Subgum Wonton vs. Regular Wonton Soup: Which is better?

What is Subgum Wonton Soup?

Subgum Wonton Soup or Wor Wonton Soup is a clear wonton soup with added vegetables, meat, and seafood to make a complete meal in one bowl. The word subgum is a mispronunciation of the Cantonese word sahp gam, meaning ten brocades, roughly a way of communicating the various ingredients used in the dish.
Despite its Cantonese Origin, Subgum Wonton Soup has been extremely popular in North America for over a century. It has been an essential part of American-Chinese cuisine and was mentioned in newspapers like The Chicago Tribunal in its early 1900 editions.

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Wontons were introduced by the Qing Dynasty in 1644 and were previously considered the food of kings and nobles. The Cantonese immigrants brought the shrimp-pork wonton to the U.S. before the mid-twentieth century, after which the subgum wonton soup started gaining popularity in Western countries. While Cantonese preferred a simpler version of Wonton Soup as an American-Chinese cuisine, the dish has gone through numerous innovations to make it palate-friendly.

What is Regular Wonton Soup?

A regular Wonton Soup is a simpler version of Chinese soup made with fewer ingredients and improved with Chinese authenticity. 

Wontons are a form of Chinese dumplings commonly found in regional styles of Chinese cuisine. What makes wontons different from other dumplings is their comparatively thinner crust and square shapes explicitly designed for use in soups and broth-based dishes. 

Regular Wonton Soups are made of fewer ingredients and have a clearer broth.

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Based on the following criteria, let’s compare Subgum Wonton Soup and Regular Wonton Soup. 


Subgum Wonton soup originated in the Cantonese settlement of Northern America and has an American-Chinese touch. 

Regular Wonton Soup originated in China, with the earliest evidence of the dish found in the Turpan City of Northwest China.

Key Ingredients 

The key ingredients of Subgum Wonton Soup are 

  • Pork Wontons 
  • Beef Broth/ Chicken Broth 
  • Vegetables like Spinach, celery, carrots 
  • Dry Sherry 
  • Shrimp or Diced onion as a topping 

Key ingredients of Regular Wonton Soup include 

  • Pork Wontons / Chicken Wontons 
  • Broth 
  • Rice Wine 
  • Green Onions as toppings 
  • Aromatics 

Traditional vs. Adapted Recipe 

Traditionally, Subgum Wonton Soups are made with pork wontons, beef broth, and an assortment of vegetables. As a later adaptation, some chefs use crab meat as filling instead of pork and scallops as an addition to the broth. 

Traditionally, Regular Wonton Soups are clear soups made using pork wontons and beef broths. But in some states, seaweed and shrimp are used to make it extra savory.

Flavors and Seasonings 

Subgum Wonton Soups have rich flavors and a pleasing texture created by the mixture of soft wontons and crisp vegetables. The chief seasonings used are 

  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Soy Sauce 
  • Black Pepper 
  • Salt 
  • Tomato Sauce 
  • Sesame Oil

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Regular Wonton Soups have a mild and savory flavor with hints of sesame oil, ginger, and shrimp being strong in the broth. The wonton fillings also add a bit of sweetness to balance the broth. The broth is seasoned with 

  • Ginger 
  • Garlic 
  • Mild Sugar 
  • Lemon Juice 
  • Chilli-Garlic Oil 
  • Salt 

Unique qualities 

The unique qualities of Subgum Wonton Soup are 

  • It is a one-pot meal. 
  • It has a refreshing texture caused by the addition of mushrooms and meat. 

The unique qualities of Regular Wonton Soup are 

  • It is a mixture of health and taste. 
  • You can make it in a wide range of gourmet and easy manners. For Gourmet, you can make the wontons and broth from scratch, and to prepare it quickly, you can use store-bought wontons.

Filling, Flavors, and Ingredients 

Subgum Wonton soup uses pork, shrimp, meat, or crab fillings. Some of the variations used in subgum wonton soup are 

  • Wonton Wrappers ( pork ) + Mushrooms + Shrimp + Chicken Broth + Carrots + Baby Bok Choy 
  • Pork Wontons + Bok Choy + Broccoli + Shrimp + Carrots + Celery 
  • Pork balls + Wonton sheets + beef broth + Snow peas + chopped broccoli + Water chestnuts + baby corn + Chinese cabbage + Egg noodles

Regular wonton soup uses wontons with pork fillings with pork broth. Some of the variations used in a regular wonton soup are 

  • Pork Wontons + pork broth + seasoning
  • Vegetable wontons + vegetable broth + soy sauce + seasoning 
  • Ground chicken breast wontons + bok choy + Chicken broth + seasoning 


Subgum Wonton Soup has a clear and flavourful broth because of the variety of vegetables, mushrooms, and seafood added to the meat broth. 

Regular Wonton Soup has a milder broth texture, and you get the hit of seasonings like ginger and sesame oil in the broth.

Cooking Technique 

Subgum Wonton Soup Cooking Technique

  • Combine wonton mixture ( meat filling with seasoning and sauces) in a bowl.
  • Bring the water, meat broth, salt, and sugar to a boil in a large pot and let it simmer.
  • Add the vegetables, celery, and mushrooms to the broth and simmer for ten more minutes. 
  • Prepare the wontons while the vegetables are simmering, and add them to the pot.
  • Simmer for five more minutes and add the scallions, followed by five more minutes of simmer.
  • Add the required garnishings and serve hot.

Regular Wonton Soup Cooking Technique 

  • Prepare the wonton mixture by combining pork, shrimp, rice wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger.
  • Let it rest for around 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the wontons, fill them, and seal them so they are ready for the soup.
  • Boil the chicken stock and let it simmer before adding the wontons 
  • Season and garnish before serving.


Subgum Wonton Soup has a richer texture because of the variety of ingredients used in the broth. 

Regular Wonton Soup has a milder texture because of its simple broth.

Regional Variations 

Subgum Soup in America, China, and Taiwan is prepared with wontons stuffed with pork and chicken or meat broth. In Singapore and adjacent areas, seafood filling like crab meat is used instead of pork, and the broth is enriched with shellfish and other seafood ingredients. 

Regular Wonton Soup that is prepared in America has a Cantonese touch to it with thinner wonton wrappers. Shanghai Wonton soup has thicker wonton wrappers with a predominantly eggless, vegan broth nature.

Nutritional Comparison 

Subgum Wonton Soup Nutritional Information 

Serving Calories Protein Fat Fibre Carbohydrat
1 cup28021 gram 8 gram2 gram9 grams 

Regular Wonton Soup Nutritional Information 

Serving Calories Protein Fat Fibre Carbohydrate 
1 cup 227 13.4 gram3.9 gram0.3 gram2.7 grams per dumpling

Cultural Significance 

The Chinese immigrants from North America introduced Subgum Wonton Soup, representing an amalgamation of Western and Chinese Cuisine. 

Regular Wonton Soup is an integral part of Southern and South Eastern China cuisine and represents the simplicity of Chinese cuisine.

Prepping and Cooking Time 

Subgum Wonton Soup 

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Course 
45 minutes40 minutes 55 minutes The main course, side-dish

Regular Wonton Soup 

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Course 
15 minutes 30 minutes 40 minutes side-dish

Pairing and Serving 

Subgum Wonton Soup is a complete meal and does not need any pairing to work better. You can combine it with a side salad of fresh greens to complement it and add a crunch.

Wonton Soup is not a one-pot meal. Keeping this in mind, you can pair it with various breads, rice dishes, and noodles. Coconut rice, scallion pancakes, and Chinese egg noodles are some dishes that pair well with wonton soup. Other than that, egg rolls, spring rolls, steamed vegetables, and ribs also work with the soup.

Health Considerations 

The health benefits of Subgum Wonton Soup are 

  • It is filled with the goodness of vegetables and proteins 
  • It is excellent for the digestive system 
  • Because of its optimum calorie content, subgum wonton soup is an excellent choice for people trying to watch their weight. 

All these said, it may not be an excellent choice for people with heart problems because of its variable sodium content.

The health benefits of Wonton soup are 

  • It is soothing to the palette because of its mild and refreshing taste 
  • The pork used in the wontons and broth is a great source of lean protein 
  • It is a low-carb dish when consumed in moderate amounts

Despite its numerous health benefits, wonton wrappers and broth may contain sugars and Chinese condiments and should be avoided by Diabetics.


Subgum Wonton Soup can be preserved for three days in the refrigerator and up to three months in the freezer. You can use plastic bags or air-tight containers to store the soup.

Because of fewer ingredients, Wonton Soup can be preserved for a more extended period, i.e., 5-6 days in the fridge and approximately 4-6 months in the freezer.

Tabular Version 

Characteristics Subgum Wonton Soup Regular Wonton Soup 
Origin America China
Key Ingredients Wontons, Meat Broth, vegetables, Mushrooms, Aromatics Pork Wontons with broth 
Traditional Version Pork Wontons with vegetables and meat broth Pork Wontons in a broth 
Adapted Version Using seafood instead of meat for wonton filling and broth Using vegetable and cheese filling instead of meat for Wontons 
Flavor Rich, Umami flavorMild flavor with a hint of ginger and sesame oil 
Seasoning Salt, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, black pepper Salt, sugar, lemon juice, chili garlic oil
Unique quality One pot mealRefreshing texture A mixture of health and taste It can be made in a gourmet and easy way 
Combination Wontons with mushroomsWontons with carrots and shrimp  Wontons with chestnuts and egg noodles Pork wontons with pork broth Vegetable wontons with vegetable brothChicken wontons with chicken broth 
Broth Clear and flavorful broth texture Milder broth texture 
Regional variations In contrast to pork wontons used in China, Taiwan, and America, shrimp wontons used in Singapore and surrounding areas In contrast to thin wonton wrappers used in America, thicker, eggless wrappers with vegan broth are preferred in Shanghai 
Calories ( 1 cup )280227
Proteins ( 1 cup )21 gram 13.4 gram
Carbs ( 1 cup )9 gram 2.7 grams per dumpling 
Fat ( 1 cup )8 gram3.9 gram 
Fiber ( 1 cup )2.7 gram 0.3 gram 
Pairing One pot meal or with a salad Pairs well with bread, rice, and noodles 
Cultural Significance An amalgamation of American and Chinese cuisine Authentic Chinese, Taiwanese Cuisine 
Prepping time 45 minutes15 minutes 
Cooking Time 40 minutes 30 minutes 
Total time55 minutes 40 minutes 
Dish Main dish Side dish 
Health benefitsThe goodness of veggies and proteins Great for digestion Good for weight lossSoothing to palette Excellent source of lean protein Low-carb dish
Possible health problems It should be consumed carefully by people with heart problems It may not be suitable for people with diabetes because of its sugar content and Chinese condiments 
Storage Three days in a refrigerator and three months in a freezer5-6 days in a refrigerator and 4-5 months in a freezer


Both Subgum wonton soup and Regular wonton soup are Chinese cuisines that are extremely popular because of their rich broth content and flavor. Knowing their nutritional content and ingredients will help you understand whether the dish will appeal to your taste buds and can be adapted per your dietary preferences.


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