. All About Wontons Seriously Soupy

Thursday, March 10, 2011

All About Wontons

For the soup tour, I originally planned to take the group to Marco Polo, a restaurant that specializes in wonton and dumpling-based soups. Unfortunately, I later learned that Marco Polo closed down so we decided to check out Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles for some hearty (and cheap) bowls of vegetable and meat noodle-based soups. Since I learned a lot about wontons and wasn't able to talk about it on the tour I thought it would be a great Soup 101 piece for the site. After you learn more about some wonton basics, you can also find some wonton-related links on how to make your own as well as how to wrap wontons and three wonton soup recipe to try out at home. Enjoy! 

All About Wontons:

  • Wontons originated in North China.
  • Viewed in ancient China as a sealed stuffed bun without holes and was named "Huidun" (meaning chaos). It was later changed to wonton.
  • Wonton wrappers are generally made with flour, water, salt, (and sometimes eggs). They are then stuffed, wrapped, steamed, boiled or fried. 
  • Wontons are generally thinner than dumplings, which become transparent after they are cooked.
  • The filling is typically made of: Minced pork, Coarsely diced or whole shrimp or oysters, Finely minced ginger and onion or carrots and Sesame oil and soy sauce. 
  • A triangle is the most common shape of a wonton. This is made by folding the wrapper in half by pulling together two opposite corners. 
Making Your Own Wontons: 

Homemade Wonton Wrappers by Kitchen Simplicity
  • Homemade Wonton Wrappers - An easy homemade wonton recipe by Kitchen Simplicity that includes a simple mixture of flour, eggs, salt and water. The recipe also includes helpful tips about freezing wontons, preserving them in cornstarch and how they can made super thin in a pasta maker.  
  • How to Wrap Wontons - Now that you have an incredible wonton recipe, it's time to wrap this. I love this video on SlideShare by Chinese Kitchen that includes 11 steps (with pictures) of how to cook the filing (meat and vegetable), scoop it into the wonton, fill the wonton, and finally how to boil them. The best part is that you can watch it over and over until you get your wonton wrapping just right.

    Wonton Soup Recipes:

    The wontons are made and wrapped, now it's time to make the soup. Here are a few wonton-based recipes for you to try:

    Shrimp Wonton Soup by A Growing Tradition
    1. Shrimp Wonton Soup - Created by A Growing Tradition, this Shrimp Wonton Soup recipe covers how to make a simple broth and the wontons themselves that are filled with shrimp, scallions, and cilantro. The recipe also includes some delicious ideas for garnishes such as bean sprouts and Asian microgreens.

    Pork and Shrimp Wonton Soup by Food Repulik
     2.  Pork and Shrimp Wonton Soup - The adorable food site Food Repulik created this amazing-looking pork and shrimp wonton soup. Using ground pork, raw shrimp, bamboo shoots, and some soy sauce and ginger, I not love the recipe but really enjoyed reading Camilla's personal story about making wontons with her mom when she was a child.

    Vegetable Wonton Soup by Seriously Soupy
     3. Vegetable Wonton Soup - My first foray into Asian cooking was with this vegetable wonton soup. Using ingredients from a local market in Brooklyn, I  added a variety of vegetables (napa cabbage, bok choy, spinach, mushrooms, and carrots) to the wontons that was then cooked in a tasty sesame-soy-based broth. I also added some spicy chili oil and garlic to complete the delicious soup.

    How do you make your wonton soup?

    Seriously Soupy Serena


    1. Thanks for the info on wontons! I have to admit, I often get freaked out about what's actually IN the wontons. now I can make my own and know exactly what's going into them!

    2. Now I'm really hungry for lunch! Wish I lived closer to Chinatown b/c that would be perfect for today.

    3. @danasfoodforthought - It's amazing how easy it is to actually make them and put in the good stuff you want to eat. Let me know if you try them.:)

      @The Experimental Gourmand - I know! I'm excited to test these out.