My love for noodles definitely comes from my mom. My dad loved his rice. We have this term “rice bucket” in Chinese and he was definitely one ha..ha.. And now my daughter probably inherited this noodle craze from me 🙂 It doesn’t matter weather it rains, shines, or snows…I can eat noodle anytime of the day, any day of the week. It’s not unusual for us to have noodle soup or stir-fried noodles 3 meals a day (yes, that includes breakfast) in Asia. So, yeah….I have my fair share of noodles since I was very young! My husband knows when I fix a noodle soup, especially this easy breezy authentic Chinese meatballs noodle soup (sorry, the title was mouthful I know), the “lazy” mode is on and I simply do not want to think of what to cook today. This is also one of our favorite noodle dishes. Easy, authentic and comforting you can be assured of.
Goji berries are commonly used in Chinese cooking, especially in soup. If you have never tried goji berries in a soup, you should. I love it. My 2-year old son obsessed with goji berries in soup. Try not to overcook them though, because if you do, you won’t taste the sweetness anymore. I love how they puff up in the soup. Sweet and soft. I usually pop them into the soup at the very end of cooking, as the hot soup will continue to soften the berries. This is one of the noodles that can be “dressed” up or down as you wish. Sub the meatballs with shrimp or leftover chicken meat (shredded). Really…highly flexible.
…and yes, I used Chinese black vinegar again in this noodle soup. It’s one of my favorite ingredients really 🙂
Easy breezy Chinese meatballs noodle soup
- 1 lb of angel hair/spaghetti/ramen or Asian wheat noodles/udon noodles
- 4-5 stalks of baby bok choy
- 1/4 cup or more of goji berries washed and drained
Meatballs (You can use ground chicken/pork/beef)
- 1 lb ground meat (preferably with some fat)
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt and white pepper you may use black pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth homemade or store-bought
- 2 inch piece of ginger bruised with heavy object
- 2 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar or sub with balsamic vinegar if you must (but taste won't be very similar)
- Small pinch of sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Red chili oil optional
- Fried shallots crisp optional
Chili sauce (optional)
- 4-5 Thai bird's eye chili finely chopped
- Soy sauce
Cook the noodles to al dente and then rinse with some cold water and set aside
Blanch the baby bok choy in a boiling water for about 5 minutes and then refreshed with some cold water and set aside
Place all the ingredients for meat balls in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix everything. Gather the meat paste and then "throw" it at the side of the bowl. Repeat this for about 10-15 times. Cover and pop them into the refrigerator while you are preparing the soup base
Place chicken broth and ginger in a medium to large pot. Bring to a boil and then let it gently simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the black vinegar, salt, and sugar. Have a taste, it should be savory with some tangy taste. Add the meatballs and boil until the meatballs float to the top. Add the goji berries and let them cook for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat
Assembling the noodle bowl:
Portion out the noodles into individual serving bowl. Portion out the meatballs and sprinkle of green onions, cilantro leaves. Generously ladle the soup with some of the goji berries over the noodles. Drizzle with some chili oil if using. Serve with some chili sauce on the side if you make some. Tuck in and enjoy! You can even serve with some black vinegar on the side if you like and extra tangy
Recipe NotesYou can freeze the cooked meatballs and when ready to serve them, just bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the frozen meatballs about 15-20 minutes, maybe a bit less if the meatballs aren't too big.
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