Chicken meatball noodle soup (肉丸汤面)

Tender and springy meatballs cooked in tomato and shiitake soup. This chicken meatball noodle soup is super tasty, filling and healthy.

Tender and springy meatballs cooked in tomato and shiitake soup. This chicken meatball noodle soup is super tasty, filling and healthy.

I love minced meat for its versatility. It’s the major component of dumplings, potstickers and steamed (or pan-fried) buns. It’s also used as noodle topping or to add that X-factor to stir-fries, etc. Yesterday I used minced chicken breast to make meatballs, cooked in tomato and shiitake soup, accompanied by noodles. It was very satisfying!

When I was a postgraduate student in England, I learned how to make tender, springy meatballs from my roommate Libby. Ever since then I think of her every time I cook meatballs. She told me that using egg white and corn starch is the key to success. They help the mince to combine as well as to stay moist and tender. She also advised to swirl the mince constantly in the same direction. This will give meatballs a springy texture.

Tender and springy meatballs cooked in tomato and shiitake soup. This chicken meatball noodle soup is super tasty, filling and healthy.

You might ask me “How about the egg yolk then?” Don’t worry! Nothing is wasted in this chicken meatball noodle soup. I simply drop the yolk into the soup, along with the raw meatballs. Another tip: the best (safest) way to check if the meatballs are fully cooked is to open one or two and have a look. Turn off the heat straightaway when they are done because overcooked meatballs will have a harder texture.

To me, tomato works wonders in all types of soup. And a pinch of white pepper provides a great addition to its sweet and sour flavour. I also use dried shiitake mushrooms in this chicken meatball noodle soup for its distinctive aroma. Please remember to soak them in cold water prior to cooking, 8-12 hours at least. Well rehydrated shiitake are  full of flavour and soft. They won’t have a rubbery texture (some people suggest soaking them in hot water for a short period of time. Believe me, you won’t get the same result). You may replace shiitake with other mushrooms, preferably wild ones.

Tender and springy meatballs cooked in tomato and shiitake soup. This chicken meatball noodle soup is super tasty, filling and healthy.

When it comes to noodle soup, I’d like to clarify one thing (it may be obvious to some of you). You always need to cook noodles in a separate pot with lots of water then add the cooked noodles to whatever soup you are serving. One of my friend back in Switzerland was very surprised when I told her so. She used to boil noodles in the soup. There is not enough liquid for a start, and the extra starch coming off the noodles would change the flavour of the soup.

Tender and springy meatballs cooked in tomato and shiitake soup. This chicken meatball noodle soup is super tasty, filling and healthy.

Tender and springy meatballs cooked in tomato and shiitake soup. This chicken meatball noodle soup is super tasty, filling and healthy.

Chicken meatball noodle soup (肉丸汤面)
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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 3-4 persons

Chicken meatball noodle soup (肉丸汤面)

Tender and springy meatballs cooked in tomato and shiitake soup. This chicken meatball noodle soup is super tasty, filling and healthy.

Ingredients

    Group 1: For the meatballs
  • 250g/9oz minced chicken breast (see note 1)
  • 1 stalk spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • Group 2: For the noodle soup
  • 160g/5.5oz dry noodles
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced (see note 2)
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes (chopped)
  • 600ml/2.5 cups hot water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • Chopped coriander (to taste)
  • Chinese chilli oil (to taste, optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the Group 1 ingredients in a deep bowl. Swirl constantly in the same direction until the mince becomes very sticky.
  2. Use your hands or spoons to shape the mince into balls. Wet hands or spoons with water before making each ball to reduce stickiness. Set aside.
  3. Cook the noodles following the instructions on the package.
  4. In the meantime, heat up the oil in a wok (or a pot) over a medium high heat. Stir in spring onion and shiitake mushrooms. Cook until fragrant. Add tomato then fry until a bit mushy. Pour in hot water. Cover the wok with a lid. Leave to simmer until tomato is very soft.
  5. Turn the heat up to high. Gently place the meatballs one after another into the soup, along with the egg yolk. Boil until the meatballs are fully cooked (check one or two balls. Do not overcook ). Sprinkle with salt, white pepper and coriander.
  6. Serve it hot with well drained noodles. Add some Chinese chilli oil if you wish.

Notes

1. You may use minced pork too. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Shaoxing rice wine in this case.

2. How to rehydrate shiitake mushrooms: soak them in cold water for at least 8 to 12 hours (depends on the size) until very soft. Trim and discard the stem before slicing.

https://redhousespice.com/chicken-meatball-noodle-soup/

If you love noodle dishes like I do, check out other scrumptious recipes below. And don’t forget to subscribe (in the sidebar) to receive new recipe notifications.

Happy cooking!

An enthusiastic cook with a Chinese palate and a global mindset.

Discover more healthy, tasty noodle dishes:

Zha Jiang Mian (炸酱面): Beijing’s signature noodles

Cold soba noodles in beef broth (延吉冷面)

Tender and springy meatballs cooked in tomato and shiitake soup. This chicken meatball noodle soup is super tasty, filling and healthy.

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