Seaweed Soup with Pork Balls 紫菜汤
This soup is a life saver whenever I crave for some home-made soup but don’t have a lot of time. It’s fast to whip up and yet very yummy and nutritious. Unlike most Chinese soups which require a long time to simmer, the actual cooking time of this soup is under 10 minutes. My version which is served with pork balls is a flexible recipe and you can add/substitute whatever ingredients you like or have in your fridge, such as assorted meat balls, sliced meat, yong tau foo and tofu. If you are cooking the soup in advance, warm it up and add the seaweed just before serving.
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According to this site, dried seaweed is super nutritious – it contains a wide spectrum of nutrients hence offsetting deficiencies of an unbalanced diet, keeps hair and skin healthy looking, increases metabolism, aids detoxification, prevents osteoporosis, combats weight gain – to name a few key benefits. I love dried seaweed in my soup and can never get enough of it when it’s served outside (usually a tiny piece in a side serving of soup if you order dry noodles at a hawker stall, teochew fish porridge or in fishhead steamboat). So I thought, why not make a soup where the seaweed is the star. Then I can have as much seaweed as I like.
- 700ml of soup stock (I use cheat method – dissolving 700ml hot water and 1 knorr ikan bilis cube)
- 10g Chinese dried seaweed 紫菜 (I use half a piece of a 20cm diameter seaweed), cut to smaller sizes
- 6 prawns (shrimps); shells, head and veins removed, tails trimmed
- 200g minced pork
- chopped spring onions (garnish)
Marinade ingredients (A)
- 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- dash of white pepper
1. Marinade the pork with the ingredients in (A). Shape into individual meat ball (each about 1 tbsp size). Set aside.
2. Bring stock to a boil, then add pork balls, one at a time, making sure they don’t stick to one another. Cook for about 3 minutes.
3. After the pork balls are cooked, add prawns to the boiling stock until cooked (prawns cooked really fast, less than a minute).
4. Portion pork balls and prawns to individual serving bowls, and add seaweed pieces on top. Pour hot soup over. Stir the seaweed around and it should spread out nicely due to the hot broth. If you like the seaweed to be more evenly spread out in the soup, you can add the seaweed to the soup and boil for a few seconds instead. Garnish with chopped spring onions.
1. Where to buy dried seaweed in Singapore. During the Chinese New Year season, dried seaweed is well-stocked in NTUC. Throughout the year, they can be purchased at Hock Hwa (Fu Hua) medical hall. I bought my packet at Hock Hwa (brand Maru Sun; see photo above) containing two pieces of seaweed for S$1.30.
2. Preparing the seaweed. It’s not necessary to wash the seaweed before using because any contact with water will dissolve it instantly. If you really want to rinse them, do it quickly & just before adding them to the soup. Try to buy a brand where the seaweed is clean. The one I get at Hock Hwa is quite clean for my standard. Cutting the seaweed to smaller sizes before adding to the soup helps to spread them out more evenly.
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