Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Beef Meatball and Radish Soup

牛肉丸白萝卜汤

Not having much time to prepare dinner so I made a quick beef meatball and radish/daikon/turnip soup. During summer, I would prefer light soup rather than traditional Cantonese soups that usually take two or more hours to simmer, this one only took about half an hour.

Cantonese believe radish and beef are good combination. There are a classic street food called Beef Intestines and Radish Stew 萝卜牛杂, and a home food called Beef Tenderloin and Radish Stew炆萝卜牛腩. My grandma used to make Radish and Beef Soup during wintertime. I would also make Radish and Beef Ribs Soup.

I remember when I was studying and living in Scotland 13 years ago, it was quite difficult to find this very Asian vegetable. Friends and I would take a train to the Chinese grocery store in Glasgow every month to satisfy our Chinese tongue. These typical vegetables were still not usual and were expensive at that time. I assume it’s getting much easier to find this big white radish in any Asian grocery stores nowadays. Japanese and Korean eat it quite often as well, as far as I know.

Ingredient –
Half big radish, beef mince, ginger, one egg white.

How to do –
1. Marinate the beef mince with one egg white, one tablespoon of starch powder, pinch of white pepper powder, salt and sugar, a few drops of light soy sauce, I also add tiny of mixed herbs in, but that’s no necessary. 2. Use a pair of chopsticks to stir the meat mixture in one direction till it becomes very sticky. It may need five-minute stirring. This can help to increase chewier texture;
3. Chop the radish into big chunks and cook with same amount of water. Bring to boil and simmer;
4. When the soup is simmering, prepare the meatball. I would like to poach the meatball before adding to the soup, so that the soup would be clear. There’s no need to cook through the meatballs. When their shapes are firm, that means when they turn brown, put them into the radish soup;
5. Simmer the soup for more 15 minutes and it’s done. Season with salt and it’s great to go with noodle or rice.

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