Shrimp Wonton Soup
You can make Shrimp Wonton Soup at home! Learn how to make this comforting, delicious soup with step-by-step instructions and pictures.
Ever since our beloved local Chinese food restaurant closed a few years back, we’ve been out of sorts when it comes to Chinese takeout.
We’ve found different places we like for different dishes, but not one place that does everything well like the old place used to.
The one thing I’ve had the hardest time finding for carryout is good wonton soup! Either the wontons are too mushy, or the broth just doesn’t have any flavor.
So, recently I made homemade wonton soup. And it was about 300% easier than I expected it to be. Honestly, I expected folding the wontons to be akin to origami, something I have always been terrible at.
I’m quite avid at using wonton wrappers to make simple shapes, like for breakfast dumplings. But folding pretty wontons for soup was a whole new ballgame.
So, I expected to be frustrated. I expected to give up. I even sort of expected tears, ala the phyllo incident.
But then, I looked at a few tutorials and videos about folding wontons, and just went for it. The first few were a little silly looking, but still totally passable as soup wontons. And by the third, it was really no struggle at all.
I mean, I won’t say I was a pro, but I was breezing right through it! Folding wontons! It was a super exciting and proud moment in my kitchen, for sure.
So today, I’m sharing my recipe for shrimp wonton soup, which has both flavorful broth AND non-mushy wontons.
What you’ll need for the wontons in this shrimp wonton soup:
- shrimp – you’ll need 1/2 pound of raw, peeled and deveined shrimp with the tails removed. Be sure to pat them dry with paper towels before starting this recipe. Buy a little extra shrimp and try your hand at shrimp ceviche, my shrimp fajita recipe or shrimp tacos.
- rice wine vinegar – this is one of my favorite vinegars. I also use it for General Tso’s meatballs. If you don’t have it, regular white vinegar or white wine vinegar would also be fine here.
- sesame oil – there’s no substitute for this in shrimp dumpling soup. Sesame oil adds a unique flavor that you just can’t get with any other type of oil. I also use it in my miso dressing.
- soy sauce – this seasons the shrimp and adds umami to the filling.
- sambal oelek – this adds a little bit of heat to the wontons. This Asian condiment is also what makes my coconut risotto and tomato ramen spicy. Sriracha would also be lovely in these wontons, if you have it. Or, you can omit the spicy element altogether if you prefer a mild wonton.
- cornstarch – just a little bit, to bind the filling together. If you’d prefer to omit this, you can, and your wontons will still turn out fine. Cornstarch is also used in my Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken, and – believe it or not – is the secret ingredient in my heart thumbprint cookies!
- wonton wrappers – you’ll need the square ones for this shrimp wonton soup recipe. Buy an extra pack and make wonton nachos later in the week!
How to fold the wontons for shrimp dumpling soup.
Refer to the numbered image above to get visual cues of each stage as you read this section.
Lay one wonton wrapper on your work surface (start with one at a time while you learn the process, and then see the section below on how to do more than one at a time).
Place 1 teaspoon of the shrimp filling onto the center of the wrapper (1). Dip your finger into a bowl of cold water and run it along the sides and the bottom of the wrapper.
Fold the wrapper in half, folding it away from you. Gently press out any air pockets and seal the edges by lightly pressing (2).
Place a dab of water in the bottom left corner. Fold the wonton over again by lifting up the side closest to you and folding it away from you (3).
Connect the corner with the dab of water on it to the underside of the bottom right corner by bringing both sides up in an arc motion (4). Press the corners together firmly to seal (5).
Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers. When you’re done, reward yourself with a brandy old fashioned to go alongside your shrimp wonton soup. That was hard work, and you did it!
How to fold a bunch of wontons a little more quickly:
While the directions above are written as though you’ll be filling and folding one wonton at a time, there’s a faster way to make this shrimp wonton soup recipe!
You don’t need to fold these wontons literally 1 at a time. However, be mindful that wonton wrappers dry out relatively quickly once they’re removed from their package.
I like to remove about 3 – 5 wrappers from the package at a time as I work. Don’t try to do 10 at a time unless you’re REALLY a pro.
I was taught in culinary school to work more efficiently by doing all of one process, and then all of the next.
Meaning, instead of getting out one wonton wrapper, plopping filling onto it, folding it, setting it aside, and then starting the process all over again, I do it a little more efficiently.
I get out 3 to 5 wonton wrappers a time. I plop the filling onto all of them, all at once. Then, I fold all of them, one after the other. I set all of those aside, and then get out 3 to 5 more wrappers to repeat.
It doesn’t seem like this would save you THAT much time for this shrimp dumpling soup, but it really does! Instead of your hands having to constantly be changing directions, you’re saving time by being more efficient about how you’re working.
What you’ll need for the broth for this shrimp wonton soup recipe:
- olive oil – just used to saute the aromatics. Vegetable oil is fine for this shrimp dumpling soup, too.
- garlic – three cloves, minced up.
- ginger – just like for my orange ginger chicken and miso ginger dressing, this must be fresh grated ginger, not the dried powder kind used for baking.
- chicken broth – I like to use a no sodium or low sodium version in my shrimp wonton soup recipe so that I can season it myself to my liking.
- soy sauce – this is one of the things I used to season the broth.
- fish sauce – this funky Asian condiment is a staple in Southeast Asian cooking, and in my fridge, too. I prefer Red Boat brand. It brings a unique flavor and seasoning to the broth without being “fishy” at all, don’t worry. If you buy a bottle, check out Bon Appetit’s article about how to use fish sauce for ideas of how to use it up! I also use it in my blistered shishito peppers and dipping sauce.
- ground white pepper – to me, shrimp wonton soup is closely associated with the flavor of white pepper. Ground black pepper can be used instead, but the flavor won’t be quite as good.
- salt – even though you’re seasoning with soy sauce and fish sauce, you’ll still need a bit of kosher salt.
- kale – I love to stir a few cups of finely chopped kale into my broth at the end. It adds some bulk to this soup and helps me get my veggies in for the day! Any extra kale can be used for mushroom and kale risotto.
P.S. If Asian soups with dark leafy things are your thing, you might want to check out my pork & mustard greens soup.
For the Shrimp Wontons:
- 1/2 pound raw peeled and deveined shrimp (tails removed)
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 25-27 wonton wrappers
For the Broth:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 6 cups less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 cups packed chopped kale
- Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish (optional)
- Make the Shrimp Wonton: Place shrimp in bowl of food processor fitted with knife blade attachment. Pulse until shrimp are finely chopped but not a smooth paste. Transfer shrimp to medium bowl. Add vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and sambal oelek and stir until well combined. Add cornstarch and stir until completely blended.
- Refer to the numbered image above to get visual cues of each stage as you read this section. Lay one wonton wrapper on your work surface. Place 1 teaspoon of the shrimp filling onto the center of the wrapper (1). Dip your finger into a bowl of cold water and run it along the sides and the bottom of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, folding it away from you. Gently press out any air pockets and seal the edges by lightly pressing (2). Place a dab of water in the bottom left corner. Fold the wonton over again by lifting up the side closest to you and folding it away from you (3). Connect the corner with the dab of water on it to the underside of the bottom right corner by bringing both sides up in an arc motion (4). Press the corners together firmly to seal (5). Keep completed wontons on a plate covered with plastic wrap so they don't dry out. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to boiling over medium-high heat.
- Make the Broth: In another large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Be sure not to let garlic and ginger brown or burn. Add broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and white pepper. Taste broth and adjust seasoning with additional salt if needed. Reduce heat to medium-low and keep warm while you boil the wontons.
- In 3 batches, cook wontons in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes or until they begin to float to the surface and internal temperature of filling reaches 145 degrees F. Remove wontons from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.
- To serve, stir kale into broth mixture and stir just until kale begins to wilt. Divide wontons between 4 large bowls and ladle broth and kale mixture over wontons. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions, if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 2804mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 22g
Note: This shrimp wonton soup recipe was originally published in 2014. The post was updated in 2022 to be more informational, the recipe was tweaked to be more flavorful, and the photos were reshot. The original photos appear below.