HO TO TAY SOUP with Asian Dumplings: Mom’s Comfort Soup

One of the most comforting ways my Mom would soothe away the day’s troubles was to have HO TO TAY Soup hot and ready for dinner . I remember very well how she would painstakingly wrap each of the dumplings with won ton wrappers. Some days I would help her wrap them. I was just a kid then, and did not do it very well. My late Mom, Lulu Reyes Besa, would then patiently take me through the steps of how to wrap a dumpling  and showed me how to drop them into the simmering chicken soup broth.

And just to make the soup even more special, she would crack a whole egg into the simmering broth, already filled with lots of vegetables and chicken , at the last stage of cooking. This soup held so many memories of warm, soothing moments with my Mom.

 In fact, when I was newly married and pregnant with my first son, I craved this Ho To Tay soup so badly, the way Mom used to make it. Fast forward to present day, and we still have this all -in-one soup dish as a mainstay at our dinner table very often.

Prepare the ground pork filling and wrap with wonton wrappers.

Seal each wonton with egg wash and set aside. If too soft to handle, refrigerate a few minutes till ready to drop in broth.

Prepare the vegetable ingredients that will go into the soup. Make sure to pre-soak dried mushrooms before slicing.

Pre-boil chicken breast and slice into shreds. Put the chicken aside for later. Also set aside the chicken broth to be used for the soup.

Saute the garlic and onions in a large pot. Add several cups of chicken broth .

Slowly add the dumplings into the broth.



1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 cup finely chopped carrots

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 egg

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sesame oil, a few drops to flavor

Wonton wrappers, about 24 pieces

Egg wash ( one egg + 1/2 cup water), for sealing wrappers

  • Combine all the ingredients for the filling.
  • Place a teaspoon of the filling into each of the wrappers.
  • Brush the sides of the wrapper with egg wash. Seal well. Put wontons aside.


7-8 cups chicken broth

1 large chicken breasts, pre-boiled

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, sliced

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 carrot, sliced

4 pieces dried mushrooms, soaked then sliced

1 bunch Napa cabbage (in the Philippines, we called it Baguio pechay)

1 cup snow peas

1 whole egg (optional)

Salt and pepper for seasoning

  1. Saute garlic, onions, celery. Add the carrots .
  2. Add the chicken broth and the shredded chicken.
  3. Let the broth boil, then bring temperature down to a medium. Let broth simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Slowly add the stuffed wontons.
  5. Drain the mushrooms, slice and add to the broth and wontons. Add the vegetables last.
  6. If desired, drop a whole egg into the broth, just before serving.
  7. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until wontons are done, about 15-18 minutes.

COOK’S COMMENTS: Preparing and stuffing the dumplings can be done ahead of time . They can also be stored in the freezer and used to make the soup when one is ready. Sometimes shrimps can be added to the soup and adds a special flavor. The chicken and broth can also be made ahead of time. Or if desired, use leftover roast chicken, shredded well and add to this delicious soup dish.

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