Thai Wonton Soup

Ah, I have finally emerged from my turkey coma.  I think I gained 5 pounds in the past week.  And now, all the holiday baking starts.  Heaven help me!  There are going to be so many enticing sweets hanging around the house.  Not only will I be busy with baking, but our busiest gigging season also starts up.  Now more than ever, I try to make quick and healthy dinners to get us through these busy times.

I’m a sucker for the Thai wonton soup at Pei Wei.  It’s a perfect example of a fusion dish – a traditional Chinese soup with a Thai inspired broth.  Any time I get takeout from the place, I always make sure to order this.  The wontons don’t take too long to make, and the wrappers are easy to work with.

original recipe

Thai Wonton Soup

Thai Wonton Soup

Note: I usually make a double batch of wontons and freeze half for a later use. To freeze, place freshly wrapped wontons on a lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container and keep frozen until ready to use.


½ lb ground pork or beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, white and light green parts finely chopped
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 ½ Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
¼ tsp black pepper
15-20 wonton wrappers (I used square)
2 Tbs olive oil
½ c lemongrass, sliced into rounds (3 small stalks or one large stalk)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbs ginger, roughly chopped
8 c chicken stock
1 c baby spinach, tightly packed
Lime wedges
Thai basil


  1. To make the wontons: In a mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, garlic, green onion, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and black pepper. Fill a small bowl with water. Place a wonton wrapper on a clean surface. Place about 2 tsp of meat mixture towards one corner of the wonton. Dip your fingertip in the bowl of water and lightly wet the edges of the square. Fold wrapper diagonally over the meat and press edges together to seal. Place wontons on a plate in a single layer.
  2. To make the soup: Heat olive oil over medium-high in a large pot. Add lemongrass, garlic, and ginger; sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Using a mesh strainer, remove the solids from the stock. Gently drop the wontons into the stock and simmer another 10 minutes. Stir occasionally (and gently). Add the spinach and simmer another 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully spoon soup into bowls. Garnish with lime and Thai basil.



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Sweet Comments:

  1. This recipe looks incredible! I’ve made wontons once before but need to do it again. So tasty!

  2. Looks awesome, Suzanne! So comforting!

  3. This looks super tasty 🙂 Great for the cooler weather and the post-turkey time!

  4. So here’s something funny: I’ve used wonton wrappers to make quick ravioli but NEVER to make wontons. I need to correct this issue. Your soup (especially with the lemongrass) is going to be the thing to put me over the edge for sure!

  5. Oh my… this is my favorite soup at Pei Wei too! I think I need to give this a try. I wonder if I could use ground chicken instead? What do you think?

    • Kokocooks says:


      I think ground chicken would be a good substitute. Let me know how it turns out if you make it.

  6. I think it’s funny that everyone thinks this recipe looks good(including myself) but no one has posted back to say if they liked it.

  7. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I made the soup but used storebought wontons. The broth was ok but was missing that kick the pei wei’s version has- some layer of flavor or spice but not sure what… people were adding red pepper flakes. Also next time i might use basil instead of spinach for more flavor.

  8. julianne says:

    Sorry, but do you cook the meat first or put it in the wonton raw?

  9. Thank you for posting this recipe! I made a few modifications, For example, I didn’t have enough actual lemon grass, so I used a prepared form to make up the difference. Similarly, I didn’t have fresh ginger, so I used the prepared form. I used the Dorot frozen garlic and instead of Thai basil as I couldn’t find it, I used the Dorot frozen basil. Instead of making the wontons, I used the frozen ones from Trader Joe’s. Finally, I chopped a bunch of green onions in and added them halfway through the 20 minute simmering phase. I strained those out and added more chopped green onions with the wontons. I didn’t filter those out, though.

    Bottom line — the soup turned out great, at least my wife told me it did (I have to admit I liked it, too). 🙂

  10. So my wontons always seem to get mushy/fall apart.. Am i just cooking them too long? I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Still delicious, but i’d love to figure out how to keep them from getting mushy!

  11. Beverly says:

    I just finished making this for dinner. I fell in love it at Pei Wei. I went to 2 DIFFERENT restaurants within a week. I loved the soup so much I had it again. The second time I did not like it as much, I did not detect any basil or cilantro the second time. So, to me, they are both an integral part of the recipe.
    I stayed pretty true to this recipe. I did add 1/4 tsp of chili garlic sauce at beginning when cooking the garlic in oil to give it a bit of heat. Instead of fresh ginger I used the equivalent amount of the ginger paste in the tube (found in refrigerated produce area). I did double the broth and it’s ingredients. I like my spinach light green and more crisp so I only cooked it for 2 min in the broth, along with some cilantro and slivered basil.. I found this to be pretty true to the first time I had this soup at Pei Wei. I will be making this again. I doubled the wonton ingredients because I could not find the ground pork in less than a pound package. I am now about to make more wontons to freeze.

  12. I live in an area where shopping choices are limited (and frustrating). Is there any substitute for the lemon grass? I usually grow my own, but I somehow forgot it this past summer.

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