Spicy Szechuan Dumpling Soup

This spicy Szechuan dumpling soup is like a warm hug – savory, a little sweet, and packed with umami flavors for the perfect meal on a cold night.

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It’s that time of year again when we start dreading the cold days and dark afternoons. But we’re getting ahead of that this year with our Spicy Szechuan Dumpling Soup so you have a new delicious recipe to look forward to this fall and winter!

A bowl of spicy dumpling soup with chopsticks and a spoon

This savory and spicy dish finds the perfect middle ground between a Szechuan dumpling sauce and a Chinese dumpling soup, a goal my dad and I have been striving for since we had some of the best Szechuan dumplings at a restaurant that is now sadly closed. But of course, that is the whole dream Nicole and I had when we created The Candid Cooks – to make restaurant quality meals at home and allow others to share in that experience. 

Spicy, warm, salty, and a little sweet, this dumpling soup recipe is everything you want in a comforting cold night’s meal. Add in a fresh batch of our Homemade Pork Dumplings and you won’t be sad about the coming cold, dark months.

Spicy Szechuan Soup Ingredients

This easy wonton soup recipe consists of only three main components: 

  • Broth –  We use both vegetable broth and chicken broth to provide a depth of flavor that is missed with just one or the other. However, if you want a vegetarian Chinese soup, follow the same process using only vegetable broth.
  • Sauce – This is where the main flavor of the soup comes from. Our spicy Szechuan sauce consists of the following ingredients: soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, minced garlic, powdered ginger, salt, and of course, fresh finely ground Sichuan pepper. 
  • Dumplings or wontons – We highly recommend using freshly made steamed dumplings (you can find our pork dumpling recipe here). However you can also use the store bought wontons or dumplings of your choice. If making your own dumplings, just be sure they are sealed tight, otherwise they’ll fall apart in your soup. While they may taste the same, all your hard work folding dumplings will be lost!
Spicy szechuan wonton soup with a plate of pork dumplings in the background

In case you haven’t had Szechuan pepper (also known as Sichuan pepper) before there are a couple common questions you may be asking. What do Szechuan peppers taste like and how spicy is a Szechuan pepper?

Well, first off, Szechuan peppers aren’t actually peppers at all, they are actually dried berries from the Chinese prickly ash bush. This means that Szechuan peppers are not actually spicy at all, and they certainly don’t taste like a traditional pepper! Instead, Szechuan peppers have a flavor often described as bitter, floral, and citrusy. However, what makes these little berries such an interesting ingredient to cook with, and why some may consider them spicy, is the tingling sensation they leave in your mouth!

How To Make Our Spicy Dumpling Soup Recipe

This delicious spicy wonton soup recipe is super easy to put together and requires very little attention while cooking. Here are the quick and simple steps needed to prepare this soup:

  1. Whisk the Szechuan sauce together. Really, that’s it. Combine the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and mix until well combined.
  2. Add the broth and sauce to a saucepan. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. The goal here is to reduce the soup by about ⅓ of its original volume. All you need to do is remember to stir occasionally. 
  4. Serve over hot dumplings and enjoy! For an Asian dumpling soup we believe it’s best to steam the dumplings so the soft shell can soak up the delicious Szechuan flavors. If you want to make this a vegetarian Szechuan soup, just be sure to use veggie dumplings!

Not only is this an easy wonton soup recipe, it also is easily scalable. If you’re wondering how to cook this soup for a crowd, follow our Homemade Pork Dumpling Recipe which makes 50 dumplings, and scale the soup by three times while following the same method. You may have to simmer the soup longer to reduce by a third. Instead of steaming the dumplings, dumplings can also be boiled to help with large batches.

To boil a large batch of dumplings: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the dumplings (don’t overcrowd the pot) and cook for about 4 minutes, until cooked through.

A homemade pork dumpling being lifted out of a bowl of spizy szechuan dumpling soup

How To Serve Szechuan Wonton Soup

One thing Nicole and I love about this spicy Szechuan soup is how many ways it can be served and enjoyed. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Enjoy as a dinner – Serve a cup of soup with 8 dumplings for a filling meal.
  • Serve as an appetizer or side – Serve a half cup of soup with 4 dumplings to go along with a larger Chinese dinner such as our General Tso’s Chicken!
  • Bring it to a potluck – Keep the soup and dumplings warm in a large crockpot for a crowd to easily enjoy!
  • Feature your favorite dumplings – Serve your favorite dumplings in a little soup to act as a spicy Szechuan sauce, letting the dumplings soak up the extra spice and flavor.

Storing & Reheating Spicy Szechuan Dumpling Soup

As with all good soups, this recipe makes for plenty of leftovers. Once you have eaten your fill and it comes time to store the extra away, take care to store your dumplings properly so they’re perfect when you’re ready to eat them the next day.

Store the dumplings in a large flat container that provides enough room to keep them from touching and add enough soup to just cover the bottom of each dumpling. Keeping the dumplings moist and separated ensures they don’t stick together. If your dumplings stick together, it will be hard to separate them later causing them to potentially rip. Once your dumplings are put away, just store the remaining soup in an airtight container. 

Stored in the fridge, this Szechuan soup and dumplings will last 3 to 4 days. When you’re ready to enjoy this savory, spicy Szechuan soup all over again, simply add the dumplings and soup to a saucepan, cover, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until warmed through.

Sichuan wonton soup served with pork dumplings

Why Make Szechuan Dumpling Soup?

While it took awhile to perfect this recipe, the results were very much worth it. Our Spicy Szechuan Dumpling Soup combines an array of spicy, salty, and umami flavors with just a hint of sweetness to help round out the dish. And while the spice might not punch you in the face, the quiet heat builds throughout leaving a warm glow in your mouth and belly by the end of the meal. 

So next time you’re craving a warm comforting meal, whether you’re coming in from a cold winter’s day or feeling under the weather, try our Spicy Szechuan Dumpling Soup and curl up under a blanket by the fire to enjoy. 

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4.2 from 31 votes

Spicy Szechuan Dumpling Soup

This spicy Szechuan dumpling soup is like a warm hug – savory, a little sweet, and packed with umami flavors for the perfect meal on a cold night.
Servings 4 cups
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2⅔ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1⅓ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • Pork dumplings 6 to 8 per cup of soup, if serving for dinner (see notes for serving suggestions)
  • 2 scallions sliced


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, hoisin, sesame oil, minced garlic, ground Szechuan peppercorn, powdered ginger, and salt until well-combined.
  • Next, add the vegetable broth and chicken broth to a saucepan. Then add the sauce you just mixed, and stir to combine.
  • Cook soup over medium high heat until just boiling, about 10 minutes, then lower to a simmer (medium to medium-low heat) and cook until reduced by about one third, stirring occasionally. This should take about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Serve soup immediately over steamed pork dumplings and top with sliced scallions.


Pork dumplings: We recommend making a fresh batch of our homemade pork dumplings (get the recipe here!) to go in this Szechuan soup. They soak up the soup so perfectly and are surprisingly easy to make! To time things properly, mix up the pork filling for the dumplings before getting the soup started on your stove. Then fold the dumplings while the soup cooks (keeping an eye on it and stirring occasionally) and cook as many dumplings as you want once you’re done folding. Store the rest in the freezer for easy meals later on! Alternatively, use your favorite store-bought dumplings.
Vegetarian option: You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by just using 4 cups of vegetable broth instead of combining vegetable and chicken broth. Serve with your favorite veggie dumplings!
Serving suggestions: This Szechuan soup is delicious as a meal, appetizer, side dish, or snack. Serve a cup of soup with 6 to 8 dumplings for a filling dinner, or serve half cups of soup with about 3 or 4 dumplings as an appetizer or side. Or, serve your favorite dumplings in just a small amount of this soup so it acts as a dumpling sauce (so delicious). The possibilities are endless!
Storing and reheating: This soup will stay good in the fridge for 3 to 4 days stored in an airtight container. If you have leftover steamed dumplings, you can store those easily too – check out our blog post above for detailed instructions. To reheat, simply heat the soup in a covered saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Scaling: This recipe easily scales to feed a crowd. Our homemade pork dumplings recipe makes about 50 dumplings, so you can scale this soup recipe by 3x and have the right proportions for serving dumpling soup at a potluck or dinner party with lots of people!
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Author: Alex
Calories: 506kcal
Course: Appetizer, Appetizers, Dinner, Lunch, Main, Main Course, Side Dish, Sides
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: brown sugar, chicken broth, chili oil, garlic, ginger, hoisin, pork dumplings, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, Szechuan peppercorn, vegetable broth


Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 1729mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 7mg

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Join the Conversation

  1. Christian Stachel says:

    3 stars
    Overall good flavors and ingredient selection, but wayyyy too much sugar. A little for balancing savory flavors I get, and I even used less than the recipe, but it’s still far too sugary.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! This recipe was inspired (in part) by wonton soup, so it definitely has some sweetness to it. We also like to use the sugar to balance out the heat. It’s not for everyone, but we hope you enjoyed it overall!

  2. We thought of you yesterday, as we made our version of this soup for New England Soup Night. It was a cross between this and Alex’s dad’s less precise recipe. And it was SO GOOD. More spicy than I remember — but then again, Jonathan chose the heat level. 🙂

    1. Yum! Sounds so delicious. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  3. I know who makes the best dumpling soup ever, and we are going to miss it this year, so this may be a timely blessing.
    Wait. You have cold days and dark afternoons where you live? We’re heading for the best part of the year here in Florida. 🙂

    1. Hopefully you enjoy our version! Haha, we have “cold” days – aka 60 degrees 🙂

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