Easy Chinese Cabbage Meatballs Soup in Cold Dew
It’s still very hot and sunny in Hong Kong in October, most people still wear summer apparent. However it’s been in Cold Dew in solar calendar and it turned much colder in most part of China, especially northern regions.
Chinese cabbage, or Napa cabbage, has been the most commonly seen and most consumed vegetable in North China. People there would store tons of Chinese cabbage home and consume during the long cold wintertime. It’s also considered a symbol of prosperity in China. There’s a porcelain Chinese cabbage figure in my parents’ apartment. Though Chinese cabbage is an annual plant, it’s particularly sweet, juicy and crispy in cool season.
Chinese cabbage can be cooked in various methods, stir-fry, stew, soup, pickle, salad, wrap. And it’s known to all that baechu-kimchi, in Korean cuisine, is the most common type of kimchi. Baechu is the Sino-Korean reading of Baicai/白菜, the Chinese pronunciation of Chinese cabbage.
This recipe is under the influence of the most famous dumpling/jiaozi filling, Chinese cabbage and pork. I make meatball often, usually a big portion, keep in fridge and take whenever I want. When making meatball, I don’t like pure meat, but mix some vegetables in, such as mushroom, tofu, seasonal vegetables. So I would chop some Chinese cabbage in the pork mince. This is a quick and hearty soup recipe.
Pork mince, 300g, I don’t like all lean, usually 7 or 8 portions of lean with 3 or 2 portions of fat meat;
Chinese cabbage, a few leaves;
Mini dry shirmps, 1tbsp;
Big dry shiitake mushroom, 2;
Garlic, 2 cloves;
Salt, and sugar.
How to do –
1. Prepare the ingredients. Dry shiitake mushrooms soaked in hot water for 1 hour till tender enough to slice, keep the infused water; dry shrimp also soaked for 10 minutes, finely chopped. Cabbage washed, whipped off water on the surface with kitchen towel, 2 leaves finely chopped and 3 torn into big pieces;
2. In a big bowl, put in pork mince, chopped cabbage, chopped dry shrimp, 1tbsp of cornstarch, 1/2tsp of salt and sugar, garlic pressed, 10g of ginger pressed, mix in one direction till mixed well;
3. Roll the meatball, about 1tbsp for one;
4. Sometimes I like to poach or deep-fry to set the meatballs, but pan-fry is quick and easy;
5. Let’s make the soup. In a wok or soup pot, with a little oil, stir-fry mushroom and ginger slices till fragrant, put in the cabbage and meatballs, 2 cups of the mushroom infused water, lid on, bring to boil then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes in medium heat till cabbage turn tender, have a taste and season with a little salt and sugar;
6. I would like to thicken the soup with a little cornstarch. Dissolve 1tbsp of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water, pour in the boiling soup and stir well, once bring to boil, heat off.