Monday, January 16, 2012

Deconstructed Wonton Soup

Whenever snow falls in Portland, the whole city freaks out and then shuts down. There was snow on the air this weekend, so I was prepared to make my snow day soup. I had some wonton wrappers in the freezer, a pound of Oregon salad shrimp, a Chinese cabbage and a bunch of cilantro on the ready.

For as long as I can remember homemade wonton soup has been a family tradition on snowy, blustery days. On Sunday a few snowflakes swirled so I started making my wonton filling. I had planned on wrapping the wontons, but little man had other plans.

He is very helpful these days, but I just didn't see his assistance making wontons ending well. As luck would have it dinner time rolled around and the filling was still in the bowl. I decided to wing it and make soup from the filling, adding more vegetables, and cutting the wonton wrappers into noodles.

It was a surprise hit! The water chestnuts added crunch, and the filling flavored the whole pot. Even the wrappers softened into the satiny texture I adore. It was delicious!

As of Monday afternoon, Snowpocolips 2012 has yet to arrive. In fact it is sunny and windy. Oh well.

This recipe is 100% shrimp, but feel free to substitute half a pound of ground pork, chicken or turkey for a 1/2 pound of the shrimp.
Deconstructed Wonton Soup
3 garlic cloves
1 lb salad shrimp, divided
4 chopped green onions
1 inch knob ginger peeled and chopped finely
2 cups finely chapped napa cabbage
1 5oz can chopped water chestnuts (if not chopped finely throw in the food processor for 2-3 seconds.)
1/4 cup soy sauce - or more to taste
1 T toasted sesame oil
Few hearty twists of fresh ground pepper
1 T rice wine or sake
1 T chopped cilantro leaves

2 carrots, sliced into coins
2 cups (or the rest of the napa cabbage), sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1 package wonton wrappers
6 cups chicken or veggie broth
handful of cilantro
1. In a small food processor blend the garlic and 1/2 of the salad shrimp until it creates a paste.
2. In a large bowl mix the rest of the ingredients. Use your hands to mix it all up into a uniform mess.
3. Heat a large soup pot. Add wonton mix, carrots and cabbage. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
4. Add broth, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
5. Cut wonton wrappers into 1/3s, making thick noodles. Add to broth and simmer another 5 minutes. Stir a bit to keep the noodles from sticking together.
6. Serve in a big bowl sprinkled with cilantro.


  1. This sounds so good! I've never made wonton soup before, but now I might have to try it.