I have always loved those hearty soups which are a meal in themselves. Combined with Chinese flowering cabbage and beanthread noodles, the meatballs make this a rich and savoury soup that is perfect for a cool autumn or rainy evening. It is easy to make, once you have the stock.
The soup can be cooled and re-heated. You can, of course, use any vegetables instead of the Chinese flowering cabbage. This soup is delicious with Chinese leaves, spinach, even cabbage. Serve it with a good bread or with rice if you have some.
Cut the Chinese greens into
Whizz the beef in a food processor for a few seconds. Slowly add the egg white and cold water and mix them for a few more seconds until they are fully incorporated into the meat. Then add the rest of the meatball ingredients and mix for about 1 minute until the meat mixture has become a light paste. Using your hands, form the mixture into about twelve
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, gently drop in the meatballs and simmer for 5 minutes or until the meatballs float to the top. Remove them immediately with a slotted spoon and drain well.
In a large pan, bring the stock to a simmer, then add the beanthread noodles, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry and salt. Add the Chinese greens and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Return the meatballs to the simmering stock and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the sesame oil and give the soup several good stirs. Ladle into a soup tureen or individual bowls and serve at once.
© 1996 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.