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A pot of winter melon soup with meatballs & vermicelli noodles
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5 from 5 votes

Winter Melon Soup with Meatballs (冬瓜丸子汤)

A comforting dish with natural umami taste, winter melon soup with meatballs is an easy dish that warms your body in a very tasty way.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Easy, Tung Kua Tong
Servings: 4
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Wei Guo


  • 400 g winter melon, 14oz
  • 50 g mung bean vermicelli (Fen Si/粉丝) see note 1

For the meatballs

  • 250 g minced pork, or minced chicken 9oz
  • 1 stalk scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch, or corn starch
  • 1 egg white

For the soup

  • 1 teaspoon neutral cooking oil
  • ½ tablespoon dried papery shrimp (Xia Pi/虾皮) see note 2
  • 1 stalk scallions, finely chopped
  • 1000 ml water 4 cups
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Coriander, finely chopped optional


Prepare the winter melon

  • Trim off the hard, green skin of the winter melon and remove its seeds. Cut into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.

Soak the vermicelli

  • Put dried mung bean vermicelli in a bowl. Pour in tap water to soak (enough to cover). Drain after 10 mins. Cut into shorter sections with scissors.

Make the meatball mixture

  • Put minced meat into a mixing bowl. Add scallions, ginger, light soy sauce, salt, white pepper, starch, and egg white. Stir in the same direction to combine until no more liquid can be seen and the mixture becomes sticky.

Cook the soup

  • Heat up oil in a pot over medium heat then add dried papery shrimp and scallions. Fry until fragrant.
  • Add water. Bring it to a very gentle simmer then turn the heat to low.
  • Place some meat mixture onto the palm of your hand (wear a kitchen glove if you wish). Gently close your hand into a fist while squeezing some mixture out to form a ball through the opening between your thumb and index finger. Scoop it off with a spoon then slide into the soup (Please refer to the tutorial video below). Repeat the procedure to finish all the meatballs. 
  • Add the winter melon to the soup. Cover the pot with a lid. Turn the heat to medium. Leave to cook until the winter melon becomes soft (about 8-10 mins).
  • Put in mung bean vermicelli. Cook for a further minute.
  • Finally, add salt, ground white pepper & sesame oil. Garnish with coriander (if using). Serve warm in a large soup dish or individual serving bowls.



1. Mung bean vermicelli, which is commonly available in Chinese stores, makes the soup more substantial. It also adds another texture to the dish. For more information on this popular Chinese ingredient, check out my recipe for Spicy Vermicelli Stir-fry.
2. Dried papery shrimp can be replaced with regular dried shrimp which is much bigger. In this case, soak it in water to soften, then mince.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 155kcal