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Making wonton soup gluten-free has always been a dream for me and I am pleased to say that after many attempts, I have made that dream come true!
Perfecting a recipe to make strong and tasty wonton dumpling wrappers that had a texture similar to soft and slippery gluten dumplings was a breakthrough in making this most comforting and delicious gluten-free wonton soup.
Creating this gluten-free wonton soup from scratch will be a rewarding meal to enjoy, knowing that the Asian stock is gut-friendly, nutritious and tasty, plus the pillowy, soft gluten-free wonton dumplings burst with flavour and texture.
There are three steps in making wonton soup
Using my homemade chicken stock as a base, Asian aromatics and seasoning are added to simmer for 30 minutes, creating a perfect soup to cook the wonton dumplings.
Gluten-Free Wonton Dumplings
There are two parts to making the dumplings, the filling and the gluten-free dumpling wrappers.
The filling is an uncooked mixture of either turkey or pork mince combined with pink prawns, Chinese chives or spring onions, water chestnuts, ginger, soy sauce and Asian seasonings. This can be made ahead of time, which serves it well as the filling develops more flavour and becomes firmer, making it easier to assemble in the wrappers.
The gluten-free dumpling wrappers are straightforward to make using easy-to-find gluten-free flours, xanthan gum, egg whites and boiling water.
From start to finish, the wrappers can be stacked and ready in 30 minutes or so. Again, these can be made ahead of time providing plenty of flour is in between each stacked wrapper and covered with a damp tea towel.
The final stage is bringing it all together to create this wonderful wonton soup by cooking the dumplings in several batches for 5 minutes and finishing by blanching the baby Pak Choy in the final minute. Once transferred and divided into each large soup bowl, finish garnishing with some coriander leaves, fresh chillis and my pièce de résistance, homemade Asian chilli oil.
Allow 12 to 15 dumplings per serving if you intend to serve the soup as a main course or 8 as a starter.
About some of the ingredients
Also known as garlic chives, they have a strong garlic onion flavour and are often used in Asian dumplings in combination with meat, seafood or mushroom fillings plus many other Asian dishes. For more information about these chives, head to this link.
Baby Pak Choy
is a young, small and tender cabbage, roughly 12 cm in length with a bulb-like base consisting of clustered stems connecting to flat, dark green leaves. Added to soup, they cook in a flash in one minute. Overcooking them will result in mushy, tasteless leaves. They can also be eaten raw if preferred.
A tuber rather than a nut, these white, semi-translucent nuggets are crunchy and lacking in taste, but when added to seasonings like the wonton filling, they absorb all the flavours and add a nice texture to the mixture. This ingredient is used extensively in Chinese cuisine and can be found fresh or tinned. The latter being more available and convenient. Make sure to rinse them once they are drained from the tin. If you have leftovers, store them chilled in cold water to prevent browning.
I will admit that I will come up with any excuse to add this chilli oil to anything, but it goes so well in wonton soup! My recipe makes a quick and basic version of Asian Chilli Oil using a neutral oil and Asian aromatics to infuse it into a fragrant, bold and addictively umami condiment.
Is Wonton Soup freezer-friendly?
Once the wonton soup is assembled with the cooked dumplings, baby Pak Choy and garnishing, at this stage, the soup is not suitable to freeze. However, if you backtrack to the earlier stages of cooking and preparation, the Asian stock and the dumplings are freezer-friendly.
Once the Asian stock has cooled down, divide them into medium-sized freezer-safe containers to freeze. Defrosting it instantly on the stovetop will take 30 minutes which gives you time to prepare your garnishes.
The wonton dumplings freeze well when laid out on a tray and frozen, then popped into a snap-lock bag or freezer container. It is not necessary to thaw them. Just drop them in the simmering stock, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Stir them halfway through to prevent them from sticking together. Serve the soup when you see them floating on the top.
These two ingredients are super convenient to have on standby in the freezer for this comforting soup at the last minute!
Eating wontons on their own or in soup is a popular tradition during Chinese New Year and is considered a lucky dish to start the year off well.
Gluten-Free Wonton Soup
HOMEMADE ASIAN STOCK
- 2 litres store-bought or homemade chicken stock
- 2 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
- 2.5 cm ginger piece, whole and peeled
- 2 lemongrass stalks, ends removed, white part only, smashed
- 2 spring onions, whole, ends removed
- 1 small bunch Chinese/garlic chives, tied up with one stem, ends removed
- 1 whole star-anise
- 5 black peppercorns
- ½ tsp rice or white vinegar
- 1 red chilli, whole, split slightly, stem removed (optional)
- 1 green chilli, whole, split slightly, stem removed (optional)
To add to the wonton soup towards the end
- 1 bunch Baby Pak Choy/Choi, ends removed and split apart in 4 pieces
- 3 spring onions, sliced thinly
- ½ tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
To garnish the wonton soup
- 1 spring onion, green part, sliced thinly
- 1-2 tbsp store-bought or homemade Asian chilli oil
- 1 small red chilli, sliced finely optional
- 1 small green chilli, sliced finely optional
GLUTEN-FREE WONTON DUMPLINGS
- 170 g minced turkey or pork
- 2 spring onions, chopped finely
- 1 heaped tbsp Chinese/garlic chives, chopped finely
- 2 cm ginger piece, minced
- 1 tbsp Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
- ⅔ tsp white sugar
- ⅔ tsp white pepper
- ⅔ tsp sesame oil
- 100 g peeled pink prawns, chopped finely
- 55 g tinned water chestnuts, chopped into small pieces
HOMEMADE ASIAN STOCK
- Bring the store-bought or homemade chicken stock to a steady simmer with the lid on.
- Add all the Asian stock ingredients and return to cover with the lid on.
- Simmer for 30 mins.
GLUTEN-FREE WONTON DUMPLINGS
- Measure all the filling ingredients.
- Chop or mince the spring onions or Chinese chives, ginger, pink prawns and water chestnuts.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the filling ingredients, except the prawns and water chestnuts.
- Using a fork, press down the mince turkey or pork firmly into the filling and mix well for several minutes. The mixture should look well combined.
- Fold in the prawns and water chestnuts.
- Cover and chill the mixture for a minimum of 30 mins or a maximum of 24 hours. This will firm up the mixture and develop more flavour.
GLUTEN-FREE DUMPLING WRAPPERS
Preparing the dumpling wrapper dough
- Combine all the flours in a medium bowl.
- Add in the xanthan gum and salt.
- Lightly whisk the egg white/s and add this to the flour mixture, mixing it in briefly.
- Measure the boiling water accurately in a heat-proof jug.
- Add the boiling water in several intervals to the flour and egg mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix quite vigorously until the dough looks shaggy.
- With floured hands, bring the dough together and knead on a floured surface for 5 mins, adding more flour until it stops being sticky.
- Once the dough is smooth and soft, form a thick log.
- Divide the log into two or three portions.
- Transfer the dough portions to a sealed snap-lock bag. This will further soften the dough as the bag creates a humid environment preventing the dough from drying out.
- Leave the dough to rest for 10 mins before rolling out. The dough can be chilled for 24 hours providing it is stored in the snap-lock bag. Bring to room temperature for 30 mins.
Rolling out the dumpling wrapper dough by hand
- Place each dough portion one at a time onto a floured surface and begin to roll it out with a floured rolling pin.
- Aim to roll the dough as thinly as possible. The xanthan gum gives it strength and binds the dough together effectively so that you can roll it quite thin. You will need to eyeball the thinness and stop when you are happy with it.
Rolling out the dumpling wrapper doughcwith a pasta maker
- Place each dough portion one at a time onto a floured surface and flatten it with the palm of your hand.
- Feed the dough twice into the widest setting of your pasta maker.
- Sprinkle with flour and continue to the next lower setting and feed it once.
- Continue feeding it once in each setting until you reach No. 5 on your pasta maker.
- Return to the floured surface and slice the dumpling dough sheet in half as it may be too long.
Assembling the wonton dumplings
- Using a 7.5 cm round cookie cutter, cut out the wrappers and stack them on top of each other with plenty of flour in between to prevent from them sticking together.
- Retrieve the dumpling filling from the refrigerator and fill a small bowl of water to moisten the edges of the dumplings while assembling.
- Position a flour-dusted, large tray or plate next to your assembly area, ready for the assembled dumplings. Moisten a clean tea towel with cold water and have that on standby to cover the dumplings to prevent them from drying out.
- Start by moistening all around the edges of the dumpling wrapper with the water and position 1½ tsp approx of filling in the centre.
- Folding away from you, fold over to meet the other side of the wrapper and press down firmly.
- Spin the wrapper 180° around.
- Take the two corners and stretch them gently to meet in the middle. Should the corners slip off and not stick, dip your fingers in some flour and press again. This should seal them together.
- Transfer the assembled dumpling to the tray and cover with the damp tea towel while continuing with the rest.
- Once completed, either start adding them to the prepared soup or chill them for a maximum of 24 hours. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. Freeze them on a flat freezer-safe tray and once frozen, transfer the frozen dumplings to a large snap-lock bag.
Cooking the wonton dumplings
- Bring the soup to a steady simmer and add the dumplings in several batches. Stir the dumplings occasionally, in the beginning, to prevent them from sticking at the bottom of the pot.
- Cook the dumplings for 5 mins one batch at a time. Initially, they will sink in the soup but slowly as they cook, they will rise to the surface.
- Transfer each batch to a soup bowl and cover while cooking the remaining dumplings.
Garnishing the wonton soup
- During the last minute of cooking the last batch of dumplings, add the baby Pak Choy, spring onions and gluten-free soy sauce.
- Transfer and divide the soup, baby Pak Choy and dumplings evenly into several soup bowls. As a main meal, aim for 12 to 15 wontons per serving or as a starter, add 8 wontons per serving.
- Finish off by garnishing each soup with fresh coriander leaves, sliced green spring onions, chillis (optional) and homemade Asian chilli oil or your favourite chilli sauce.
- Serve immediately.
- Keeps chilled for 3 days.
- Suitable to freeze.
- Keeps chilled for 24 hours before and after cooking.
- Suitable to freeze uncooked for 2 months.
- Not suitable to freeze when cooked.
- Keeps chilled for 24 hours.
- Suitable to reheat over the stove or in the microwave.
- Not suitable to freeze.