Recipe: Won Ton Soup
From my first tiny bowl of won ton soup at Wong’s Chinese Restaurant in my North Carolina hometown, I have loved this soup. I’ve since enjoyed it in New York City and San Francisco, as well as in Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Taipei.
The fact that every little wonton needs filling, folding, and cooking means that this dish doesn’t belong in the super speedy category. But made with only a few ingredients and simple steps, these dumplings are ready to boil in minutes. We enjoy them in soup or as a dumpling bowl, topped with Asian sesame oil or with a simple sauce.
Helpers recruited from among friends and family make this task a pleasure, and the reward of won ton soup will make them eager to sign up for future sessions. I love sprinkling a spoonful of Asian sesame oil onto my soup, along with the green onion and cilantro leaves.
Serve this meal with:
This is one of the easiest won ton fillings I have ever made, but the results are really rewarding! While it does take time to fill and fold so many won tons, you’re left with enough for a few meals since the uncooked won tons freeze incredibly well. Learn how to fold the won tons with step-by-step photos here!
I also love that this soup is really a one-pot meal since spinach gets wilted right in the broth. It’s all very comforting and satisfying.
– Christine, October 2015
Won Ton Soup
Serves 6 to 8
For the won tons:
3/4 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 cups water, plus 3 cups cold
For the soup:
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, or large spinach leaves torn into 2-inch pieces right before use
1/4 cup chopped green onion
About 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
To make the won tons, combine the pork, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir to mix everything evenly.
Prepare to fold the won tons by arranging the following on a table where you can sit and work: the package of won ton wrappers, measuring spoons, a small bowl of water to use when sealing the filled won tons, a cutting board or tray on which to lay out the wrappers as you fill them, and a platter or cookie sheet on which to place the filled won tons as you work.
Place a wrapper before you, and put about 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with a little water and fold it into a triangle shape. Press the edges together to seal it well. Bring the two bottom corners of the triangle together, and seal them with a little water, making a plump little envelope with the top point free. Set aside and continue filling wrappers. You will have around 40 won tons. (Check out our step-by-step photos here.)
To cook the won tons, bring 12 cups water to a rolling boil in a large pot over high heat. Have the 3 cups water handy, along with a 1-cup measure. Drop the won tons into the boiling water one by one, stirring now and then to keep them separate. As soon as the water returns to a boil, add 1 cup of the cold water to stop the boiling.
When the water boils again, add another cup of cold water. When it boils a third time, add the last cup of water. When it boils again, scoop the won tons out gently and drain well. Transfer to a large serving bowl or tureen in which you will serve the soup, and cover it to keep them warm while you make the soup.
To make the soup, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place the spinach leaves in the serving bowl over the won tons and carefully pour the hot chicken stock over them. Sprinkle the green onion and cilantro on top, and serve at once. Provide soup bowls with spoons for soup and chopsticks or forks for won tons. Serve 5 or 6 won tons in each guest’s bowl, along with some spinach, green onion, and cilantro; top off with chicken stock, and serve hot.
- Frozen won tons: To freeze the won tons, place them on a platter which will fit in the freezer, at least 1 inch apart. When they are completely frozen, place them in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container and store for up to 1 month. Don’t thaw them, but allow an extra few minutes’ cooking time.
- You could also prepare individual bowls, noodle shop-style. Set out a bowl for each guest near the stove. Place hot won tons in each bowl, and add a few leaves of spinach. Ladle hot soup into each bowl, sprinkle with green onion and cilantro leaves, and serve hot.
Reprinted with permission from Quick & Easy Chinese: 70 Everyday Recipes by Nancie McDermott, copyright (c) 2008. Published by Chronicle Books.