and dumplings you say? This can be a complicated discussion of reginal and even language differences. Both are doughy wrappers with a filling, but simply put, wontons have thinner wrappers that are traditionally not fried. Let’s get to the cookin!
Wontons are most commonly made made with pork and shrimp as the filling. However you can find it at restaurants with fish, or tofu and vegetable filling too. We have a dumpling spot nearby with a vegetarian filling that I love, probably more than their other fillings.
In this recipe we’ll use only ground pork since I like it better this way, but you can easily substitute about 1/3 of the pork for shrimp if you prefer the flavor, without changing anything else.
If you use pork that has enough fat, around 20%, then the filling will have no issue staying formed. If you get one that’s leaner, you may need to add a few teaspoons of all purpose flour to bind the filling.
Pork I get from the market is usually ground a little too coarse, making it have too chunky of a mouthfeel for me, and I feel it doesn’t incorporate the seasoning as well, so I throw everything into a food processor and give it a few pulses to mix, and get the pork to more fine of a grind.
Onion provides the aromatics–some recipes will use green onion for this instead.
The wonton wrapper texture and quality are crucial, and can completely change your sentiment on this soup. I wouldn’t like this soup nearly as much if I couldn’t find a brand I liked. I tried five different brands of wonton wrappers from my local asian supermarkets (only four pictured above). Most seem to be way too thick, and more like dumpling skins, which are probably fine for other applications but just didn’t taste right for this.
The brand with the green packaging came close. It was thinner, and had a smoother texture, but was still a little chewier than I’d like. The best brand for wonton wrappers I found happened to be at a Japanese supermarket, Mitsuwa–that package at the very top. I cannot read Japanese, and couldn’t find this brand online, but you can go off that photo as a reference.
These wonton wrappers are the thinnest of the bunch and are very smooth in texture. It was around $1.99 for each pack of 30 wrappers, which easily make these the most expensive option. It’s not very much more if you’re making a meal for a small group, so the cost is negligible to me for how much better they are.
Again, getting a wrapper you like is essential. In case you can’t find that exact brand, I recommend scouring local markets until you find one you like. In my opinion, for wonton soup, the thinner they are the better. But you may like more filling than I do, requiring a thicker wrapper, or may enjoy the chewier texture of a thicker wrapper too.
How to wrap wontons
Since these wrappers were rectangular and fragile, the first fold on them had to be only one of two ways: along the length or width. These wrappers are slightly smaller than the other brands, and since they are thinner, you can’t really manipulate them without fancier technique to avoid breaking them.
All you need to do is have a cup on the side to dip your fingers into water, line one half of the wrapper and fold the other onto it, making sure you remove as much air as you can to prevent the dumplings from bursting or leaking as you boil them.
For this size wrapper, the simplicity of the single fold above is perfect, and resulted in plenty of the fun wonton skin flap when you’re slurping down a bowl.
If you are using square wrappers, a common technique is to begin your fold into a triangle and then crossing over the corners (or “arms”) for a more compact and pretty lookin’ dumpling
How to wrap wontons – video example
Here’s another way to do it!:
How to store and freeze wontons
When you’re done wrapping, cover air tight, and refrigerate for a maximum of one or two days. If you can’t use em all, these store well in the freezer.
I used a vacuum sealer to do this, with Foodsaver brand bags. I just load up the dumplings in the plastic bags, and freeze them for about 15-20 minutes until they’re rigid enough to not get crushed during the vacuum sealing process. When ready, pull em out, vacuum seal, mark the bag with the date you made em, and store in the freezer.
If not eating with noodles, I like a higher ratio of wonton skin to meat, so use less meat. This recipe with 1 pound of meat with this size wrapper easily gets you in the 60-80+ dumpling count range. If you use larger wrappers, and like a lot of meat it will probably be more in the ~50 count range.
If you are feeling ambitious you could make your own broth for this soup with cuts of chicken or pork but to keep it much simpler we’re going with canned chicken broth as a base, layering with aromatics, then adding our own seasoning.
The broth for this is pretty simple, and pairs well with the wontons along with some boiled veggies in the soup. I didn’t photograph it here, but love this with a ton of sliced scallions. Sesame oil is super potent, and theres a decent amount in the dumplings already, so if you’d like a little more in the broth add it slowly into each person’s bowl. I recommend pouring into a spoon first so you don’t accidentally overdo it.
- 60 pieces wonton wrappers
- 1/2 lb ground pork 20% fat (substitute 1/3 of the pork with shrimp if you’d like)
- 1 tbsp yellow onion chopped
- 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp flour optional for binding, if using <20% fat pork
- 1 bunch green onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil optional (add very slowly, to taste)
- Add all wonton filing ingredients into food processor and lightly pulse until combined, but not too pasty. Ground pork from the store is usually too coarse for my liking.
- If your fat content is too low and you need the filling to bind together more, add a bit of flour and mix together.
- Wrap wontons with desired amount of filling. I like them on the smaller side, so it uses more wrappers. Dip your finger into a bowl of water to slightly wet the wonton edges and seal, removing as much air as you can before folding the wontons. See images and video above for technique.
- Fill a medium sized pot half way with water and bring to a boil on high heat. Boil wontons in batches so you don’t crowd the pot.
- Boil for 2-4 minutes if fresh, or 4-6 minutes if frozen. After 2 minutes, every 30 seconds or so, check the wrapper texture and check the filling for doneness. Pork is safe at 145F (you can use an instant-read thermometer), or when no longer pink. The ‘floating wonton’ is not a good indicator for me since these can already float the second you drop raw ones in.
- In a new medium pot, heat the pot on medium high. Once hot, add oil, ginger and onion. Saute until aromatic for about a minute.
- Add broth and soy sauce and bring to a boil on high heat. Add more soy sauce as needed to taste. Add baby bok choy during the last minute or so, to soften.
- Add wontons, veggies, and broth into a bowl. Garnish with sliced green onion (I like a LOT actually), and a few drops of sesame oil per bowl (optional, to taste).