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Sotanghon at Bola Bola Soup

When I make lumpiang shanghai, I usually make twice the meat filling. These Filipino-style spring rolls stock well in the freezer and are perfect for days when I am too pressed to prepare anything else for lunch or when guests drop by impromptu. But mostly, I have the filling handy and ready in the freezer to use for other meal ideas as well. This sotanghon at bola bola soup is only a matter of defrosting the meat mixture, shaping it into balls and a quick twenty minutes on the stove. With spoonfuls of noodles, napa cabbage, meatballs and broth, it makes a light yet satisfying meal. Enjoy!

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock or plain water
  • 4 ounces (about 2 coils) Sotanghon (cellophane noodles)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup kinchay (Chinese celery), finely chopped
For the Chicken Balls
  • ¼ pound ground chicken
  • ¼ cup green onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Instructions
    1. In a bowl, combine ground chicken, green onions, water chestnuts, garlic, carrots, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Shape meat mixture into 1-inch balls and set aside.
    2. In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes or until limp and aromatic. Add chicken stock (or water) and bring to a boil.
    3. Gently drop meatballs into boiling water and cook, skimming scum that arises to top, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until meat changes color. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until meat is fully cooked.
    4. Add noodles and cook for about 2 to 4 minutes or until translucent and softened.
    5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cabbage and kinchay and continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until cabbage is tender yet crisp. Serve hot.
    Make sure water is boiling before adding meatballs to prevent them from falling apart. If reheating soup, add more water and adjust seasonings as needed.

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