Wonton soup is a Chinese restaurant favorite, and is often something you get with a combo meal when ordering takeout. The wontons themselves, however, may be made with pork or chicken in the filling, so they’re something that people who don’t eat meat often have to steer clear of. Homemade wontons, however, are a different story. As recipe developer Miriam Hahn remarks, "You can literally fill them with anything and they become a delicious addition to soup, or served alone as an appetizer."
Making the wontons is the most time-consuming part of the recipe as the soup itself is extremely simple — just combine some broth with greens and soy sauce you’re good to go. No need to add a bunch of seasonings, either. Hahn tells us she sticks to the ever-popular gochugaru flakes, saying they are "the only spice I use in this soup." As she explains, "I love using these to add some heat, but they also offer a smoky and slightly fruity taste also."
Assemble the ingredients for the wonton soup
For the wontons, you’ll need some wonton wrappers –- storebought ones, as making these by hand would be quite an undertaking. The filling is made of carrots, napa cabbage, mushrooms, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce, while the soup is made from broth, bok choy, spinach, and gochugaru. Hahn uses scallions as a garnish for her soup , but she also suggests adding diced chiles if you’d like a little extra heat.
Make the wonton filling
Combine the carrots, cabbage, and mushrooms in the food processor until they are finely chopped but not a total mush — a little bit of residual chunkiness is desirable. Hahn does say, "If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop by hand, but it is just more labor intensive." She also says you can use other vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or bell peppers if you wish.
Fry the ginger in the sesame oil for 3 minutes, stirring as you do so, then add the chopped vegetables, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and the gochugaru. Cook the mixture for 5 more minutes.
Assemble the wontons
Take each wonton wrapper and put a teaspoon of the filling right in the center. As Hahn cautions, "Don’t overfill the wontons [as] they won’t hold together nicely [if you do]." She does say that the filling may be liquidy, so you might need to strain it or perhaps scoop it up in a slotted spoon to use when filling the wontons.
Wet the edges of the filled wonton wrapper and fold the wonton into a triangle. Wet the two outer points of the triangle, then pinch them together. Repeat the process until all of the wontons have been filled and shaped.
Cook the wonton soup
Pour the broth into a pot and boil it. Once it is boiling, stir in the rest of the soy sauce, then add the wontons. Let them cook for 6 minutes, then add the bok choy and spinach. You can also use other greens if you wish. Hahn says, "Swiss chard or kale work great," adding that "additional mushrooms are a nice addition" to the soup, as well. Once you’ve added the greenery, cook the soup for 2 more minutes until it wilts. Take the soup off the heat and top it with the scallions before you dig in. Add chopped fresh chiles or perhaps some dried chile flakes if you want to spice up your wonton soup.
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup napa cabbage, sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced, crushed, or grated
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1 teaspoon gochugaru Korean red pepper flakes
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or 4 cups broth and 4 cups water)
- 40 wonton wrappers
- 2 baby bok choy bundles, chopped
- 1 cup spinach
- 3 scallions, chopped
- Chopped fresh chiles
- Combine the carrots, cabbage, and mushrooms in a food processor until well-mixed but still slightly chunky.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium.
- Saute the ginger for 3 minutes.
- Add the vegetable mixture to the frying pan along with the gochugaru and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce.
- Stir-fry the vegetables for 5 minutes.
- Put 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each wonton wrapper.
- Wet the edges of the wrapper and fold it in half to create a triangle.
- Wet the tips of the triangle and press them together.
- Repeat until all of the wontons have been assembled.
- Heat the broth until it is boiling.
- Stir the remaining soy sauce into the broth and add the wontons.
- Cook the soup on medium for 6 minutes.
- Add the bok choy and spinach to the soup.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook the soup for 2 minutes until the bok choy and spinach are wilted.
- Top the soup with scallions before eating.
- Garnish the soup with diced chile peppers if desired.