Beef Meatball Soup

Rate this recipe

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

A soup sufficiently filling and nourishing to be served as lunch for four people. Although Chinese to the core, it will go very well with French bread. Try it.


  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 6ΒΌ cups lightly seasoned beef or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 ounces fresh mushrooms, trimmed and cut into thin slices
  • 2-3 scallions, green parts only, cut into tiny rounds
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • ΒΌ teaspoon salt
  • Small pinch sugar
  • 1 teaspoon thin soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons thick soy sauce
  • 8-20 turns black pepper mill
  • 1-1Β½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 5-6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Marinate the beef. Put the beef in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, sugar, soy sauces, pepper, ginger, and wine or sherry and stir to mix. Sprinkle with the flour, then add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir vigorously in the same direction until completely absorbed before adding another spoonful. Pick up the whole lump of beef and throw it back into the bowl 50-60 times. This makes the beef light and slippery in texture. Leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer. Blend in the oils.
  • With your fingers, pick up the 2-3 teaspoons of the meat and roll it into a ball about the size of a Ping-Pong ball. Repeat with all the beef.
  • Pour the stock into the wok and bring it to a boil. Add the oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over a gentle heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the meatballs. Return the soup to a fast simmer, then continue to cook for about 1Β½ minutes, if you like the beef balls to be pink in the center, or 2 minutes longer, if you like them to be well done, stirring them around a couple of times. Add the scallions, give the soup another big stir, then remove from the heat.
  • Taste the soup for seasoning. Ladle the meatballs and soup either into a large soup tureen or into individual bowls. Serve hot.

Part of