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The Best Chinese Meatball Soup Recipe: A Tasty and Easy Dish to Make

Are you a fan of Chinese cuisine? If so, you must try making meatball soup. This classic Chinese soup recipe is not only delicious, but it's also simple and quick to prepare, making it perfect for busy days. The meatballs are crafted with a mix of ground meat, herbs, and vegetables, while the soup is flavoured with a variety of ingredients for a rich and appetising taste.

A pot of bubbling meatball soup, filled with tender pork meatballs, clear broth, and vibrant green vegetables. Chopsticks rest on the side of the bowl

To make the perfect Chinese meatball soup, you'll need to use a combination of essential ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. These ingredients not only add flavour to the soup but also provide a range of health benefits. For example, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, while garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties. You can also add seafood to the soup for an extra flavour boost. Seafood, such as shrimp or scallops, pairs well with the meatballs and adds a unique taste to the soup.

To prepare the perfect meatballs, you'll need to combine the ground meat with a variety of ingredients, such as chopped vegetables, breadcrumbs, and spices. You can use a variety of meats, such as beef, pork, or chicken, to make the meatballs. Once the meatballs are prepared, you'll need to cook them in the soup until they're fully cooked and tender. The soup is then ready to be served, garnished with fresh herbs or chopped vegetables.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese meatball soup is a hearty and flavourful soup that's easy to make.
  • Essential ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil, add flavour and health benefits to the soup.
  • Seafood, such as shrimp or scallops, can be added to the soup for an extra flavour boost.

Essential Ingredients for Chinese Meatball Soup

A pot simmering with savory broth, floating meatballs, sliced green onions, and tender bok choy. Aromatic spices fill the air

When it comes to Chinese meatball soup, there are a few essential ingredients that you'll need to make this dish a success. In this section, we'll take a closer look at each of the key ingredients and why they're important.

Meat Selection

The meat you choose for your meatballs is a crucial ingredient in your Chinese meatball soup. While pork is the most common choice, you can also use chicken or beef for a different flavour profile. If you're feeling adventurous, you could even try using seafood such as prawns or fish.

Vegetables and Aromatics

Vegetables and aromatics are another important component of Chinese meatball soup. Ginger, scallions, and shiitake mushrooms are all commonly used in this dish, and they add a depth of flavour that can't be achieved with just meat and broth. Carrots are also a great addition, as they add colour and texture to the soup.

Soup Base and Seasonings

The soup base for Chinese meatball soup is typically made with chicken broth or stock. You can also add a dash of sesame oil for extra flavour. Soy sauce is another essential ingredient, as it adds saltiness and depth to the soup. Other seasonings you might want to consider include garlic, white pepper, and cilantro.

Overall, Chinese meatball soup is a delicious and comforting dish that's perfect for a cold day. With the right ingredients and a little bit of know-how, you can easily make this dish at home. So why not give it a try?

Preparing the Perfect Meatballs

A large pot simmers on a stove, filled with savory broth and plump meatballs. Fresh herbs and spices sit nearby, ready to be added

When it comes to making the perfect meatballs for your Chinese meatball soup, there are a few key steps to keep in mind. From mixing and seasoning to forming and cooking techniques, each step plays a crucial role in achieving tender and flavourful meatballs.

Mixing and Seasoning

To start, you'll need to mix your ground pork with a variety of seasonings to add flavour and texture to your meatballs. Common ingredients include salt, white pepper, egg, corn starch and minced meat. Be sure to mix all ingredients evenly and thoroughly, so that each meatball will have a consistent flavour.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could also try incorporating seafood into your meatball mixture for added flavour and nutrition. Shrimp or fish could be great options to consider.

Forming and Cooking Techniques

Once you've mixed your meatball ingredients, it's time to start forming them. There are a few different techniques you can use, depending on your preference. One option is to scoop the mixture into balls using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Another option is to use your hands to shape the meatballs.

When it comes to cooking your meatballs, there are also a few different techniques you can use. Some people prefer to pan-fry their meatballs for a crispy exterior. Others prefer to boil their meatballs directly in the soup broth.

Regardless of which technique you choose, be sure to handle your meatballs gently to prevent them from becoming tough. With the right mixing and cooking techniques, you can achieve tender and delicious meatballs that will elevate your Chinese meatball soup to the next level.

Soup Assembly and Cooking Process

Meatballs rolled, vegetables chopped, broth simmering. Ladle scoops soup into bowls. Garnish with green onions

Building the Broth

To start off, you will need a light soup base for your Chinese meatball soup. You can use chicken stock, bone broth, or any other broth of your choice. If you want to add a seafood twist to your soup, you can use seafood stock instead.

Next, add the winter melon to the pot and bring it to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until the winter melon is tender.

Adding the Meatballs and Vegetables

While the soup is simmering, it's time to prepare the meatballs. Mix minced meat with grated ginger, white part of scallions, soy sauce, salt, white pepper, egg white, corn starch and water in a bowl. Stir in one direction till all mixes evenly. Then, shape the mixture into small meatballs with your hands.

Add the meatballs to the soup using an oiled spoon. Carefully lower them into the soup and let them cook for about 5-7 minutes until they are fully cooked.

Finally, add any vegetables of your choice such as napa cabbage and mushrooms to the soup. Cook them for a few minutes until they are tender.

And there you have it! Your delicious Chinese meatball soup is ready to be served. Enjoy the warm and comforting flavours of the winter melon soup, with the added richness of the meatballs and vegetables.

Variations and Dietary Adaptations

A steaming bowl of meatball soup surrounded by chopsticks and a spoon, with Chinese characters on a red and gold tablecloth

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can still enjoy a delicious meatball soup by substituting the meatballs with vegetarian or vegan alternatives. You can use plant-based meat substitutes such as Beyond Meat or Impossible Meat to make meatballs that are just as tasty as the traditional ones. Alternatively, you can use mushrooms, tofu, or tempeh to make vegetarian meatballs.

For the soup base, you can use vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth. You can also add more vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, and celery to make the soup more filling and nutritious.

Seafood and Poultry Variations

If you want to switch up the meatballs in your soup, you can try using seafood or poultry instead of pork. Shrimp, for example, can be used to make delicious meatballs that are perfect for seafood lovers. Simply mix ground shrimp with seasonings such as garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, and form them into balls. You can add the shrimp meatballs to the soup towards the end of the cooking process to prevent them from overcooking.

For a poultry variation, you can use chicken thighs instead of pork. Chicken meatball noodle soup is a popular variation of the traditional meatball soup in Chinese cuisine. You can use ground chicken thighs to make the meatballs and add them to the soup with noodles and vegetables.

Remember to adjust the seasonings and cooking time accordingly when using different types of meat or seafood. Experiment with different variations to find your favourite one!

Serving and Garnishing Suggestions

Meatball soup: bowl with steaming broth, floating meatballs, green onions, and cilantro on top. Side of chili oil and soy sauce

Now that you have made your delicious Chinese meatball soup, it's time to serve and garnish it. Here are some suggestions to make your soup even more flavourful and appealing.


Garnishing is an important part of any dish, and it's no different for Chinese meatball soup. Here are some garnishing suggestions that you can use to make your soup look and taste great:

  • Cilantro: Adding fresh cilantro to your soup can give it a nice pop of colour and flavour. Chop up some cilantro leaves and sprinkle them on top of your soup before serving.

  • Scallions: Scallions add a nice crunch and mild onion flavour to your soup. Slice them thinly and sprinkle them on top of your soup.

  • Napa cabbage: Napa cabbage is a common ingredient in Chinese cooking, and it can be used as a garnish for your soup. Chop up some napa cabbage leaves and sprinkle them on top of your soup.

  • Baby bok choy: Baby bok choy is another vegetable that can be used to garnish your soup. Cut the bok choy into thin strips and sprinkle them on top of your soup.


If you want to add some seafood to your Chinese meatball soup, there are a few options that you can consider. Here are some seafood suggestions that you can use:

  • Shrimp: Shrimp is a popular seafood option for Chinese soups. You can add some cooked shrimp to your soup to give it a nice seafood flavour.

  • Squid: Squid is another seafood option that you can use for your soup. Cut the squid into small pieces and add it to your soup.

  • Fish: You can also use fish in your Chinese meatball soup. Cut the fish into small pieces and add it to your soup.

Overall, garnishing and adding seafood to your Chinese meatball soup can give it a nice flavour and make it more appealing. Try out these suggestions and see what works best for you. Enjoy your soup!

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming bowl of traditional Chinese meatball soup, surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices, with a pair of chopsticks resting on the side

What are the key ingredients for a traditional Chinese meatball soup?

A traditional Chinese meatball soup typically includes ground pork, napa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, scallions, and cilantro. Soy sauce, white pepper, and salt are also used to season the broth.

How can you make a simple and easy Chinese meatball soup at home?

To make a simple and easy Chinese meatball soup at home, you'll need ground pork, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Mix the ingredients together to create the meatballs, and then simmer them in a pot of chicken or vegetable broth with your choice of vegetables, such as bok choy or carrots.

What's the secret to creating the best-tasting Chinese meatball soup?

The secret to creating the best-tasting Chinese meatball soup is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients. This includes using fresh ground pork, vegetables, and herbs. Additionally, using homemade broth instead of store-bought can add more depth of flavour to your soup.

Can you suggest a good beef meatball soup recipe that's Chinese-inspired?

For a Chinese-inspired beef meatball soup recipe, you can replace the ground pork with ground beef. Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch to the beef to create the meatballs. Simmer them in a pot of beef broth with your choice of vegetables, such as bok choy or carrots.

What variations can you try for a Chinese pork meatball soup?

For a variation on a traditional Chinese pork meatball soup, you can try adding seafood such as shrimp or scallops to the broth. You can also add different vegetables like baby corn, water chestnuts, or bamboo shoots to add more texture and flavour to the soup.

How do you incorporate chicken into a Chinese meatball soup recipe?

To incorporate chicken into a Chinese meatball soup recipe, use ground chicken instead of pork. Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch to the chicken to create the meatballs. Simmer them in a pot of chicken broth with your choice of vegetables, such as napa cabbage or shiitake mushrooms.

I hope these answers have been helpful for you in creating a delicious Chinese meatball soup. Don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and variations to make it your own.