This is the kind of simple soup that I grew up with. The peranakan style soup! When my mom cooked it, it usually only consists of meatballs, herh pio (fish maw) and cabbage. In recent years, we have both added fishballs into the soup so that the kids have an additional item to have on their plate of rice, though more likely because they don't eat herh pio! (Kids these days have very different taste!)
The extra condiment to have with this soup would be sambal belachan (fermented shrimp paste chilli). We would dip the meatballs into the sambal that goes extremely well, mixed with a little bit of dark soya sauce and lime, for the extra appetizing kick!
Preparation time : 15 minutes Serves : 4 (Yields approximately 12 meatballs)
- 1 large piece of fish maw (about 50-60 grams)
- 200 gram minced pork
- 1.5 tbsp ready made fish paste
- a small piece of black fungus (optional)
- half a portion of small cabbage, sliced into pieces (about 180 grams or add more if you prefer)
- a packet of fishballs (optional)
- 1 tsp light soya sauce
Soup base :
- 3 cups of chicken stock (I used Swanson brand)
- 2 cups of water
- some fish sauce to taste (optional)
- Blanch the fish maw in hot water, soak till soften. This also helps to rid the excess oil. Once soften, remove from water and slice into pieces. Set aside.
- Soak the black fungus till soften and cut into small pieces.
- Mix the minced meat, black fungus and fish paste together. Add the light soya sauce and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- Bring the chicken stock + water to a boil.
- Scoop out the meat with a spoon and shape into a round ball, slightly larger than a fishball size. Or use your hand to form the meatball. Place it into the soup stock.
- Then add the cabbage, fish maw and fishballs.
- Let it cook for 20-25 minutes, or till the cabbage softens.
- Add some fish sauce to taste.
- Garnish with spring onions, fried onions and serve with sambal belachan.