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Chinese wontons in a bowl of clear chicken soup.
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5 from 16 votes

Easy Vegan Wonton Soup for Colds

Done in 20 minute vegan Chinese wonton soup that tastes as good as the traditional version. Gluten-free and made without commercially bought stock/ bouillon cube OR hours of making homemade stock! A great flu fighter thanks to the ginger and garlic!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Cantonese, Chinese
Servings: 2
Calories: 438kcal
Author: Zen


  • Pot Don't use one that's very small as we don't want to steam the onions!
  • Wooden spatula
  • Heat proof bowl To blanch the noodles
  • Sieve (optional) Only if you want to remove the garlic, onion and ginger bits from the soup- wonton soup is originally clear but I enjoy having them to bite on for some texture (Just make sure you mince them small)


  • 2.1 oz onion minced (60g) Mince them small, so they almost look grated, so that they will be less noticeable in the soup.

    Use red ones or shallots for sweetness if you have them. If not, white ones work too.

  • 1-3 T vegetable oil Don't skimp as fat is a carrier of flavour. (We're not frying the onions though so you don't need a layer of it!)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced As with onions
  • 1 thumb ginger, minced (should give you about 6 slices before mincing) As with onions
  • 5 Cup water
  • 1 large sheet kombu or kelp, soaked in 1 cup room temperature water Wipe but don't rinse or the umami will be washed down the sink. My sheet was about 6 by 12 inches. You can use smaller sheets to make up that size if yours are smaller. (Don't discard the soaking water- it's going into the broth)
  • 2 t vegan white sugar (or to taste) Almost the same as regular white granulated sugar, but it doesn't use bone char
  • 1.5 t salt (or to taste)
  • 1 T sake Shaoxing wine works if you're not gluten-free
  • 1 t tamari sauce Use light soy sauce if not on a GF diet
  • 2-3 T nutritional yeast
  • 2 T Sesame oil Don't skimp on this, it gives the soup flavour and body
  • Optional garnish: sliced spring onion For the most authentic soup, use the light green and white parts. If not, the darker green ones are OK too.
  • Optional: vegan chilli crisp to drizzle on top if you like spice!


  • 3.5 oz Dried Thin White Rice noodles (100g) Blanch in hot water for 5-15 minutes, till pliable. You can substitute with shirataki konjac noodles, glass noodles or brown rice vermicelli if you want to be healthier


  • 4 bunches (Baby) Bok Choy Baby bok choy is preferable (sweeter and more tender), but regular works too
  • Optional: tofu I'd be careful with mushrooms as they can add a heavy flavour to the soup, and it won't taste like wonton soup anymore!



  • Blanch the white rice vermicelli in hot water for 5-15 minutes till pliable. Make sure it's thin and not thick rice noodle! If you're using glass noodle, brown rice noodle or shiratake konjac noodles, check the instructions at the back of the pack
  • At the same time, soak the kelp/ kombu in 1C of room temperature water.

Bok Choy

  • After that, bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch some bok choy in it. You want to briefly cook the veggie- it should still be bright green and not boiled till it's old and limp!
  • Once blanched, plate the bok choy. Take the pot off the stove (with the water still in it), add the kelp and its soaking water to it then KIV the liquid to make the soup below

Making the vegan soup

  • Heat a pot with 1-3 tablespoons of oil in it on medium to medium-high heat. When hot, add the minced onions and saute for about 3 minutes till translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds, then the ginger for another 30 seconds.
  • Pour in 10 Cups of water, including that used to cook the bok choy. If insufficient, supplement with regular water. Bring to the boil on high heat. (You can cover it to expedite the process)
  • Add the kelp to the pot and lower to a simmer, uncovered (usually medium heat- about 5 on a Bosch induction stove with a maximum of 9 works well for me)
  • Simmer for 10 minutes. 1 minute before you're about the switch off the fire, add the boiled wontons/ vegetable balls/ dumplings or tofu to the soup. Stir.
  • Season with the white salt, sugar, sake, nutritional yeast and tamari sauce. Use the quantities specified above then taste - if not, season to your liking. Right before you switch off the fire, add the bok choy to the pot to warm it up then switch off the fire.
  • Sprinkle the spring onions then drizzle the sesame oil. Stir and portion out, making sure every bowl of noodles has some wontons/ dumplings/ veggie balls/ tofu and bok choy.


You can also cook the veggie balls (they're like Asian vegetarian meatballs) in the soup- just note that they may thicken the soup if they contain starches as well as season it as most veggie balls are salted. (In this case, cook the veggie balls first, taste, then season.)
I don't recommend cooking the dumplings or wontons directly in the soup though, as they're too starchy and the consistency of the soup won't resemble that of wonton soup anymore.
Alternatively, if you don't cook any of the above in the soup, and find the texture too watery compared to authentic wonton mee (which is a bit gelatinous due to the bone broth), use a bit of flour or cornflour to thicken it. Add 1 T of cornflour to a bowl then pour in 3-4T of the soup and mix WELL. We don't want clumping! After that, add it bit by bit to the soup, stirring and tasting after each addition- don't just dump it all in or you may get something too thick. We're not making gravy or ramen here!
Note: the nutritional information is an estimate automatically calculated using the WPRM recipe maker and I am not responsible for its veracity.


Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2038mg | Potassium: 244mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg