Since today is the start of Lunar New Year, I thought it would be the perfect day for an easy wonton soup recipe. It’s so simple, it’s kind of ridiculous actually. Seriously. I know that a lot of people are drawn to the idea of homemade wontons/mandu/dumplings, but making them from scratch is not necessary if you buy high quality items from a good Asian grocer. For example, the market I frequent has an entire aisle dedicated to dumplings. Giant steamed dumplings, leek dumplings, seafood dumplings, kimchi dumplings, etc. It’s dumpling heaven.
The kind of dumpling I used for this recipe are actually vegetarian mandu (Korean dumplings) filled with leeks and scallions. Mandu is pretty much exactly like Japanese gyoza and Chinese jiaozi. The traditional Chinese wonton wrapper is slightly thinner than other dumplings and the ends are pinched together. To me, it’s like comparing angel hair pasta and thin spaghetti. Tomato, tomahdo.
You can use whatever dumpling you want. I like to go for the vegetarian options and check out the labels to make sure there isn’t any added MSG or mystery ingredients. I always avoid processed dumplings with meat unless I can find organic options, which is actually kind of difficult. Even in an aisle dedicated to dumplings. I very rarely find any with great ingredients and making my own is entirely too time consuming with two small kids when I’m in a crunch to get food on the table. Also avoid any with cabbage in them. Brands tend to use them as a cheap (bland) filler for many meat dumplings. Trust me.
Are you ready for the easiest recipe ever? It’s my go to lunch for the kids if I haven’t thought about what to make (ie. we’re out of sandwich bread) and they start to get hangry. The kids have inherited my tendency to get really vocal and emotional when they’re hungry. It’s very unfortunate for my husband.
- 2 Tbsp chicken base
- ½ tsp roasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ tsp fresh ginger (minced)
- 4 cups water
- 4 baby bok choy
- ¼ cup scallions (sliced)
- 20-30 frozen wontons (depending on size)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken base, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger and cook for two minutes.
- Add water to the pot and turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling reduce heat to medium and add bok choy, scallions, and wontons.
- Continue cooking until the wontons start to float. (about 5 minutes)
- Salt and pepper to taste.
I prefer using organic chicken base over traditional store bought stock because it has a lot more flavor. It’s basically super concentrated chicken stock, but MUCH better than bouillion cubes (salt bombs). Give it a try! The thought of chicken base weird you out? Substitute one quart of your favorite stock for the water and chicken base.
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