Taiwanese meatball soup 貢丸湯
For those of us who have visited Taiwan - this soup is always less than a dollar US, perfect late night "snack" from a street vendor sitting on a stool too small for your butt. For those who haven't - welcome to simple Chinese soups that is hella legit. Seriously... I had a friend who was trying to impress his girlfriend with a full on Chinese meal and he asked me for some suggestions. After I realized that he does not know the difference between a pot and a pan I realized that I must keep things simple. He managed to nail this soup. So if he can do it - Trust me you can too.
There's actually 2 variation but this is the more traditional one. I'll post the other one with Miso later on =) Enjoy!
1 small daikon/white radish cut into chunks ( I usually use no more than 8-10 inches of a daikon for a soup for 2)
5-6 Chinese/Vietnamese Beef or Pork meatballs ( make a criss-cross cut on top of it )
Low sodium Chicken broth or water ( I use homemade poached chicken liquid but water will do just fine )
1/4 tsp of chicken powder
1/4 tsp of ground white pepper
Salt to taste
1.5 Tbsp of finely diced celery
Cilantro to Garnish
The daikon and meatballs should go in a medium sized pot and cover with just enough liquid (chicken broth or water) for it to be about 1/2 an inch above the ingredients. Bring it to a boil then simmer ( lower heat). Let this cook down until you see the Daikon is less opaque and slightly translucent. Don't be afraid to take one out and try it - it should be crunchy soft but not mushy. At this point - add in the chicken powder, ground white pepper, and salt. Remember that the meatball itself already contains salt and so does most chicken broth - so don't overdo the salt! Let this simmer for about another 5 minutes then "bowl out" and garnish with celery and cilantro. You may also add a couple of drops of sesame oil as well.
* Sometimes I like to add in the celery along with the salt - I feel like it does make the soup taste "brighter." But it is totally up to you!