WINTER MELON SOUP WITH MEATBALLS CHINESE STYLE
This Chinese Winter Melon Soup dish with meatballs is ready to be shared now that the weather is starting to cool down.
Since winter melons may be picked from the end of summer until the beginning of the next winter, it’s a perfect recipe for the transition between summer and fall when it comes to meatballs; who doesn’t adore them!
Winter Melon Soup: Delightful and Filling!
Because no rinsing, cutting, deboning, or trimming is required with ground meat, this Winter Melon Soup with Meatballs will be a hit with your family. And the soup itself comes together in no time. The outcome is a simple, light soup that can be served as a side dish to a stir-fry or as a main course.
Late summer and early fall are good times to eat hearty stews like chili and beef soup, although you may not be ready for them just yet.
Soup is a great way for parents with children returning to school to protect them from catching a cold in the classroom. Many of our favorite traditional soups have been featured on our site over the years. Take a look!
Uses for Winter Melon
Aren’t you starting to notice? A winter melon dish has never been published on our site before!
With its thick, silvery green skin and fast-cooking properties, the winter melon is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine. In the same way as pumpkins, you’ll need to remove the outer skin, and the unpeeled winter melon can be stored for months in a cold, dry spot!
Winter melon has a mild flavor that lends itself well to braised and soup recipes. With salted pork or ham, I’ve also seen it used in stir-fry dishes.
Winter melon is also found in a popular Chinese confection called “wife cakes,” or lao po bing (). If you simmer down the winter melon and add sugar, it produces a great sweet treat, like other traditional Chinese pastry fillings (lotus seed paste, red bean paste, taro, etc.).
Tender Chinese Meatballs: The Art of the Perfectly Dried Meatball
When making the meatballs, you’ll notice that one of the steps is to “whip” the mixture for 10 minutes in one direction alone.
Many have wondered why our meat-filling recipes call for a considerable time of whipping and why just one direction of whipping is recommended.
It’s a method of emulsifying meat to strengthen its fibers and make it more cohesive. The meat’s texture is also altered, becoming less “meaty” and more elastic and snappy due to this process.
Asian meatball and fish ball recipes often include the practice of squishing the meat mixture into a more pleasing and bouncy feel. By hand is preferred, but an electric mixer can achieve the same effect.
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- 1 lb. of ground pork(or dark meat chicken, 450g)
- 2 tbsp. of water
- 2 1/2 tbsp. of light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp. of sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. of ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. of sugar
- 1 pc. of egg white
- 1 tbsp. of ginger (minced)
- 1 scallion (finely chopped)
- 1/4 tsp. of salt
FOR THE REST OF THE SOUP:
- 1 package of glass noodles
- 1 lb. of winter melon
- 1 tbsp. of oil
- 2 scallions (white parts only, chopped)
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 2 cups of water (475 ml)
- 1/2 tsp. of ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. of sesame oil
- salt (to taste)
- large handful of cilantro (chopped)
TO MAKE THE MEATBALL:
- Using a pair of chopsticks, whisk the meatball ingredients for at least 10 minutes in a big bowl. The mixture should become thick and pasty with a little resistance as you whip with a strong circular motion. For 6-7 minutes, you can alternatively use the paddle attachment on your electric mixer set on low speed.
- The meatballs are now ready to be made. Apply oil to both palms, then scoop up a large spoonful of meat mixture and roll it into a ball. A golf ball-sized meatball is an ideal size for these beauties. Add some space between each one by placing them in an oiled baking dish. Let cool completely before continuing to make soup.
TO ASSEMBLE THE SOUP:
- For 15 minutes, put the glass noodles in a bowl of cold water. After draining and cutting the noodles in half lengthwise, they’re ready to serve. Set aside for now.
- Remove the outer 1/8-inch of dark green skin from the winter melon. Wash and chop into 1/4-inch sections.
- Add 1 tbsp. oil to a soup pot and bring to a simmer. Stir-fry the scallions’ white portions for one minute. Before adding in the winter melon, add the chicken stock and the water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
- The boiling soup demands a spoonful of care when adding meatballs, so take your time. Add 1/2 tsp. white pepper and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil to the mixture. Continue to heat and boil until completely thickened. The glass noodles can be added at this point, along with salt to taste if you so want. Stir in the glass noodles and season to taste with salt. Serve with cilantro and further 3-4 minutes of cooking time.