Ready in just 30 minutes (if you use store-bought wrappers), this easy Sichuan wonton soup recipe is one of the most famous of all the Chengdu snacks and it’s one of the easiest things to make at home. Based on my Chengdunese friend, Vivian’s recipe, if you’re already familiar with these tender pork and ginger wontons floating in homemade broth (also called “Dragon Wontons” or “Long Chāo Shǒu”) then you know just how comforting and truly heart-warming this authentic Sichuan soup is.
If you’re looking for the famous mala Sichuan red chili oil wontons, click over here to get that recipe (they’re amazing!). But if you want the classic long wonton soup recipe, you’re in the right spot. For anyone new to making Sichuan wontons, I’ve included helpful tips and step-by-step recipe photos below.
If you’ve already checked out the Spicy Sichuan Chili Wonton post then you know that my friend Vivian kept me in a pretty good supply of her homemade pork and ginger wontons for the entire 4 years I lived in Chengdu. Of course, all the noodle shops worth their salt serve this wonton soup all year round to hungry patrons even on the hottest, most humid days of Sichuan summers.
There are two versions of Sichuan wonton soup: spicy and not spicy (or clear). This is the not-spicy or clear wonton soup that the entire family will love (especially if your kiddos already love dumplings). I think of this soup sort of like an “Eastern chicken noodle soup” — cozy, delicious, and it’ll make your belly smile.
Why We Love This Sichuan Wonton Soup Recipe
- Authentic Sichuan pork wonton recipe from my friend (and Chengdu local), Vivian Yan
- The wontons are ready in 30 minutes when you use store-bought wonton wrappers
- The pork and ginger filling uses just 5 ingredients (not including salt and water)
- Ready in 4 steps: make the chicken broth, mix the pork filling, fill the wrappers, boil
- Homemade crispy fried wonton strips add extra texture and flavor
- You can easily spice it up with homemade Sichuan chili oil sauce
- Freeze extra wontons to cook for quick wholesome weeknight meals (in 8 minutes)
- Tastes just like the wontons you find in Chengdu noodle shops and throughout the Sichuan province
What is Sichuan Wonton Soup (aka Long Chaoshu or Dragon Wontons)?
Long Chāo Shǒu (or Dragon Wonton 龙抄手) is a typical Chengdu snack food (or street food) made up of 2 components: tender ginger-infused pork wontons, and homemade meat broth. This wonton soup is unique to the Sichuan province and originates in the city of Chengdu at the famous restaurant by the same name, Long Chāo Shǒu. The original broth (the one that is milky in appearance is made using chicken, duck, and pork parts. While you’ll also find this soup using a simple chicken broth, or just water to cook them in.
Wonton wrappers are filled, folded, and boiled in chicken broth, and often garnished with sliced scallions and/or cilantro leaves. You may add a Sichuan vinegar sauce to make the traditionally spicy version of this soup, or just drizzle some homemade Sichuan chili oil over it to give it a spicy kick. I also like to add a handful of homemade crispy fried wontons (my non-traditional but delicious addition) for added texture.
To make this easy wonton soup you’ll first need to make the wonton filling which takes just about 10 minutes, with a resting period of at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Wrapping the wontons is super easy using the method below (even if you’re not skilled at folding wontons). And they take about 4 minutes to cook from fresh and if you freeze wontons they cook from frozen in just about 6 to 8 minutes).
If you’re interested in the other (spicy) version of Sichuan wontons in red chili oil, head over here to check out that post.
6 Traditional Sichuan Tips & Techniques for Making the Best Long Wonton Soup
Here are the most important tips for making authentic Sichuan wontons that I learned from the locals. It’s not rocket science and none of these tips are difficult. But truly great (not just “good” or “ok” wontons) depends on whether or not you use these 6 tips.
- Grind and mince the pork yourself. Instead of buying pre-ground pork, freshly grinding it and/or mincing it yourself creates a far superior filling. And it really only takes just a few minutes to mince a piece of pork collar or shoulder using two sharp knives or a cleaver.
- Make Ginger-water (or ginger-scallion water). Ginger and also sometimes scallions are sliced, smashed, and added to cool tap water to infuse the water. Infusing the pork with ginger water (or ginger-scallion water) is a local Sichuanese trick for getting all the delicious ginger and scallion flavor into these notoriously tender wonton fillings without ever having to bite down on an actual piece of ginger or scallion. Once I was taught this trick, I never looked back. I use this technique in all of my dumpling recipes. It’s brilliant and in some ways akin to how Italians often use smashed whole garlic cloves to flavor sauces and ragùs, but then remove the cloves before serving the final pasta.
- Stir the pork filling in one direction only. Whipping the pork mixture vigorously and quickly in one direction for a solid 10 to 12 minutes breaks down the proteins and muscle fibers and transforms the pork mixture into a bouncy, pasty, tender filling (or shàng jìn).
- Never add the ginger-water (or ginger-scallion water) all at once. The purpose of adding infused aromatic water (besides adding extra flavor) and whipping it in (as if your life depends on it), is to hydrate the pork and make it tender and juicy after being cooked. This should be done in at least 3 stages so the meat better absorbs the water and plumps up. If you add the infused water all at once, the meat will not absorb it properly and will expel the liquid (the exact opposite of what you want), which will be a watery mess.
- Allow the wonton filling to marinate and chill for at least 30 minutes before filling the dumplings. Resting the pork mixture for a bit before filling the wontons allows the flavors to meld together. Simply cover and refrigerate it which also helps firm up the filling making the wontons a little easier to fill. Give everything a good stir before filling.
- Make homemade chicken broth (or broth using pork, duck, and chicken. Your family will thank you for it and this wonton soup recipe will be far superior because of it. Making homemade chicken broth takes 30 minutes in a pressure cooker or Instapot. Although if I’m not in a hurry, I like to let it cook for 45 minutes to extract as much flavor as possible. I buy the cheapest cuts of chicken (carcass pieces/necks/backs/legs/wings(they’re not expensive here in Italy), portion them and freeze them. I also never throw out vegetable peels (like the knobs from zucchini, the ends and peels of onions, carrots, celery, etc. Instead, I keep a bag in the freezer and add the otherwise discarded produce to it so I am never without the ability to make a great homemade broth from scratch.
What Makes Wontons Different From Regular Dumplings (jiaozi)?
In China there are many different types of dumplings and wontons both of which are meat or vegetable-filled parcels that are steamed, fried, or boiled.
- Wontons go by many regional names (in Sichuan they’re called “chaoshu”) and have a distinctive square shape.
- The wrappers themselves tend to be thinner and slippery as compared to dumpling wrappers which are a little thicker and tend to be chewier (see above examples).
- Since wonton wrappers are thinner, they’re not meant to hold as much filling as dumplings. Learn more about dumplings versus wontons, over here in this post.
How to Fold Wontons (in photos above)
If you’re new to folding wontons don’t worry, it’s very easy and takes just a tiny bit of practice. Usually, by the 3rd or 4th wonton, you’ll have the process down and be breezing your way through the filling until they’re finished. I like to use a cornstarch slurry to seal wontons, but you can also just use water. For the slurry, add 1 tablespoon (10g) of cornstarch to a bowl with 1 1/2 tablespoons (17g) of water, and stir.
- Place a wonton wrapper in the palm of your hand and add a small amount of filling (about 1 teaspoon) to the center. Using water or a cornstarch slurry, lightly wet one entire L-shaped corner of the wrapper.
- Bring the two points together folding the wrapper to form a triangle and press to close.
- Seal the wrapper closed pressing down gently right next to the filling all the way around the wonton to press out any air. *If you don’t press out the air, the wontons will open up while boiling and be ruined.
- Make an indention in the middle of the wonton using your finger to crease it. This is actually a fried cherry pie shaped like a wonton in the photo, but it’s a good representation of how to make the crease in the middle. Although, pork wontons shouldn’t be filled as full as this.
- Bring one of the hanging “side flaps” over the top of the other “flap”, add a dot of water or slurry, and press the two “flaps” together to seal. Place sealed wontons on a parchment-lined baking tray lightly dusted with cornstarch so they don’t stick together.
Classic Sichuan Wonton Soup Ingredients (Long Chāo Shǒu 龙抄手)
In order to make this Sichuan wonton soup taste like what you’ll find at noodle shops across the Sichuan province, you just need a few basic pantry staples starting with good fatty pork (like collar or shoulder) and wonton wrappers. But if you live in an area that doesn’t have wonton wrappers at your local grocery store, use this recipe over here to make your own at home.
Wonton Filling Ingredients
- wonton wrappers (homemade or store-bought)
- fatty pork collar or pork shoulder (sub fatty 70/30 pre-ground pork)
- fresh ginger
- scallion (optional)
- cool water
- light soy sauce
- fine sea salt
- white pepper
Homemade Wonton Broth Ingredients (sub low-sodium store-bought chicken broth)
- bone-in chicken
- white or yellow onion (or equivalent ends and peels)
- carrot (or equivalent ends and peels)
- whole cinnamon (optional but recommended)
- porcini mushrooms (optional but recommended)
Optional Wonton Broth Aromatics & Flavor Enhancers
- rendered pork fat (optional but recommended)
- fresh ginger (optional but recommended)
Optional Wonton Soup Toppings
- cilantro leaves
- sliced scallions
- homemade crispy fried wonton strips
How to Make Sichuan Wonton Soup From Scratch (Long Chāo Shǒu)
This easy wonton soup recipe is satisfying beyond measure and ready in just about 30 minutes if you’re using pre-ground pork and store-bought chicken broth. Freeze extras for easy weeknight meals.
- Make the wonton broth. Skip this step if using store-bought chicken broth. Add all of the wonton broth ingredients to a pressure cooker or Instapot and bring it to high pressure. Once it’s at high pressure, reduce the heat to the lowest possible flame while still maintaining high pressure and cook for at least 30 minutes and up to 45 minutes. You may allow it to naturally release (for a clearer broth), or run cold water over the top of the pressure cooker to release the pressure. Strain the broth reserving the chicken meat for another use.
- Infuse the water with ginger (and scallions if using). Cut the ginger into matchsticks and press on them to crush them with the side of a chef’s knife. If using scallions, cut them into 3 to 4 pieces and crush them with the side of the knife as well. Add the ginger (and scallions if using) to a bowl with cool water and set aside to steep for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Mince the pork filling meat. Skip to step #3 if using pre-ground fatty pork. Chill the pork shoulder (or collar) meat in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes until firm but not frozen. This makes it easier to dice the meat into 2-inch pieces. Place the diced meat back into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to slightly firm up. When firm but not frozen, grind the meat using the Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment using the smallest die (or another meat grinder). After the meat has been ground, use a cleaver or two chef knives to chop it even finer (see step-by-step photos) and add it to a mixing bowl. *Alternatively, you can just use a cleaver or two chef knives (one in each hand) to finely mince the pork without first grinding it.
- Make the pork filling. Add the egg white (or the whole egg for extra richness), light soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper, and stir vigorously to combine. Next, add the ginger water in 3 stages mixing completely and fully after each addition to hydrate the meat for about 10 minutes. The mixture should be pasty and jiggly when it’s finished (see photos). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Fill the wontons. Place a wonton wrapper in the palm of your hand and add a small amount of filling (about 1 teaspoon) to the center. Using water or a cornstarch slurry, lightly wet one entire L-shaped corner of the wrapper and fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle. Seal the wrapper closed pressing down gently around the filling all the way around the wonton to press out any air. *If you don’t press out the air, the wontons will open up while boiling and be ruined. Make an indention in the middle of the wonton using your finger to crease it. Bring one of the hanging “side flaps” over the top of the other “flap”, add a dot of water or slurry, and press the two “flaps” together to seal. Place sealed wontons on a parchment-lined baking tray lightly dusted with cornstarch so they don’t stick together. You may place the wontons directly into the freezer at this point while you finish the wonton broth.
- Prepare the wonton broth. Add 4 cups (1L) of homemade chicken broth to a pot, season with salt to taste, add the ginger slice and pork fat (if using), and bring to a boil.
- Cook the wontons. Add the wontons to the broth and gently stir them around the pot so they don’t stick. Cook for 4 minutes or until the wrappers look more translucent and the filling is firm and cooked through. Serve the wontons in the broth and top with scallions, cilantro, and crispy fried wontons (if using), Enjoy!
How to Make Sichuan Wonton Soup step-by-step photos
How to Freeze Extra Wontons For Quick & Easy 10-Minute Meals
You may be wondering if it’s possible to freeze wontons and you’ll be happy to know that it’s not only possible, it’s encouraged. This recipe makes just about 6 servings of 10 wontons per person which means you can freeze the wontons you don’t cook right away. To freeze wontons, place them onto a parchment-lined tray sprinkled with a little cornstarch and pop it into the freezer. Freeze the wontons completely (this takes about 45 minutes). When they are frozen solid you can add them to a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you want to eat wontons simply add them frozen directly to boiling water or broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until cooked through. Do not thaw frozen wontons first before cooking them because this will cause them to break and tear open because of the moisture.
Looking for a Few More Delicious Dim Sum or Asian Dishes?
If you’re looking for a few other dishes to round out your takeout night in or to celebrate the Chinese New Year, below are a few of our favorites we think you may also enjoy.
- Lucky Lunar New Year Fried Cherry Pie “Wontons”
- Homemade Chinese Soup Dumplings Xiaolongbao (小笼包) (100% From Scratch)
- Easy Egg Drop Soup with Crispy Fried Wonton Strips (Danhuatang 蛋花湯)
- Fluffy-Soft Homemade Pork Buns (Momofuku & Ippudo-Style)
- Easy Homemade 2-Ingredient Chinese Dumpling Dough
- Takeout Style Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles
- Easy Pork and Chive Potstickers w/Sautéed Napa Cabbage & Carrots (Jiaozi)
- 20-Minute Singapore Mei Fun Noodles (Shrimp Mei Fun)
- Best Ever Chicken Dumplings Recipe (Plump & Juicy Jiaozi)
- Easy Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry (w/Cantonese Style White Sauce)
- Easy and Delicious Pork Potsticker Recipe (Cantonese Style Jiaozi)
- Crispy Pork and Chive Spring Rolls w/Glass Noodles & Vegetables
- Steamed Pork & Chive Money Bag Dumplings (Beggar’s Purse Dumplings)
- Vivian’s Spicy Sichuan Chili Oil Wontons w/Crispy Pork (Hóng Yoú Chāo Shǒu)
- Pork & Vegetable Xiaolongbao Soup Dumplings (小笼包) (w/Short Rib Aspic)
- Chinese Special Fried Rice 扬州炒饭 (Yangzhou Fried Rice)
Let’s get started!Print