Meatball Soup

Rouyuan Tang

Preparation info

    Appears in

    Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook

    By Ellen Schrecker

    Published 1976

    • About

    Meal: One-Dish

    This hearty soup has a subtle taste, and its combination of savory little meatballs and cellophane noodles is very filling. You could easily serve it as the main course for a light supper, accompanied by some Oily Scallion Cakes or an asparagus or cucumber salad. In that case, it should serve about three or four people; presented as part of a larger meal, it should satisfy six to eight.



    1 package (2 ounces) cellophane noodles

    3 cups hot water, approximately

    Put the cellophane noodles in a bowl and cover them with hot water, then set them aside to soak for 10 minutes.
    4 cups water Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan.
    ½ pound ground pork Put the ground pork in a small bowl.
    2 large scallions Clean the scallions; you will use all the white part and most of the green of both. Chop one of the scallions crosswise into tiny pieces, about ⅛ inch wide, and add to the meat. Cut the other scallion into ½-inch lengths and set aside.

    1 inch piece fresh ginger

    (boiling water)

    Peel the ginger, then cut it into slivers about ⅛ inch wide, about the width of a matchstick. Drop half of the ginger shreds into the boiling water and chop the remainder very fine, until it reaches the consistency of coarse bread crumbs. Add this to the ground pork.

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ½ cup cornstarch

    1 egg white

    2 teaspoons sesame oil

    1 tablespoon soy sauce

    Add the salt, cornstarch, egg white, sesame oil, and soy sauce to the meat. Beat these ingredients into the meat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
    4 ounces fresh spinach or other leafy green vegetable, like Chinese or round cabbage Wash the spinach carefully and pull off all the tough stalks; you should have about 2 cups of uncooked spinach.
    (cellophane noodles) When the cellophane noodles are soft, put them in a colander or strainer. Rinse well and drain, then cut them into 6-inch lengths.


    (cellophane noodles)

    (boiling water)

    (meat mixture)

    Add the cellophane noodles to the boiling water.

    Use a wet teaspoon to shape the meat mixture into little meatballs about the size of marbles. (Wet your hands when you do this; it makes it easier to form the meatballs.) Drop the meatballs carefully into the boiling soup; there should be about 40 of them.

    1 teaspoon salt Add the salt, then let the meatballs boil gently in the soup for about 4 minutes.
    (spinach) Put the spinach in the soup and let it boil for 1 minute more.

    ½ teaspoon sesame oil

    (remaining chopped scallions)

    salt, if necessary

    Add the sesame oil and the rest of the chopped scallions and let the soup boil for another 2 minutes, then taste for salt and serve.