Wonton soup is one of the staples of Chinese-American cuisine. It’s standard on almost all Chinese restaurants catering to non-Chinese clientele, and with good reason. It’s familiar yet exotic. Broth with noodles and vegetables, similar enough to a standard chicken noodle soup to offer up a bowl of comfort on a cold winter’s day while still allowing the least adventurous amongst us to make a brief foray into the world of exotic flavours and seasonings.
While wontons exists in China in multitude of variations, a typical American-Chinese wonton would be filled with pork or shrimp and boiled in a meat-based broth, or fried and served with a dipping sauce. I never tried to make wontons at home until now.
Little did I know how easy they are to make, and easier still to make them vegetarian or even vegan. While most wonton wrappers contain egg, it is possible to find egg-free wrappers, just read the label carefully.
Alternatively, you could make the wrappers yourself, which I have not tried yet, but is something that I will endeavour to do soon and report back. Update: I tried making wonton wrappers at home and they were super easy! Much easier than making regular pasta and you can be sure that they’re vegan. Check out the recipe and instructions here: vegan wonton wrappers.
The trickiest part about making wontons is ensuring that no air remains trapped inside. The contrary results in ballooning wontons which float rather than sink and risk exploding before they have cooked properly.
I must admit that I had a couple of these on my first attempt. It’s important to run your finger over the filling and try to press out all the air when sealing the wonton. I’ve also learned that it’s better to keep the soup base at a gentle simmer rather than a rolling boil to prevent them from coming apart.
As for the wrapping style, many shapes exist. Have a look around the internet and choose whichever you find the most aesthetically pleasing. For both this mushroom-tofu vegan wonton soup and for my edamame-mint vegan wonton soup I used square wrappers and folded them into the “nurses’ cap” shape – which is one of the easiest. You can also use this shape with round wonton wrappers or make simple half moons.
The good thing about making wontons at home is that you can make a big batch and then freeze the leftovers to use later. Just place them in a single layer on a sheet pan and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, gather them up and place them in a freezer bag. You can then simple drop the frozen wontons directly into your boiling soup base.
Wanna see how to make vegan wonton soup? Watch the video and share it on Facebook:
- 1 pkg vegan wonton wrappers (see note)
- 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 cups water
- 100 grams (3.5 oz) extra-firm tofu, pressed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups mushroom soaking liquid
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups cabbage, shredded
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dried shiitake mushrooms. Allow to rehydrate for 30 minutes. Once re-hydrated, chop mushrooms into small pieces. Reserve mushroom soaking liquid.
- Place tofu, ginger, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Place tofu in a bowl and add the chopped mushrooms, soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onion.
- Take one wonton wrapper and lay it out in a diamond shape in front of you. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper, dip your finger in a little water and moisten the top two edges of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner up to meet the top corner, making a triangle. Gently press down on the filling to squeeze out the air, then press the edges together to seal. Take the left and right sides of the triangle and pull them down and towards each other, making a loop at the bottom of the wonton. Moisten the edges and press to seal.
- Combine the vegetable stock and mushroom soaking liquid in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the garlic and ginger. Add the wontons and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the wontons float, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and cabbage. Serve in bowls garnished with green onion.
Note: If you can’t find vegan wonton wrappers in stores, check out my post on vegan wonton wrappers for the recipe and instructions on how to make your own.
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