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Apr 3, 2007 07:42 AM

Perhaps a stupid won ton soup question...

I have the homemade chicken broth, which I can easily infuse with some asian flavors.
Would it be possible to use frozen pork and cabbage potstickers for pseudo won tons? Would I drop them into the broth directly, or do I cook them some other way first?

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  1. Whenever I make Won Ton Soup I always just add the potstickers to the chicken broth. I know the directions on the package say to cook them separately but I've never seen a need to do that.

    1. You can definitely put them right in, but don't do it at the very beginning -- let them thaw on the counter while you start the soup, and put them in with about 15 minutes (or however long the package says to cook them if these are store-bought) to go-- they cook really fast and they start to fall apart when they're done.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Adrienne

        The package is in Chinese. I'm guessing on the length of time to cook!

        1. re: QueenB

          My homemade ones take exactly 10 minutes if I start with them fresh and 16 if I start with them frozen. I use standard store-bought gyoza wrappers which I think are likely to be the factor that determine how long the cooking takes. So if you're going to go the extra mile and cook separately, I'd boil or steam (really steaming I think is better) for 10 minutes and then add to the already prepared soup, which will be hot and will continue cooking the dumpings somewhat.

          Good luck!

          1. re: Adrienne

            Sounds good Adrienne. Thank you!

        2. re: Adrienne

          I have to respectfully disagree. You don't have to thaw them. I never do. I fact, I think pre-thawing might make the skins too soft to handle.

          I'd wait until the water/stock is boiling then just drop in the frozen dumplings and cover and let it come back to a boil as soon as possible. Then just boil for 5-7minutes.

          You can do it directly into the stock, but the excess flour and starch might cloud up your soup. Otherwise, no reason why you can't.

          1. re: OnceUponABite

            You definitely don't need to thaw them before throwing them in boiling water.

            However, I usually take them out of the freezer during my prep time. I have a notion that it'll save me two minutes later. Who knows if it actually does.

            The trick I was taught with frozen dumplings and wontons is to throw them in boiling water while frozen, let the water come back up to a boil, add a cup of water, let that come up to a boil, and countdown three minutes. That probably adds up to the 10-16 minutes others have posted.

            After cooking them a few times you'll learn to look at the color and texture of the skin to tell if they're done.

            And it's true that they make the soup a little cloudy, but I actually like it because sometimes I want soup with a little body, not crystal clear. Like the rice cake soup I made last night. It's cloudy, but that makes the soup seem more hearty with a heavier mouthfeel:

            1. re: OnceUponABite

              In my second post I thought I clarified that you can start with them frozen. I've done it both ways (well, three ways - fresh, frozen and thawed) and it hasn't seemed to make that much of a difference in the ultimate result for soup (although for steamed dumplings they were noticeably better when I started with them non-frozen).

              But I agree with you that if you're planning to put them in while the liquid is boiling they should be frozen -- that is why I suggested in my first post that QB could thaw them a little and then add them to the soup towards the end, so that they could be cooked gently, which is only necessary if you've let them get pretty soft.

              We had a big Chinese New Year party and my roommate made the broth and I made the dumplings - and she thought she was done futzing with the soup so she put the dumplings in, and everything was perfect when someone decided it was too salty and needed more water, and it wound up requiring more futzing, and a lot of the dumplings fell apart during that process, which is why my protocol now is to plan for adding the dumplings only at the end, to be gently cooked.

              However, these dumplings had shrimp so it is possible that with a different filling you would want to cook them a little longer; shrimp cooks so fast, and carries fewer undesirables in it than pork does :)

          2. I would cook them separately because I find that they give off a lot of starch while cooking and it makes the soup cloudy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Velda Mae

              I agree with the the above post. I always cook wonton, potstickers or noodle in a large pot of salted water, drain then add the broth. The dough absorb some of the salt in the water and they don't cloud the broth.

            2. Yes, you should definitely cook the potstickers in a different pot, so the broth doesn't become starchy and cloudy, and take care not to overcook them. Once they float to the top, they should be done. If you overcook, the wrappers will start falling off, and they'll become soggy and mushy. :-(

              1 Reply
              1. re: sianwu

                Thank you all. I'll cook them separately for sure.