Homemade wonton soup! These wontons are filled with a juicy pork and prawn / shrimp filling and will knock your socks off. I have a couple of cheeky tips and when you see my step by step photos, you are going to be so surprised how fast and EASY these are to make.
These wontons are outta this world. Added bonus: This entire bowl is under 350 calories a serving. Healthy eating at its BEST!!!
The first time you have a real wonton, whether homemade or at a proper restaurant that makes them fresh with real meat or seafood fillings (rather than fillers), you will be blown away. The filling is tender and you can actually taste what it’s made of, rather than being a small grey ball of meat made of who-knows-what.
It’s like the difference between a homemade sausage roll and a cheap frozen supermarket one. They are simply incomparable. Homemade wontons are simply incredible.
Simply being the operative word here. I think wontons are one of those things that many people don’t think to make, assuming they are really tedious and take ages. But they don’t!! The filling takes minutes to make (literally – 5 minutes) and wrapping the wontons is super fast if you use my method!
I used to use my mother’s Wonton recipe, because it’s the one I have used all my cooking life. Then last year, I came across this Wonton Soup recipe by my friend Maggie from Omnivore’s Cookbook, a wonderful authentic Chinese food blog. I’ve learnt so much about authentic Chinese cooking from Maggie who was born and raised in China and only recently moved to the States. She takes such great care with her recipes, if you love Chinese food, I think you’ll be as delighted to discover her blog as I was. 🙂
So I think my mother was a bit disgruntled when I told her I was using Maggie’s Wonton filling for this post because it’s better than hers. I sent her away with samples, and she agreed that Maggie’s Wontons are fantastic, but didn’t admit it was better.
It IS better. Sorry mum! Maggie’s has better seasoning! 😉
There are so many variations of wonton fillings. I would say that pork is probably the most common, and prawn / shrimp is the most popular. At least, here in Sydney. Then there are all sorts of additions, including mushrooms, water chestnuts, chopped up Asian greens and even carrots.
With all the possible variations out there, and not knowing which recipes are actually “real”, you can be confident that this is authentic because I have used Maggie’s recipe exactly as it is written.
Oh wait! Except….one little thing: Using a potato masher to bring the filling together. A potato masher is just about the least Chinese kitchen utensil there is, but it takes around 20 seconds to make the filling sticky and smooth-ish rather than mixing for a few minutes or using a food processor.
Call me lazy. But it works. 😉
Now this is where Maggie and I differ. If you click over to Maggie’s recipe, you will see that she uses trapezium shaped wontons wrappers (I had to Google that!!!). I use plain square ones because they are readily available here in Australia, even in supermarkets (Woolies, Coles). Once cooked, they look pretty similar.
So here is how I wrap wontons. Doing it this way, you can lay out 10, even 20, and do them all in one go, rather than doing them one by one, because they are wrapped on the work surface rather than in your hand.
My Way of Wrapping Wontons
The above is the way I usually fold wontons because I like the way the “tails” flap around like noodles once cooked. Yes, I’m a 7 year old in the body of a 30 something-year old. To me, the flappy wonton skins are part of the Wonton Soup experience.
However, when I know I’m going to be freezing all or most of them, I wrap them in a more compact way so they fit better inside containers. This is the way the frozen wontons in Asian grocery stores are wrapped – at least, here in Sydney.
The photo on the bottom right is a container of frozen wontons I bought to show you how they are sold. Also so I could make some and smugly say how much better homemade is!
Asian Grocery Store Way
Both wonton wrapping methods are just as easy, and you can do them in batches rather than holding them one by one. But you can see how much more compact the Asian Grocery Store Way is compared to My Way.
This is what mine looks like once cooked. See all that wonton wrapper flappage? YUM.
Honestly, don’t get too hung up about how neat your wontons are. Once cooked, they mostly lose their shape, so just make sure that your filling is well sealed inside and that you don’t just bunch it up like a money bag so you have a thick wad of wonton wrapper that won’t cook through.
And even if the filling falls out, you still get the same flavour, so don’t fret!!!
How to serve Wontons
Wontons are served in a clear Chinese chicken broth. You can get them with just the wontons in the soup and a sprinkle of shallots/scallions, with some Chinese greens (gai lan/Chinese Broccoli and Buk Choi are common) and even with noodles which is my favourite way at Chinese restaurants. Usually called “Combination Long and Short Soup” on Chinese restaurant menus – “Short” referring to the wontons and “Long” referring to the long noodles!
If I am at an Asian store, I usually pick up Chinese chicken broth which is more yellow but just as tasty as Western chicken broth that is available at supermarkets. However, I usually make this with ordinary Chicken broth using the same soup broth recipe as my Chinese Noodle Soup.
So….what do you think??? Have I convinced you to give homemade Wonton Soup a go? I promise it is WORTH IT! They taste absolutely incredible. You will be amazed!
– Nagi x
PS These are so fantastic for standby meals to keep in your freezer because you can throw in whatever veggies you have and voila! You have a complete HEALTHY meal!
- 200g / 7 oz lean pork mince (ground pork)
- 200g / 7 oz peeled prawns / shrimp, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely grated (1.5" / 3cm piece)
- 2 shallots / green onions, finely chopped (5 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce (1)
- 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) (2)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sesame oil (3)
- 50 - 60 wonton wrappers (4)
- 3 cups / 750 ml chicken broth (5)
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed (6)
- ⅓" / 1 cm piece of ginger, sliced (optional, but highly recommended)
- 1½ tbsp light soy sauce (1)
- 2 tsp sugar (any)
- 1½ tbsp chinese cooking wine (2)
- ¼ - ½ tsp sesame oil
- Shallots / scallions, finely chopped
- Bok choy, quartered, or Chinese broccoli cut into 10cm /4" lengths (optional)
- 40 - 50 g / 1.5 - 1.75 oz dried egg noodles per person, (optional) (8)
- Place all Wonton ingredients except wonton wrappers into a bowl. Use a potato masher to mash until fairly smooth - about 20 mashes. Don't turn the prawn into a complete paste, small chunks are good.
- Wrapping wontons - see photos in post. Use My Way (better Wonton Soup experience!) or the Asian Grocery Store Way (easier to pack for freezing).
- Lay Wontons on work surface. Use 2 teaspoons to put the Filling on the wontons. Work in batches of 5 if starting out, up to 15 or 20 if confident. Brush 2 edges with water. Fold to seal, pressing out air. Brush water on one corner and bring corners together, pressing to seal.
- Place wrapped wontons into a container with a lid as you work (so they don't dry out).
- To cook: bring a large pot of water to boil. Place wontons in water and cook for 4 minutes or until they float. Remove with slotted spoon straight into serving bowls.
- To freeze: Freeze uncooked in airtight containers. Cook from frozen for 6 to 8 minutes. IMPORTANT: Do not freeze if you made this with defrosted frozen prawns. (Note 11)
- Place Broth ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Add white ends of scallions/shallots if leftover from Wonton filling. Place lid on, bring to simmer then reduce to medium high and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Pick garlic and ginger out before using.
- If using vegetables, blanch in the soup broth and place in serving bowl.
- Prepare noodles according to packet directions (if using noodles). Place in serving bowl with cooked wontons and blanched vegetables.
- Ladle over soup. Serve!
2. I highly recommend using Chinese wine per recipe, or sub with sherry or even sake. If you cannot consume alcohol, then just omit.
3. This sounds like a lot, but trust me, it tastes incredible!
4. You can find Wonton Wrappers in the refrigerator section of Woolworths and Coles in Australia in the section where fresh noodles are sold (usually next to the pasta). You will need 2 packets (there are 40 in each pack). Or otherwise reduce the filling slightly and just make 1 packet.
5. If you are at the Asian store, grab a couple of cans of Asian chicken broth. It's more yellow and tastes a little "cleaner" than Western store bought chicken broth. It is what I used in the photos.
6. Smash garlic cloves by pressing the side of the knife down on the side so they burst open but mostly stay whole. It allows the flavour to infuse into the soup while making it easy to pick out of the broth before serving so you have a clean broth without bits of garlic in it.
7. I use 6 to 8 wontons for soups without noodles, and 5 or 6 with noodles.
8. I use these Asian egg noodles from Woolworths in Australia. Any dried or fresh egg noodles will work fine.
9. When I'm feeling really lazy, I cook the wontons in the soup broth. Just be aware that it will suck up some of the broth so add ½ cup of water.
10. The filling for the wontons are from this Wonton Soup recipe by Omnivore's Cookbook, a fantastic authentic Chinese food blog. It is better than my mother's!!
11. IMPORTANT: Do not freeze if you make this with prawn meat that was frozen - you should not refreeze raw seafood. Use all pork. Or if you really have to have prawns in your wontons, cook them very lightly in a skillet until they are JUST cooked (still opaque, not solid white), then chop them finely with a knife (i.e. almost mince them). Mash up the pork per recipe, then at the end just stir the prawns in - scrape any juices on cutting board in as well.
12. Nutrition per serving, for Wonton Soup without noodles, 8 wontons per serving. Bulk it up with more veggies to make an incredibly healthy complete meal! If you add egg noodles, it increases to 347 calories per serving.
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Wonton Soup nutrition per serving, with bok choy, no noodles. If you add egg noodles, it increases to 347 calories per serving. Make it even healthier by adding more vegetables – just blanch them in the soup broth.
LIFE OF DOZER
Little impromptu home video I put together of Dozer with the gang at the beach!