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Chinese Meatball Soup Recipe

Chinese Meatball Soup Recipe

This is a wonderful homestyle Chinese soup that is perfect for an easy winter meal to warm you up when it’s blistery cold outside. It’s also great year round when you just want something light and fresh for your lunch or dinner.  I learned this style of soup from my mother-in-law.  Whenever we have a family get together, there is always a pot of soup on. It maybe pork, chicken or beef, doesn’t matter.  Most of the time, there isn’t meatballs in the soup if it’s used as a starter.

It’s also perfect for lunch and can be reduced in size to serve less or more people.  Usually when I make it, I make a stock pot full and just eat it for a couple of days, adding this or that to it each time to freshen it up.  Sometimes I may add some tomatoes, fresh cilantro, green onions, carrots, celery, etc.  It’s a very versatile soup base that can be adjusted to anyones tastes.

Chinese Meatball Soup

Serves 4-8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 2 hours
Total time 2 hours, 10 minutes
By author Dish Ditty


  • 1lb Bones (beef or pork or chicken)
  • 10 cups Water
  • 1 cup Wine (White or Sherry)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 3 cups Napa Cabbage (Cut up)
  • 8 Baby Bok Choy
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Package Chinese or Vietnamese Precooked Meatballs (Any flavor, I prefer one package of Pork and one of Chicken with Mushrooms)
  • 4 Package Vermicelli Noodles (Uncooked)


  • up to 3 tablespoon Better than Bouillon Base (Beef, chicken or vegetable)


When storing leftovers, if you have already combined the noodles to the soup, you will want to remove them and place them in a container separate from the broth.  Otherwise, when you go to reheat the soup, you will really have just really yummy glassy noodles but no soup.


Step 1
In large stock pot, add bones, water, salt, white pepper and sesame oil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook on low/simmer for about 1.5 hours.

(Depending on the amount of bones you have, you can add less or more water. The recipe quantities are based on 10 cups water with about 1 pound of beef bones.)
Step 2
Increase the temperature to medium high and add the vegetables and meatballs. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to low again and cook, covered, for about 10 -15 minutes.
Step 3
Taste the soup and determine if you want to add more salt, some soy sauce, or if the broth is too bland and needs some bouillon flavoring. In general, this is a very light soup.
Step 4
For serving as a meal, in a large soup bowl, place a vermicelli noodle bundle and add some broth, vegetables and noodles. Let stand for about 5 minutes.

Alternatively, you can add a 2-4 bunches of the vermicelli noodles to the soup pot if you are serving this as a starter and most people will have a cup or small bowl. In this case, just add the noodles and let simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Note that the noodles will continue to soak up the liquid, so don't add the noodles until you are no more than 15-20 minutes from serving.

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