Simple Vietnamese Pork Meatball Soup

8 Aug

This recipe was borne of an, unfortunately, not uncommon occurrence of getting to my produce a little too late. I was shocked when the farmers market had bitter melon and I intended to make canh kho qua (pork stuffed bitter melon soup). But having a newborn and toddler tends to wreak havoc on rigid meal plans. That night I made only the filling and formed meatballs to cook in a simple broth, and Anh loved it.

Tonight I made it intentionally with a more mild vegetable that my 3 year old likes (depending on the day, of course). Still a hit!

Pork Meatball Soup

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup woodear mushrooms (rehydrated and chopped)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 fuzzy melon, cut in 1/2″ quarter slices
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbs+ fish sauce
  • 1 tbs+ mushroom seasoning
  • 1 tbs+ sugar

In a stock pot get your chicken broth hot. I use powdered chicken bullion powder (Lee Kum Kee brand like this), but any variation will do.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the meatballs ingredients (but take care not to over mix): pork, mushrooms, shallot, cilantro, sugar, white pepper and fish sauce. Using a spoon make into meatballs and add to broth once boiling.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer meatballs for 10 minutes, skimming the broth as gunk rises to the top.

Add the fuzzy melon and cook for only 5 minutes or so. You don’t want to overdo it and turn the vegetables into mush. If you can’t find fuzzy melon, any other green veg would work. Yu choy or baby mustard greens would be great, as would bitter melon of course. Likewise, these would be just as good with ground chicken instead of pork.

Season the broth with additional fish sauce, mushroom seasoning and/or sugar to taste.

Serve with one or two smaller dishes for s perfect meal. Tonight I made braised caramel salmon and sauteed some chive pockets from the freezer section.

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