Napa Cabbage Soup with Tofu and Meatballs
This soup can be served as a main dish for two, or as a side for four people.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Recipe type: Main, Side
Serves: 2 to 4
- 2 large slices ginger
- 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
(Option 1) Quick pork and chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped D’Artagnan Ventrèche French Pancetta
- (Optional) 1 cup chicken stock (or 2 cups, if you want the soup to be extra rich)
(Option 2) Clear seafood broth
- 1/4 cup dried shrimp
- 1/4 cup dried scallops
(Option 3) Easy broth
- 3 cups chicken stock (or pork stock)
- (230 grams) 1/2 pound ground turkey (or ground pork)
- (Optional) 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion (green part)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry or Japanese sake)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
- 2 teaspoons potato starch
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (or peanut oil, or vegetable oil)
- 6 to 8 large napa cabbage leaves, chopped (generate 6 to 8 cups)
- (Optional) 1/2 daikon radish, peeled and chopped (generates 2 cups)
- 1 batch enoki mushrooms (golden needle mushrooms), tough ends removed and separated
- 1/2 (400g / 14-ounces) block soft tofu, chopped
- Sea salt to taste
Soup base option 1 – Quick pork and chicken broth
- Heat a 3.8-liter (4-quart) pot over medium heat and add the fatty parts of the pancetta. When it starts to sizzle, turn to medium low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook until the fat renders and the pancetta turns golden.
- Add the lean parts of the pancetta. Continue cooking and stirring until brown.
- Add chicken stock and immediately use a spatula to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add 2 cups water (add 1 cup water, if using 2 cups chicken stock; or 3 cups water + 1 tablespoon oyster sauce or hoisin sauce, if you do not want to use chicken stock), ginger, and green onion. Cook over high heat until boiling. Turn to medium low heat. Cover and boil for 5 minutes.
Soup base option 2 – Clear seafood broth
- Rinse dried scallops. Place scallops in a small bowl and add water to cover. Rehydrate for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and tear into small pieces.
- Rinse dried shrimp, transfer to a small bowl, and add water to cover. Rehydrate for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Combine the rehydrated scallops and shrimp, ginger, green onion, and 3 cups water in a 3.8-liter (4-quart) pot. Heat over high heat until boiling. Turn to medium heat. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Soup base option 3 – Easy broth
- Combine chicken stock (or pork stock), ginger, and green onion in a 3.8-liter (4-quart) pot. Heat over high heat until boiling. Turn to medium heat. Cover and boil for 5 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Stir until all ingredients are just combined and form a slightly runny mixture. Do not over-stir it. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Rinse and cut veggies while letting the stock simmer.
- Add daikon radish into the soup pot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the thick parts of the napa cabbage. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the green parts of the napa cabbage and enoki mushroom into the soup. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- You can adjust the seasoning at this point, by adding a bit salt, if needed.
- Add soft tofu. Push all the ingredients to one side of the pot, to clear some space for the meatballs. (If you don’t have enough space in the pot, you can take out some of the napa cabbage leaves)
- Use a spoon to scoop 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of the meatball mixture and carefully add it into the soup. Repeat this until you’ve made about 15 meatballs.
- Cover the pot and simmer until the meatballs are just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat immediately and remove the pot from the stove, keeping it covered.
- Serve hot as a main or side. To make it a full meal, you can boil some noodles (or mung bean noodles or shirataki noodles) and add them into the soup at the end of cooking. In this case, you might want to add a bit more salt or light soy sauce, to make the broth a bit saltier. This way, it will taste just right with the noodles.
The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 4 servings generated by this recipe (by using chicken stock).