Nothing says healthy comfort like a hot bowl of wonton soup with vegetables! Flavourful broth, juicy pork wontons mixed with crispy sweet vegetables. Ready in 25 minutes this light tasty meal is good for you too! Swap out the wonton noodles and replace them with my recommended vegetables and I guarantee you won’t miss the carbs!
What is wonton soup made of?
Traditional wonton soup is usually a clear savory broth sometimes with a touch of soy, white pepper and garnished with scallions and cilantro. Each region in China has their own version with a different broth base. Being Cantonese, the wonton soup also had shrimp shells and dried flounder. Umami at its finest! The light broth is to highlight the delicate wontons. Chinese restaurants will serve the soup with just the wontons or with noodles to make the ever popular wonton noodle soup.
Chinese Chicken Broth vs Regular Chicken Broth in Wonton Soup
To make wonton soup at home, a clear and umami rich chicken broth is probably the easiest. Chinese chicken broth has additional flavourings compared to regular chicken broth and is used in most Chinese restaurant dishes. What’s the difference you ask? It’s the MSG 🙂 It gives that distinctive savouriness and saltiness in wonton soup you can’t really replace.
In addition to MSG, chinese chicken broth usually lists chicken fat as a standalone ingredient which is probably why it’s so tasty. If you open up a can, you can usually see the fat floating on the top.
I also wanted to point out that 1 can (14.5 oz) also contains a whopping 80% of your daily intake of sodium. So it’s super concentrated and I usually water it down using a 1:1 ratio for cooking. It’s absolutely delicious and if you enjoyed instant ramen noodles like I did in college, you’ll know what I mean 🙂 This is probably why I hardly ever drink the soup in ramen noodles or wonton noodles at restaurants….
About this recipe
My wonton soup with vegetables base pulls on the same flavorings of the traditional wonton broth. I change things up by adding a variety of vegetables to stand in the place of noodles and ultimately less carbs. The specific vegetables I chose for this recipe are Asian, are noodle “in spirit” and also add some crunchiness making it incredibly delicious. This is definitely not a “traditional” Chinese dish because it just doesn’t exist but it’s a great way to eat a bunch of vegetables for dinner!
- Make sure you use a high quality broth for this recipe for the best nutritional value. Check out the variations section for alternatives if it’s flavour you’re after 🙂
- Use handmade wontons over frozen. Frozen packaged wontons usually have fillers in them and preservatives. Making your own is way more nutritious, better texture and taste hands down! Try my homemade pork wontons and you’ll never buy the packaged stuff again. Plus they freeze beautifully and you can pull them out anytime for a quick meal.
- You can pretty much use any of your favorite vegetables. I didn’t choose any hearty vegetables because wontons are delicate and I wanted to keep this a light meal. That said, anything really goes! Check out the variations section.
- Cook the wontons first and separately. This way you can make sure they’re cooked through and won’t get torn while cooking other ingredients. Add them back in at the very end.
- Cook your vegetables in the order from longest to least amount of cook time. This way they will all be the perfect tenderness.
- Have all your ingredients ready to go before turning on the heat. Depending on the vegetables you choose, their cooking times might be minutes apart so you don’t want to overcook any of them. The vegetables in this recipe all cook under 5 minutes and come together quickly!
How to Make Wonton Soup with Vegetables
Honestly, this recipe is super easy to make. Short of pretty much saying “throw everything in a pot”, here are some instructions:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop in your wontons. Cook them between 5-12 minutes (depending on whether you’re using fresh or frozen). Frozen wontons will take longer to cook. Wontons are done when they float to the top – check out my post here.
- Set aside the cooked wontons and discard the water. Using the same pot, heat a bit of oil on medium/high and put in the grated ginger and julienned carrots. Cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
- Put in the sliced onion and sauté for a few additional minutes.
- Add the Shaoxing wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium.
- Include the Shanghai bok choy and boil till the leaves start to wilt but the stems are still crunchy.
- Put in the white pepper, bean sprouts, enoki mushrooms and scallions and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low/medium to simmer for about a minute.
- Add soy sauce and salt to taste. If you used Chinese chicken broth, you might not need to add salt or flavorings.
- Add back the wontons and give it a gentle stir.
- Spoon into bowls, garnish with chopped scallions and chilli oil. Serve with a side of red vinegar.
Variations for Wonton Soup with Vegetables
You can use Chinese chicken broth or regular chicken broth for this recipe. A good quality organic chicken broth (I use Costco Kirkland) is the healthiest option.
Chinese chicken broth is flavour forward, delicious and pretty darn salty. I usually water it down with a 1:1 ratio. One 14.5 oz can of Chinese chicken broth with 2-2.5 cups of water is enough soup for two people in this recipe.
If you can’t find Chinese chicken broth in your local Asian grocery store, you can use regular unsalted chicken broth and mix in 1-2 tsps of chicken bouillon. Chicken bouillon usually includes the MSG and the chicken fat found in the Chinese version.
Use your favourite vegetables in this recipe and get creative. I usually choose Asian vegetables that cook quickly and are sweeter to match the wonton soup – but anything works here! Other vegetables to try are shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, napa cabbage, cabbage, yu choy, gai lan (a.k.a Chinese broccoli), snow peas, green beans etc.
Pork, pork and shrimp, vegetable, chicken, mushroom wonton are all great options. Any wonton will work for this soup!
Wonton soup with vegetables should be served immediately while it’s piping hot! Add a big soup spoon and chopsticks. Garnish with cilantro, chives, green onions and/or toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle some chilli oil, sesame oil and red vinegar.
When storing leftovers, separate the soup from the wontons and vegetables to avoid them getting overly soggy. When reheating soup, heat up additional chicken broth if needed. Leftovers can be stored 1-2 days in the refrigerator. I wouldn’t recommend freezing it since the vegetables will lose their texture and the wontons will break apart.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If wonton soup is made with a high quality chicken broth, then it would be very healthy especially with all the vegetable servings. If using Chinese chicken broth, there is quite a lot of sodium and would lower the nutritional value. It’s definitely tastier though!
Wonton soups CAN be healthy if you make it at home with quality broth (especially from scratch). Unfortunately, dining out on wonton soup could include a ton of MSG and salt. I usually don’t drink the soup for that reason and use it as a “flavouring” for my noodles and wontons.
Other Easy Asian Recipes to try:
- Pork chow mein
- Garlic soy chicken wings
- 15 minute white cut chicken breast
- Pan seared salmon with soy butter sauce
Wonton Soup with Vegetables
- 12 wontons (fresh or frozen)
- 1 small carrot (julienned)
- 1 small white onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts (rinsed)
- 4 shanghai bok choy (cut into quarters lengthwise)
- 3 oz enoki mushrooms (trimmed)
- 2 tsp ginger (grated)
- 2 scallions (cut lengthwise then 2 inch sections)
- 4 cups quality chicken broth (Note 1)
- 2 Tbsp. Shaoxing wine (or other rice wine)
- 1 tsp white pepper (optional)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce (to taste)
- oil for frying
- ¼ tsp salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp chili oil (for garnishing) (optional)
- finely chopped scallions or cilantro (for garnishing) (optional)
- Fill a pot with water (about 6 cups or enough to cover your wontons) and bring to boil.
- Remove wontons from their package (if using premade ones) and place the wontons in the boiling water.
- Once the wontons are floating, cook for an extra 1-1.5 mins and remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon or sieve. (Note 2)
- Set wontons aside in a bowl. Discard water.
Make Wonton Soup with Vegetables
- Using the same pot used to boil your wontons, turn heat to medium/high. Add oil.
- Add grated ginger and carrots and cook for a few mins to soften.
- Add sliced onions. Adjust heat if needed to avoid over searing.
- Add Shaoxing wine. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil again and lower heat to medium.
- Add Shanghai bok choy. Cook for a few minutes to wilt the leaves but stems should still be crunchy. (Note 3)
- Add bean sprouts, enoki mushrooms and scallions. Add the white pepper (if using). Bring to a boil again. Lower heat to low/medium and cook for an additional minute or until desired doneness.
- Taste the soup, adjust with soy sauce and salt to taste. Return the wontons in the pot and stir gently. (Note 4)
- Spoon soup into bowls. Garnish with more scallions and drizzle with chili oil (if using).
- Serve immediately with a spoon of red vinegar (if desired).