Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Ton Won" Soup

With plenty of shrimp and ground pork left over from my homemade potstickers, I decided to use the mixture to make Wonton Soup. This has always been my favorite Asian style soup and I once ordered it as “Ton-Won Soup” when I was in elementary school. This was back when my parents had just started encouraging me to order my own dinner. I was so nervous to speak to the waitress that I flip flopped my words. I remember being so embarrassed of my slip up. Look at me now, I’m making my own Wonton Soup, and I can call it whatever I want.

There are some really great blogger resources out there. I especially loved all the tips from Jaden at Steamy Kitchen. She does a fantastic job explaining each step. Diana of Appetite for China had other great tips. After searching for a video on how to fold wonton wrappers, I found this web page “8 Ways to Fold Wontons” by Phoebe. I sincerely appreciate it when bloggers show lots of pictures, it is so helpful especially if I’m attempting something I’ve never done before.

The ingredients for my soup are 3 cans of chicken broth, small frozen shrimp, chives, bok choy and water chestnuts. What is brilliant is the fact there doesn't need to be an exact recipe for this. If you don't like bok choy, leave it out...if you like it brothy, add another can of chicken broth. Love chives? Chop and add the whole bunch. I realize some people don't do well "free-styling" but you just got to let go of that recipe card and go with your gut on this one! Trust me!!

The slurry for sealing the wonton wrappers is a little bit of cornstarch mixed with water.

This is my wonton filling. It consist of shrimp, green onions, a pinch of bamboo shoots, ground pork, soy sauce, salt, sugar, cornstarch, ginger, cilantro and sesame oil. For the exact recipe see the potsticker recipe from October.

Put just a little bit of filling on the wonton wrapper and lets experiment with some different folds.

This is probably the most basic. Using your fingers, dab slurry around the four sides and fold corner to corner and seal.

Next, I followed step one and then folded the outside corners over to make an envelope.

Then turn over and fold the point back.

Okay, let's try another one.

Fold two opposite corners over onto itself along the middle.

Then fold the ends in - using our cornstarch slurry as the "glue."

Here, I punched the center down into my hand and squeezed the top closed.

This is my favorite of them all, but I was concerned the top might open up in the soup and let the filling spill out... It didn't however.

Here is a tricky fold. Start with the basic triangle shape.

Then press down on the bottom a little and bring the two ends together to overlap.

The wonton got a little dry so you can see the edges beginning to crack.

This makes a little sailors hat.

The hat is cute, but the pouch is my favorite fold.

Here are all the different wontons that I made. Place on a clean, dry plate in one layer and cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

Okay, here we go with the soup. In a large stockpot add two cans of chicken stock and bring to a boil.

While it is heating add some water chestnuts.

Chop some chives, white and green parts.

Stir it all together.

Once the soup is boiling start adding the wontons. I added them slowly one at a time so they don't stick together.

Normally when you cook pasta you watch the clock. But I learned a trick from Jaden of Steamy Kitchen to wait until the pot comes back to a gentle boil.

When it reaches a boil, add 1 cup of the reserved broth. (Half a can of broth)

Here is when I rinsed the shrimp and added those to the soup.

When the soup is back to a boil again, add the remaining 1 cup of reserved broth. (The rest of the can)

This is my first encounter with bok choy, but certainly not my last. This stuff is GREAT in soups. The leaves don't wilt and get slimy like lettuce does, they hold up really well.

I could not find a picture of what part of the bok choy to use in the soup. All recipes would read to chop bok choy. "chop" okay what the heck do they mean? I rinsed the bok choy and then took the bottom off and sliced as you can see in the picture.

Add to the soup and give it a good stir.

Now I'm going to test to see if the wonton is cooked through.

Yes, fully cooked.

Ladle broth into bowls and drizzle just a few drops of sesame oil in each bowl. This soup is VERY good and is going in my "love this, make this again" pile.

And thank you mom for the dishes! She and my dad brought these back to me from China and I love them.


  1. OMG, that looks SO delish, I want some now!!! I love making fried won-tons dipped in a mix of soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic and a pinch of pepper. I'll blog that when I make it. Thanks for posting it. -Jenifer from J&JDISHITOUT

  2. I love wonton soup but I never find the stuff I get from our local Chinese takeout restaurant that great and for some reason I never think of making it at home. Yours looks soooo much better than the stuff I usually see in restaurants. Good inspiration. I'll have to make this one of these days.

  3. O.k., I came back to drool over the soup again, I'm so hungry. I guess that's what happens when you are 8 1/2 months pregnant, EVERYTHING is edible. No seriously, that soup looks soo good. I noticed that you used frozen shrimpers, have you purchased shrimp with their heads on it? The meat is SO unreal. It's true when they say, don't cut the fish's head off, cook it with it's body, keeps the flavor inside the meat of the fish and obviously it pertains to shrimp. I usually get shrimp with their heads on at an oriental store. It's yums.

  4. Mandy...you gotta be kidding me...this looks awesome...(and I'm laughing because I just called you Mandy, and we haven't even met...I'm social like that)...my husband's 1/4 chinese and his mom makes the best chinese food and I stink at it. I'm going to make the soup this week and surprise him...wish me luck!!!

  5. Oh by the way, we use bok choy alot. My husband loves it. My mother in law gave me the best recipes for it. My favorite is bok choy with bacon and bean sprouts. Cook bacon and then add the bok choy and bean sprouts...yummy!

  6. Hi Mandy,

    Phoebe from homemade chinese soups here. So happy you tried all the 8 styles. Fun wasn't it?

    I love the photos you put up. I wish I could take good pictures like you. Mine always turns up blurred. Shaky hands I guess.

    A tip -- The next time you make wonton soup, boil the wontons separately in boiling water.

    Firstly, you won't need to test whether the wontons are cooked. Cooked ones float to the top.

    Secondly, you will get clearer soup. The flour from the wrappers does cloud the soup a bit, unless you like a slightly silky soup.

    Great job! Wish I was dining with you. :)


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