Soup Dumplings

Hello again. I'd like to start this blog journey with you, "the universe," like we've already met ... like we're already friends. So, for the record - it's nice to see you again.

On this, our official first meet, I'd like to give you a gift. A secret - a secret recipe. It's only secret in that I've never shared it. Sending it over the airwaves is like sending it to a debutantes ball. White gloves and all.

Let me tell you the recipe's background. My grandfather had owned the legendary Hong Kong restaurant in the ID district (closed a long time ago) and I started working in the kitchen there when I could hold a chopping knife properly - say 12 or 13. Shhhh, all under the table, of course. Hey, we were working in Chinatown, go figure.

Well, the Hong Kong made the best won tons I've ever tasted, hands down. Thinking about them brings back my childhood. I've slurped my share of soup dumplings throughout the NW, Vancouver (BC of course), Hawaii, and even Paris - just kidding about Paris, although I have traveled there ... and I still think the Hong Kong's were the best.

What made them so tasty? A good soup dumpling needs to be savory, moist, juicy, and HOT (I mean temperature). The filling was used for other appetizers like shrimp rolls (bacon wrapped bites of pork and shrimp lightly fried to a golden yum) and the deep fried won ton to their soup twin. All insanely delicious. If there was a send-back dish to the kitchen (wrong order, yadda yadda) - I was all over that plate or bowl.

Yes, I was a kitchen "prepper" and  folded those plump morsels on many weekends. I was never given the written recipe but watched the old woman in the kitchen throw ingredients together (no measuring cups or spoons). So this is my recipe revised some but inspired by my grandpa's restaurant. Let me know what you think?

Won Ton Soup
inspired by the Hong Kong restaurant's version

This recipe is for won tons, but I typically make them as Sui Gow (called Water Dogs in Chinese) - see the pic above. The Sui Gow skins are round vs. square for won tons and can take a bigger volume of filling than won ton skins. Since won ton skins are easier to find in the markets, I've converted my recipe to won tons for you. In any case, the pic below shows the won ton and sui gow brand I like, as well as how a folded sui gow looks like before boiling.

2/3 lb ground pork
1/2 lb chopped shrimp
3 chopped green scallions
1 egg
1 t sesame oil (or more if you like, I like)
1T oyster sauce (Panda brand if you can find it)
2 t soy sauce
1/2 T rice wine (Michiu brand, ditto above)
1 1/2 t corn starch

1 egg
Won Ton or Sui Gow/Siu Mei skins (I like Rose brand)
Home made chicken/pork broth
Sliced vegetables (bok choy, gai-lan, broccalini, whatever you like, etc)
BBQ pork slices, hard boiled egg slices, egg noodles (all optional)

Mix the filling ingredients together in a good sized bowl. Crack and stir an egg in a small bowl for the egg wash. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the won ton skin and wipe just the top inside won ton skin edge with the egg wash. Fold the won ton together.


Boil the won tons in plain water - be sure to put them in after the water has boiled. They are done when they float to the surface. Scoop out the cooked won tons into bowls.

Boil your broth and add Chinese vegetables and/or bbq meats to the soup. Pour over the won tons in bowls.

4 - 6 servings


  1. Looks so delicious! I can tell why they let you make the won tons, they're perfectly shaped! Do you have any suggestions for substituting the seafood? For example, I imagine I could use chicken instead of shrimp, or just use all pork meat. But what could I use to substitute the oyster sauce? Also, I'd love to see your recipe for homemade broth. The color and clarity of your broth looks very good!

  2. Thanks QP!I have made the filling with meat and vegetables before and the texture is lively. I recommend in place of the shrimp, you could add chopped water chestnuts, bok choy, or green peas. Also, you could substitute ground chicken or 1/2 chicken 1/2 pork to change it up too.

    As for the oyster sauce, you could do Chinese brown bean sauce or even black bean garlic sauce (but omit the soy sauce as black bean sauce tends to be on the salty side).

    I've noted Chicken Broth for a future posting.

    THANK YOU for your great comments and questions! They are appreciated.