Wonton Soup

If I look back through my notebook over the past year, one of the things I’ve cooked most is this wonton soup. Like, weekly. Top three recipe. What I find notable about this is: making wonton soup isn’t particularly quick or convenient. Especially if you take as long to shape each wonton as I do. But my enthusiasm for slurping up tender flavor-packed pillows from a spicy miso broth is intense. The wonton soup recipe you see down below has become our “house” wonton with a filling of finely crumbled tofu and a bit of cream cheese to bring it together. I load the base with minced kale, lemon zest, curry powder, black pepper and scallions. The broth is always miso spiked with something spicy, sometimes served simply, other times with with added chopped vegetables and cabbage (as in this version). Little of this is conventional, but oh my god do I love to eat it.
Wonton Soup in a Shallow Bowl


I tend to go through intense periods of dumpling-making or pasta shaping – gyoza, wontons, ravioli, pappardelle, cavatelli – I’m game for all of them. The meditative repetition of the process feels good to me and the payoff is always a series of the kind of meals I love – hand-made, a bit rustic, full of flavor and love. The last year of wonton-making was kicked off after I made the Smoky Tofu-Nori Wontons from a preview of Andrea Nguyen’s new book Ever-Green Vietnamese. Andrea has you make nori and smoked paprika-seasoned wontons that are brushed with oil and baked until sizzling, browned, and crispy. They were so amazing I started making double and triple batches of the filling, eventually swapping in other ingredients depending on what was on hand. There was a lot of free-styling going on. To switch things up, instead of baking, I started boiling a handful of these wontons in a quick spicy broth when I wanted a fast meal. And here we are.
Preparing Wontons and arranging on Parchment-lined Surface

Wonton Soup: Make-ahead Game Plan

I rarely shape my wontons on the same day I make the filling. By making the filling one day, you have a good amount ready for impromptu wonton soup meals. It’ll keep for up to five days, refrigerated. Making the wontons from this point becomes an easy lift and can go fast, especially if you have an extra set of hands (or two). The broth always comes together super quickly, so that’s no big deal. The wontons freeze well, so after shaping, freeze any that you aren’t planning on cooking immediately. I go into more detail on that down below.

So, to clarify the process. I make the filling and refrigerate it until I’m ready to shape wontons. I’ll either shape the wontons ahead of each meal, or, if I have a good chunk of time, shape them all at once. I like to freeze any that aren’t going to be cooked immediately.
Preparing Wontons and arranging on Parchment-lined Surface

Which wonton wrappers should I buy?

When it comes to making dumplings, wontons, gyoza and the like, your success or failure can be at the hands of the wrappers you choose. I’ve worked with a wide range of them over the years, both organic and not, and some are thicker or thinner than others. Some tear more easily than others. Some seem to dry out more quickly, etc. It’s easy to get frustrated if your wrappers are a problem. The wrapper brand I’ve had the most consistent success with lately is Nanka Seiman (pictured above). They are supple and tend to work great whether my wontons are bound for a soup, brushed with oil and baked crisp, or are destined to be pan-fried.

I’m also noticing Andrea wrote this primer on what to look for when buying wonton wrappers. She talks through vegan considerations as well how to check for freshness. Another thing, most of the wrappers have some sort of preservatives and/or additives added, it kind of is what it is, unfortunately. If you have a wrapper brand you love with a more pared-back ingredient list, give a shout in the comments. Or, you can always make your own dumpling wrappers – Andrea has a recipe in her Asian Dumplings book. She made fresh wrappers as part of a dinner at a friend’s house (maybe a decade ago?!?) and I still remember how special they were. And she made it look easy.
Close-up Photo of Wontons Arrange in Multiple Rows

How To Freeze Wontons

The most convenient way to freeze wontons is to arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet (see above) before placing in the freezer. Once frozen you can transfer them to a freezer bag. You can boil or bake oil-brushed wontons direct from the freezer.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Goat cheese vs. cream cheese: I went to make my wonton filling one night, and realized we were out of cream cheese. I did have goat cheese, so decided to try that instead and it worked out nicely – a bit of tang.
  • The spicy component: I like to have a little something spicy in my wonton filling. You’ll notice the minced serrano in the recipe below, it’s my favorite option. That said, I’ve made versions substituting everything from habanero jelly (1 tablespoon) to Kashmiri chile (1 teaspoon) with good results.
  • Something green: I like the idea of getting a mix of “good stuff” all in one bite. It’s part of the reason I started adding minced kale to my wonton filling. When I don’t have kale, I’ll add chopped cabbage, or a handful of mixed herbs. Have fun experimenting!

More Soup Recipes

If you love these types of soups, here’s where you can explore all the soup recipes. This rustic cabbage soup has been quite popular lately, and I love this ribollita, this vegan pozole, and this simple tomato soup.

Continue reading Wonton Soup on 101 Cookbooks

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