Recipe: Last-Minute Spicy Coconut Wonton Soup

published Aug 4, 2017
Last Minute Spicy Coconut Wonton Soup
Simmer frozen dumplings in broth, coconut milk, and lime zest and dinner is done.


Makesalmost 3 quarts

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Frozen dumplings are one of my freezer secret weapons. They can be a hearty snack, quick appetizer when friends drop by, or even the star of a dinner stir-fry. Whether they’re little Japanese gyoza or Chinese potstickers, all are welcome freezer staples to me. Now how about giving them the soup treatment? This sour-spicy soup, inspired by Thai tom kha gai soup, combines broth with creamy coconut milk, lots of ginger and lime zest for zing, pepper flakes for spiciness, frozen dumplings, and veggies for a soup hearty enough to be a full meal when that wonton soup craving hits. Oh, and it comes together in just about 15 minutes!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Instead of using lemongrass and tiny Thai chiles, which can be harder to find, lots of freshly grated lime zest and red pepper flakes help infuse store-bought chicken broth with flavor. Lime juice is added at the end to add the signature sour note.

Snow peas add color and crunch, but you can use sugar snaps or even green beans instead. Mushrooms are also delicious when they’ve simmered and soaked up the broth, and the dumplings are cooked right in the broth too so that they’re more flavorful and you don’t have to dirty another pot. Keep this soup up your sleeve for those harried nights. It’s as good as any takeout soup you can pick up at your neighborhood Thai or Chinese restaurant.

Freezer-to-Table Meals

The freezer is one of our favorite secret weapons for getting weeknight dinners on the table stat. This week, we’re sharing the best staples to keep in the freezer and, more importantly, how to turn them into tasty meals that require minimal effort or planning. It’s time to embrace our friend the freezer!

Last Minute Spicy Coconut Wonton Soup

Simmer frozen dumplings in broth, coconut milk, and lime zest and dinner is done.

Makes almost 3 quarts

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 6 cups

    (48 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth

  • 5

    (1/4-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger, smashed

  • 1 teaspoon

    finely grated lime zest (from 1 medium lime)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1

    (13- to 14-ounce) can coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons

    fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon

    granulated sugar

  • 12 ounces

    frozen Asian dumplings, such as wontons, potstickers, or gyoza

  • 8 ounces

    cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch

  • 4 ounces

    snow peas

  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 medium lime)

  • Coarely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  1. Place the broth, ginger, zest, salt, and pepper flakes in a 4-quart or larger saucepan or pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes for the flavors to infuse.

  2. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar, and bring back to a simmer uncovered. Add the dumplings, mushrooms, and snow peas, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the dumplings are cooked through according to package directions.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with more salt, fish sauce, pepper flakes, or lime juice as needed. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The soup may separate when chilled. Reheat gently and stir to recombine.