Cucumber and Meat Ball Soup

Meat Ball Soup is a common family dish in northern China during winter. I still remember in cold winter nights when I came home from school, I would see the orange light in the window. When I open the door, parents brought up a large bowl of steaming hot meat ball soup…nothing could warm me up better than that.
This new year’s eve, Cucumber and Meat Ball Soup is perfect closure for 2012, also a warm and delicious start to 2013.
Cucumber and Meat Ball Soup
 (serves 2-3)
500g pork mince
1/2 cucumber
50g vermicelli
1 egg
120g spring onion
10g ginger
2 tbsp of cooking wine
2 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of cornflour
2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/3 tsp of five spices powder
1/3 tsp of prickly ash powder
1/2 tsp of ground white pepper
cooking oil

  1. Finely dice the spring onion and ginger. Place the minced pork in a big bowl, add the egg, spring onion, ginger, 3 tbsp of cooking oil, 1 tsp of salt, sugar, cooking wine, sesame oil, five spice powder, prickly ash powder, cornflour, light soy sauce and 2 tbsp of cold water. Keep mixing the ingredients towards one direction until it becomes a paste.
  2. Peel off the skin of the cucumber, cut it into thin pieces. Soak the vermicelli with cold water.
  3. Heat up a wok/pot with 1.5L water over strong heat. When the water is about 60-70℃, turn to mid-low heat. Use a tea spoon to shape the meat paste into balls the size of walnuts and put into the water. When finish all the meat paste, turn up the heat, bring to a boil. Skim off the foam on the surface, add the cucumber slices, water-soaked vermicelli, ground white pepper and the remaining salt. Keep boiling for 3-4 minutes, turn off the heat and ready to serve.
  1. When making meat balls, dip the spoon into water, so the meat paste won’t stick on the spoon.
  2. Make the meat balls as fast as possible, in case some of the meat balls are cooked but some are still raw.

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