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Make a Mean Wonton Soup With These Tips and Recipes

A well-made wonton soup can enhance the flavour of the entire dish. It is usually a lightly flavoured broth or consomme.

It should not be too strongly flavored because you don't want them to "steal" the spotlight from the main star. They should not fight with the wontons for attention. They are like the faithful sidekicks of superheroes.

They may be the sidekicks, but they play an indispensable role.

a bowl of homemade wonton soup with choy sum. Photo by Phoebe Lim

I said this at the wontons page, but it bears repeating here - Do not cook wontons in the soup it is going to be served in. Prepare the soup and the wontons separately. Put them together when you are ready to serve. Do a taste-test too to see if you need to add any more salt.

Make sure you parboil your meat ingredients like lean pork and pork bones. If you are not going to use the soup immediately after making them, they can be frozen and stored for later use.

Right, let's begin your wonton adventure by making a batch of wonton soup with these 3 recipes.

1. Basic wonton soup recipe

This first recipe is a basic one with pork bones, lean pork and dried shrimps.

  • 600g pork bones
  • 500g lean pork
  • 50g dried shrimps 虾米 (xia mi)
  • 20g white peppercorn
  • 2 litre water
Dried shrimps is a simple way to add some ocean sweetness to the soup. Photo by Phoebe Lim

  1. Parboil the pork bones
  2. In a stockpot, bring the 2 liters of water to a boil
  3. Lower the heat and add the pork bones, lean pork, dried shrimps, white peppercorns
  4. Simmer for 3 hours
  5. Strain the stock
  6. Add salt to taste when serving

2. Wonton soup with salted fish

This second one has one additional ingredient: salted fish or 咸鱼 (xian yu). It is a type of preserved fish. It creates a more nuanced flavor.

  • 600g pork bones
  • 500g pork
  • 50g dried shrimps
  • 50g salted fish 咸鱼 (xian yu)
  • 20g white peppercorn
  • 2 litres of water
  1. Wash and parboil the pork bones & pork
  2. Trim off any excess fats
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius
  4. Bake the salted fish for about 15 minutes
  5. Cool the fish and break into smaller pieces
  6. Add all ingredients into a stock pot
  7. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for about 3 hours
  8. Strain for use

3. Wonton soup recipe with dried flat fish

The last recipe uses dried flat fish 扁鱼干 (bian yu gan). It is also a preserved fish made from small flounders. This is a popular ingredient with the Cantonese.

  • 1 kg pork bones
  • 10 pieces dried flat fish 扁鱼干 (bian yu gan)
  • 60g dried shrimps
  • 200g fresh bean sprouts
  • 4 pieces ginger
  • 6 liters water
  1. Grill the dried flat fish in an oven preheated to 150 degree celsius
  2. Wash and drain the dried shrimps and bean sprouts
  3. Parboil the pork bones
  4. In a stockpot, bring the 6 liters of water to a boil together with the pork bones, dried flat fish and ginger
  5. Lower the heat and add the dried shrimps and bean sprouts
  6. Scoop any froth or foam from the surface of the stock
  7. Simmer for 2 hours
  8. Strain the stock
  9. Use or store

All 3 recipes can be made using a slow cooker or a rice cooker on congee setting.

If you think these 3 soup recipes are too much work, you can always fall back on using ready-made soup stock or stock cubes. Do not worry about it. Just enjoy the cooking process. I would rather you make some wontons than not try because you think it is too hard. Add a few stalks of bok choy or choy sum to the soup. It makes a whole lot of difference.

Happy souping, Phoebe

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