Although homemade wontons seem intimidating, they are very simple and fun to make. This detailed recipe walks you through step-by-step instructions on how to make silky pork and shrimp wontons that you and your friends will love.
One of my favorite childhood memories is helping my mum wrap wontons in our tiny kitchen. I looked forward to the steamy hot soup with silky wontons, each one packed with a punch of flavor.
Why Make Garlic Delight’s Pork and Shrimp Wonton Soup?
It’s a perfect party dish for chilly, wintery nights. You can invite friends over to help wrap the wontons, making it a cozy night in. Wontons also freeze well so you can many several dozen and save them for a busy weeknight when you have less time to cook.
Who Will Love Pork and Shrimp Wontons?
If you love wonton soup at your local Chinese restaurant, you’ll love making these pork and shrimp wontons. It may seem intimidating to prepare the ingredients and wrap each wonton individually. But stick with it and you’ll be glad you did.
This is a belly-warming recipe is worth the time and effort. Invite a friend or two over to help you chop the ingredients and wrap the wontons. Once you master this simple recipe, you’ll make again it and again.
Our new friend Mike came over to dinner. He helped us significantly with wrapping the wontons, and you can even see his hands in some of the process photos. Thanks, Mike!
Tips for Success
- If you’re a beginner at making wontons, put a tiny amount of filling in your wonton. A teaspoon is mangeable. In time, you will grow your skills to stuff your wonton wrappers with a generous helping of filling.
- When wrapping: Make sure your hands are clean and dry when you start wrapping the wontons. Wet hands make the wonton wrappers soggy which makes them easy to tear.
- When freezing: You can freeze the wontons for eating later. Lay them flat in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet with the wontons into the freezer. Once they have frozen overnight, you can store them in containers or Ziploc baggies and cook them later.
- The technique for cooking frozen wontons is the same as cooking fresh wontons. They are ready when they float. You may need to add a few extra minutes of boiling time.
- Do not defrost frozen wontons before cooking them. You can throw them into boiling water directly.
- When boiling wontons: You won’t be able to cook of all the wontons at once unless you have a gigantic soup pot. That’s OK. Wontons need to cook in a lot of roiling water or else they stick together. When they stick, the wrappers become gummy and sticky. This causes wontons to tear and ruins your hard work. It’s best to boil wontons in the biggest pot you have with the water boiling (without boiling over). Give the wontons plenty of room to swim in the pot and to bob up and down when they are cooked.
- How to know wontons are cooked: They will float. Remove them from the boiling water before they overcook and the wonton wrappers tear.
Usually, wontons are either pork or shrimp. I like pork but I also love shrimp. That’s why I came up with this wonton recipe that has both pork and shrimp. But you may be vegetarian and want a veggie version.
For the vegetarian variation, omit the pork and shrimp. Replace them with scrambled eggs. You could also try shredded tofu but you’ll need to use pressed tofu because overly watery tofu might cause the wonton wrappers to tear. If you can’t find pressed tofu, you can use regular block tofu that you press and scramble in a pan.
Omit the ground pork. You can substitute ground pork with scrambled eggs or fish paste (if you can find it at your local fishmonger). You can also add vegetables like shredded carrots and celery with the shrimp for a pescatarian option if you eat shrimp.
I hope these wontons serve as the foundation upon which you too can build your memories with loved ones.
Pork and Shrimp Wonton Soup
- 80 Wonton wrappers
- 2/3 pound Ground pork
- 2 cups Shrimp, Defrosted, shelled and deveined
- 1/2 inch Ginger
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 4 bulbs Green onion
- 1 Egg
- 5 Shiitake Mushrooms, Optional, dried and fresh mushrooms both work well.
- 1/4 cup Wood Ear Mushrooms, Optional, dried and fresh mushrooms both work well, though dried is easier to find.
Seasonings for the wonton filling
- 3/4 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine, Or sherry
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Sesame oil
- Cornstarch, Optional
An hour before cooking
- Boil water in a kettle. Rinse the dried shiitake and wood ear mushrooms to clean them. Put in a heat-resistant bowl. Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms and allow to rehydrate. Skip this step if you not adding them.
Prepare wonton filling
- Finely mince the green onions. Add to a large bowl.
- Finely chop the rehydrated wood ear mushrooms. Add to bowl.
- Finely chop the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms. Add to bowl.
- Peel the ginger. Finely chop the ginger. Add to bowl.
- Roughly chop the shrimp. Add to bowl.
- Squeeze garlic with a garlic press. Add to bowl.
- Add the ground pork to the bowl.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl. Beat the eggs until the egg yolk and white are mixed. Add to the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Pour all the seasonings, rice wine, salt, pepper, and sesame oil, into the big bowl with the pork and shrimp mixture. Mix with your hands (or spatula if, like me, you don’t like to get your hands dirty).
Prepare wonton wrapping
- Dust 2 baking sheets with the cornstarch. This is optional as the wonton wrappers usually have surplus cornstarch. But it's a good idea to stop your hard work from being ruined just in case the wonton wrapper sticks to the baking sheet and tears.
- Fill a small bowl with water.
Wrap the wontons: Sycee shape
- To make the sycee-shaped wonton, take a wonton wrapper and place it in the palm of your hand. With your free hand, scoop up some water from the water bowl and wet the wonton wrapper on the side facing up.
- Using chopsticks or a teaspoon, pick up a small teaspoon of pork and shrimp filling. Drop it in the middle of the wonton wrapper.
- Fold the diagonal edges across from each other. Gently seal the edges by pinching them closed.
- Bring the other two corners together and pinch the two corners so they stick together.
- Place the wrapped wontons on the starched baking sheet.
Cooking the wontons
- Boil a big pot of water. Add a pinch of salt. This water is for the wontons.
- While waiting for the wonton pot to boil, boil the chicken broth in a separate pot.
- Once the water in the wonton pot is boiling, use a serving spoon to gently place the wontons in the boiling water. Place just enough wontons to loosely cover the bottom of the pot.
- While waiting for the wontons to cook, grate the carrot. Divide the grated carrot evenly into each serving bowl.
- Separate the cilantro leaves from the stems. Discard the stems. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves.
- The wontons are cooked when they float to the top of the water. Turn off the heat and transfer them to the chicken broth pot.
- To serve the wontons, ladle each bowl with a dozen wontons and serve with the chicken broth. Sprinkle generous amounts of cilantro, soy sauce, extra sesame oil, and chili sauce.
- Enjoy the pork and shrimp wontons!
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FAQ About Pork and Shrimp Wontons
Do I Have to Add Shiitake Mushrooms and Wood Ear Mushrooms?
I like dried shiitake mushrooms and wood ear mushrooms. I think they add a lot of flavor and texture. It’s also a strategy to increase the non-meat bulk to balance out the pork and shrimp. Most wonton recipes don’t call for the shiitake or wood ear mushrooms. So you can skip them if they’re hard to find or gross you out.
Where Do I Buy Wonton Wrappers?
You can buy wonton wrappers at an Asian grocery store. They normally live in the refrigerated section, next to the tofu and noodles.
I’ve seen wonton wrappers at my local Safeway in the refrigerated produce section, next to the bagged salad and tofu.
Can I Add Wonton Noodles to My Wonton Soup?
You can add wonton noodles to the wonton soup to make this a super comfort food. Find the wonton noodles next to the wonton wrappers at the Asian grocery store.
Why don’t we cook the wontons directly in the chicken broth?
You could if you prefer to reduce the steps. I don’t like to drink the excess starch from the wonton wrappers. But if you want to be lazy, you’re welcome to add the wontons directly into the boiling chicken broth.