I made this after work one day and managed to pick up fresh veggies and meat from the wet mart on the way home. Sometimes I plan for soup, sometimes I don’t, and this soup is one of those last minute made-up combinations because I felt like having meatballs and bitter melon at the same time!

The pork meatballs are a substitute for the pork bones and I could eat them along with my soup. I also made extra and froze for a rainy day so I could pan fry – no wasted efforts! The bitter melon is also cooling, helps relieve heat in my body, and helps relieve that painful tongue after eating too much fried food.

Soup Name:  Bitter Melon with Corn and Pork Meatballs Soup

Traditional Chinese Soup Name: 簡單菜湯 (Jiǎn dān cài tāng)

For the whole recipe and to skip my commentary, scroll down.

To start, you’ll need: 2 fresh bitter melon, a pack of fresh ginkgo biloba, 2 fresh corn, ground pork, 1 egg, 1 fresh onion, and your favourite spices.

For the quick boil, you’ll need to have smaller slices of bitter melon and corn. In general, quick boils cook for around 30 minutes and you want to maximize the amount of flavour that is extracted during this time.

As soon as I can, I start boiling water and throw in whatever I can to save time. This means, the corn is washed and cut first and just dumped in.

The first thing to do is boil the soup water. Corn is easiest!

The first thing to do is boil the soup water. Corn is easiest!

 

While that’s making it’s way to boiling, I will prep the bitter melon. Some people prefer to peel the skin, some don’t. I personally keep on the skin because it helps keep the bitter melons from disintegrating like melons do in Chinese soups.  Slice the bitter melon in half right down the length of the middle and with a metal spoon, just scrape the seeds and insides away. Then slice the melons into thin half crescents and drop that into your soup, too.  Throw in the ginkgo biloba as well.

Prepping bitter melon

Prepping bitter melon

Sliced bitter melon

Sliced bitter melon

Corn and bitter melon in the soup

Corn and bitter melon in the soup

 

The meatballs are also a made up recipe based on other meatball recipes I’ve made. I used half a white onion (diced), 1 egg, and a ménage of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, and pepper.

Making the meatballs

Making the meatballs

Using my hands, I mashed it all together. The Chinese have this hand prepped way of making “steamed pork patty” by really blending the ground pork until the fat gets “stringy”. I used the same technique (and duration of mixing). Once everything is nicely blended, I rolled the meatballs into bite-sized balls and set that aside until I know the water is boiling. This is where it matters, because the idea is to drop the balls so that they cook immediately and hold their form.

Pork meatballs ready for soup

Pork meatballs ready for soup

Bitter Melon with corn and pork meatballs soup

Bitter Melon with corn and pork meatballs soup

 

You can add any type of broth powder or broth soup as you’d like. I put in one spoon of chicken broth powder just to help enhance the flavour because quick boils tend to have less intensity of flavours versus your traditional old fire soups.

Boil on high for 30 minutes and serve and enjoy! For a complete meal, throw in a scoop of white or brown rice and ta-da! dinner is served!

Quick boil bitter melon and corn with pork meatballs soup

Quick boil bitter melon and corn with pork meatballs soup

 

 

Bitter Melon Soup with Corn and Pork Meatballs
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: LadyTong
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 bowls
Ingredients
  • 2 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/bitter-melon/”]bitter melons[/url], halved (with skin), de-seeded, and sliced
  • 2 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/corn/”]corn[/url], quartered
  • 20 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/ginkgo-biloba/”]ginkgo biloba[/url]
  • 1 pound of fresh ground pork
  • half fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/onions-fresh/”]onion[/url], diced
  • 1 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chicken-eggs/”]egg[/url]
  • your own spices
  • 2 L of water
Instructions
  1. Boil your soup water
  2. Wash and cut the corn and throw into the soup water
  3. Wash and cut up the bitter melon (de-seed and keep on the skin) and add with the ginkgo biloba to your soup
  4. in a separate bowl, mix in the diced onions, spices and 1 egg until the pork fat becomes stringy and quite sticky
  5. Roll into bite-sized meatballs
  6. When the soup water boils, drop in the meatballs one at a time, ensuring that the water is still boiling (this ensures the meatballs cook immediately when they hit the water and stays together)
  7. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  8. Serve and enjoy!