Indulge your taste buds with a tantalizing bowl of our homemade wonton soup. Supple silky wontons, brimming with a delightful filling of shrimp and savory pork. The wontons are swimming in a rich and aromatic broth crafted from homemade chicken stock. This easy recipe has been carefully developed to bring you a very comforting and soul-warming experience.
What are wontons?
Wontons are a type of dumpling that scholars estimate originated from the Han Dynasty, a time before Christ. They may be made by filling small squares of dough with a mixture of minced meat, aromatics, and seasonings. Wontons come in over 24 different styles of shapes and fillings. While some stick to a pork filling, this recipe contains my favorite type, a combination of shrimp and fatty pork.
What is the best way to cook wontons?
Wontons can be boiled, steamed, or fried depending on the desired texture. Wonton soup features boiled wontons which are often served in a simple soup made with a clear homemade broth. To account for the corn starch in wonton wrappers, I suggest using two separate pots for boiling water and broth. Fresh wontons have a quick cooking time, typically around 3 minutes, so boiling them in water is recommended. After cooking, transfer the wontons to bowls containing scallions, salt, and white pepper. Then, pour hot chicken broth over the wontons.
How do I make chicken stock?
It’s worth noting that many store-bought chicken stocks are already seasoned with herbs or spices. For an authentic Chinese flavor profile, it is best to avoid using these pre-seasoned broths. To prepare your own chicken stock, start by bringing eight quarts of filtered water to a boil. You have the option to either add a whole 5-pound chicken or carve out the chicken breasts and thighs for other recipes. For a clear broth, it is recommended to remove the skin, while keeping it in will result in a richer broth.
Place the chicken into the boiling water and cook uncovered until it reaches a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for at least five hours. The longer the broth simmers, the more flavorful it will become. Once done, turn off the heat and strain the broth using a sieve, discarding the leftover carcass. Allow the broth to cool to room temperature. If you plan to use it within a few days, store it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, transfer the broth into airtight containers and freeze them. Remember to thaw the frozen broth before using it.
Can I make wontons in advance?
To achieve the optimal texture, the wontons should be wrapped and cooked to order. This method ensures that the wonton skin remains delightfully bouncy and slippery. It’s important to note that the longer uncooked wontons are stored in the refrigerator, the more soggy they will become. Soggy wontons will break when boiled and their flavor will leak into the water resulting in a bland taste. While it is technically possible to freeze wontons, in my experience, this can lead to overcooked skins. I recommend refraining from preparing them in advance to maintain their desired texture and taste.
What are wonton wrappers?
Wonton soup is a delightful dish that offers both deliciousness and simplicity, particularly when utilizing pre-made wonton wrappers. These wrappers are readily available and come at an affordable price. They typically cost around $2.99 USD for a pack containing 50 pieces. While I appreciate the value of homemade meals, there are certain ingredients that may not justify the time required to make them from scratch. Opting for the convenience of pre-made ones allows for a more efficient preparation process without compromising on taste. Additionally, they are ultra thin and uniform which could be difficult to achieve at home.
It’s important to keep in mind that some Chinese grocery stores may offer frozen wonton skins. Whenever possible, it is advisable to purchase fresh ones. Thawed wonton skins have a higher likelihood of cracking due to the water content freezing. When wrapping the wontons, ensure that the package of skins remains sealed with plastic wrap to prevent the skin from drying out. Once the skins become dry, their edges are prone to cracking when shaped. Thus, maintaining the moisture of the wonton skins during the wrapping process is essential to achieve optimal results.
What is toasted sesame oil?
Toasted sesame oil is made from pressing roasted sesame seeds. The seeds are toasted before being pressed to create the oil, giving it a deeper and more intense flavor than regular sesame oil. It has a lower smoke point than regular sesame oil making it more appropriate to use as a finishing oil. In other words, it should not be used for deep-frying. However, one notable exception is the use of toasted sesame oil in Taiwanese 3 Cup Chicken (Taiwanese Basil Chicken).
What is shaoxing cooking wine?
Shaoxing wine (Shao-hsing, Shaohsing wine) is a type of Chinese rice wine that is made by fermenting glutinous rice, water, and wheat. It contains a very small percentage of alcohol that evaporates when exposed to heat, so its primary function is to add flavor. The taste and aroma of Shaoxing wine is similar to that of sherry. I find it to be a great ingredient to use with chicken or pork, as it helps to purify any unpleasant flavors of the protein while also adding a fragrant aroma to the dish.
What type of soy sauce do I need?
Soy sauce is a popular condiment used in many Asian dishes, and it comes in several different varieties. Generally, when a recipe calls for soy sauce, it is referring to light or premium soy sauce, which are essentially the same thing. This type of soy sauce has a lighter color and more delicate flavor compared to other types like dark soy sauce or tamari. For the wonton soup filling, you may use either reduced sodium, light, or premium soy sauce.
- What is Light Soy Sauce (Premium Soy Sauce)?
- Made from a combination of soybeans, wheat, water, and salt. The mixture is fermented for a period of time to develop its characteristic savory and slightly sweet taste. It’s important to note that different brands may have slightly different flavor profiles, so it’s a good idea to taste-test various brands to find the one that works best for your taste preferences.
- What is Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce?
- A lower-salt alternative to traditional soy sauce. This type of soy sauce is made by reducing the amount of sodium in the product, often by as much as 50% or more. This makes it a healthier choice for those who are watching their sodium intake or trying to reduce their overall salt consumption. Reduced-sodium soy sauce still has the same savory umami flavor as traditional soy sauce, but with a milder and less salty taste. It is commonly used in cooking, especially in dishes that require a lot of soy sauce. Additionally, this type of soy sauce can be used as a dipping sauce or a marinade for meats and vegetables
What is white pepper?
White pepper is derived from the same plant as black pepper, but is harvested at a different stage and has a beige appearance. It is often used in Chinese, Vietnamese, and French cuisine, and can be purchased finely ground into a powder or as whole peppercorns. White pepper has a milder and less complex flavor compared to black pepper, with a slightly earthy and musty taste. It is commonly used as a seasoning in dishes such as soups, stews, and marinades. Unlike black pepper, white pepper does not visibly speckle the food, making it a good choice for dishes that require a smooth appearance.
For Chinese dishes, always opt for finely ground white pepper powder. It is widely available in Asian grocery stores and can also be purchased online. It is important to note that white pepper should be used sparingly, as its flavor can easily overpower other ingredients if used in excess. I use white pepper in many recipes such as: Taiwanese Braised Pork Over Rice (Lou Rou Fan), Pork Belly Buns (Guabao), and Pork Buns with Black Pepper.
Wontons (40-50 Pieces)
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- 0.5 lb shrimp shelled, deveined
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp finely ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
For Each Bowl of Soup
- 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp scallions julienned
- 2 cups homemade unseasoned pork, chicken, or a combination of pork and chicken broth
- Prep | In two separate pots, boil chicken broth (enough for serving) and 4 quarts of water.
- Filling | Place shrimp on a cutting board and use two knives to chop them into a very fine paste. Put the ground shrimp in a bowl along with ground pork, ginger, soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil, white pepper, and salt. Mix well.
- Soup | In each serving bowl, add white pepper, salt, and chopped scallions.
- Wontons | Place a wonton wrapper in front of you. Spoon 1-2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with a little water. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper up to meet the top half, creating a rectangle. Press gently around the edges to seal. Dab the bottom corner of the wonton with a little water, then bring the sharp corners together, overlapping them like folded arms. Pinch and press to seal. Repeat this process for as many wontons as you will be serving.
- Assemble | Place the wontons in the boiling water, but make sure to cook no more than 10 at a time. Immediately stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook for 3 mins, then transfer them to each serving bowl. Add 2 cups of chicken broth to each bowl and stir everything together. Serve the wontons and soup while hot.If you've tried this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments below! Your feedback is greatly appreciated and it helps me improve my recipes for future cooking adventures. And if you enjoyed it, don't forget to give it a thumbs up or share it with your friends! You can help my channel by tagging @vocabularyoffood in your cooks. ۶(◠ 。◠)۶