Naked Wonton Soup

This naked wonton soup is simply the best parts of wonton soup–the insanely aromatic and flavorful filling of ground pork, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil–simmered in chicken broth minus the wonton wrappers. A keto-friendly, low-carb, gluten-free riff on the Asian classic.

Two bowls of naked wonton with a small dish of sliced scallions on the side.

Naked wonton soup. Now that we have your attention, we’d like to draw your awareness to this blissfully (if decidedly untraditional) low-carb riff on the classic Asian soup which skips the fussy wrappers and instead gently simmers gingery pork meatballs directly in chicken broth spiked with soy and sesame oil. Gluten free and keto friendly and delicious and fast and kid pleasing.–Angie Zoobkoff

Naked Wonton Soup

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 2 to 4
4.8/5 - 4 reviews
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  • For the broth
  • For the pork meatballs


Make the broth

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the broth, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Make the pork meatballs

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, gently mix together the pork, scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, salt, pepper, garlic, and eggs. (Keep the mixture loose—don’t overwork it or your meatballs will be tough.)

Once the broth has begun to boil, turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Using a small scoop or melon baller, scoop the pork mixture into 1-inch (25-mm) meatballs and drop into the simmering broth. You should have about 24 meatballs although you may not want to use all of them.

Tester tip: If you’ve got way more meatballs than you intend to use in this soup, either freeze the entire blob of meatball mixure or first shape it into meatballs, place on a baking sheet, and freeze for an hour to set and then transfer the meatballs to a resealable bag to freeze. You’ll be able to make the soup even more quickly next time.

Bring the soup to a simmer. Stir in the mushrooms or bok choy, if using. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through and have an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C), 4 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup into bowls. There may be a layer of pork fat in the bottom of the pan that you’ll want to leave in the pan when divvying up the soup. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This was super fast, super easy, and super satisfying! In the middle of a hectic morning of holiday party prep, this recipe came through in my email. It called my name! It took me 15 minutes from start to finish and is now going in my belly as a truly delicious lunch on a jam-packed day. That's how fast and easy this soup is, that it can be made while doing a million other things at the same time without even really a thought.

While I measured the amounts, this is the kind of soup that's forgiving. Use more or less of whatever additions you like—I used sautéed shiitakes and a teaspoon of Tuong Ot Toi Vietnam Chili Garlic Sauce. The seasoning level was on-point even before the chili garlic sauce, but now it jumps happily in my mouth!

The addition of soy sauce and sesame oil to my favorite homemade chicken broth was a lovely addition. The meatballs were flavorful and made this a tasty and hearty soup. The ground pork meatballs were delicious.

If you have prepared chicken broth, this flavorful and satisfying soup can be ready in about 35 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised that the meatballs took only about 4 minutes to cook. I added chopped bok choy to round out the flavors and provide a vegetable to the soup.

This recipe made many more meatballs than I needed, so I froze almost half of the meat for a future soup.


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  1. Made this again today after making it many times over the past year. Just want to give a heads up to anyone wanting to try it: this works better with one egg rather than two. Also, you don’t need to take the time to form actual meatballs; just use a round tablespoon measure or cookie scoop to form loosely packed meat-blobs and drop them into the simmering broth. It’s so delicious when some of the blobs stay together in balls but dome break apart into the soup! This batch with chiffonaded lacinato kale, shiitake mushrooms and a heaping teaspoon of Tuong Ot Toi Vietnam Chili Garlic Sauce.

    1. Thanks, Erin! We so appreciate you taking the time to share those fantastic tips with us and your fellow readers.

  2. This…seems interesting for a wonton or molo soup. I haven’t tried it without tasting that “sensation” when you bite into the wrapper. I guess this is worth a try.

    1. Thanks, Jeremy. You’re right, you do lose that moment of loveliness, as well as some of the satiating qualities of those lovely carbs, although for those who have gluten issues or need or choose to remain low-carb, at least they can still derive the other pleasures of the soup…

  3. This was so perfect for our hectic Monday night! We threw some chopped shrimp towards the end (because we had some laying about), and ladled the hot soup over shredded carrots, shaved brussels sprouts, green onions and cilantro. Total prep time was under 30 minutes. So simple and delicious – it’ll be in our dinner rotation often!

  4. Like this recipe a lot, not fond of boiled wonton wrappers!

    I like stronger flavors, so for the broth, I first heated the toasted sesame oil with some dried red pepper, then proceeded to make the broth.
    I used fish sauce instead of kosher salt.
    Tossed in some cellophane noodles for interest.

    1. Scott, like the way you’re thinking and cooking! (Like you, I don’t care for soggy wontons. Crisped dumplings, now that’s another matter…) Thanks so much for sharing your tweaks!

  5. Made this today for our lunch and loved it. I doubled the broth recipe and used all the meatballs after freezing them about 20 minutes on a parchment-lined sheet pan before adding them. We’re not keto, so I also added some medium egg noodles for heft. Husband and I each had a big bowl with 6 meatballs, and we have half left for tomorrow.

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