Do It Yourself Wonton Soup Base With These Tips and Recipes

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The wonton soup base is usually a lightly flavoured broth or consomme. A well made one can enhance the flavour of the entire dish. Learn how to with these tips and recipes.

This article is about the soup base. Tips on making it with a couple of recipes. If you are looking for instructions on making the wontons, you can find more information at my article on wontons.

Okay, now back to the soup base. There are 3 basic ways to enjoy wontons:

  1. Fried
  2. Boiled and eaten dried
  3. Boiled and eaten with soup

My favourite way is to have it in soup. The soup should not be too strongly flavored because it shouldn't "steal" the spotlight from the main star. They should not fight with the wontons for attention. They are like faithful sidekicks. 

Wontons and Choy Sum in Soup

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

Take note of these 2 tips when making wonton soup. 

1. Cook wontons and soup separately

I said this before, 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.

2. Parboil the meat ingredients

Make sure you parboil your meat ingredients like lean pork and pork bones. Whenever meat or bones is boiled, scum will appear and "dirty" the soup. Not just floating bits but the soup will be murky.

This can be prevented by first boiling the meat and bones separately. Remove and then rinse to clean off any scum before adding it to the actual soup. 

Soup Base Recipes

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.

Ingredients

  • 600g pork bones
  • 500g lean pork
  • 50g dried shrimps 虾米 (xia mi)
  • 20g white peppercorn
  • 2 litre water

Directions

  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

Ingredient Notes

Dried shrimps 虾米 (xia mi) is a simple way to add some ocean sweetness to the soup. Below is a picture of it. Purchase here

Dried shrimps

2. Wonton soup with salted fish

This second recipe has one additional ingredient besides dried shrimp. Salted fish or 咸鱼 (xian yu). This is a type of preserved fish using salt. It creates a more nuanced flavour.

Ingredients

  • 600g pork bones
  • 500g pork
  • 50g dried shrimps
  • 50g salted fish 咸鱼 (xian yu)
  • 20g white peppercorn
  • 2 litres of water

Directions

  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 but it is not as salty as salted fish and probably less fishy. This is a popular ingredient with the Cantonese.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions (Stove top)

  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.

Set up your slow cooker or rice cooker. You can let your cooker heat up the soup or use boiling water to shorten the cooking time. In any case, place all ingredients into the pot and add boiling water in the specified amount.

Take note that the rice cooker has a higher cooking temperature than the slow cooker.  So, it should take less time. 

Finally, if you are not going to use the soup immediately after making them, they can be frozen and stored for later use.

Using Store Bought Stock

It is okay if you think making your own wonton soup is too much trouble. You already have to make the filling and wrap the wontons. You can always fall back on using ready-made soup ones 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 the soup is too hard.

Remember to add a few stalks of bok choy or choy sum to the soup. It makes a whole lot of difference.

Happy Souping, Phoebe