The tenderest meatballs with my homemade regular firm tofu. In cold winter days, I always love to match my meals with different types of soups. Asian soups are greatly different from those ones in western cuisines. Most of the asian soups are light and used something like beverages. We don’t drink room temperature or chilled beverages in the two cooler seasons. Soup is always on the table in winter. Some of the soups are quite beneficial with lots of nutritional ingredients like herbal chicken soup. While we loves humble soups too. With very basic ingredients and seasonings, the soup can be delicious and healthy too. Most of our daily soup belong to the later group.

Tofu and Meatball soup|

This meatball and tofu is one of the simple soup in my family. This soup gives a super tender meatball. The key step here is to make tender meatballs. I get several requests about hot pot meatballs weeks ago. Hot pot meatballs usually contains more starch, consequently those ones are chewier and tougher. I use a very small amount of starch in this recipe so the meat balls are super soft and tender. The fluffiness is created by the air imported during the blending process.

Tofu and Meatball soup|

Previously I made a large batch of fish balls using a regular kitchen mixer. For smaller batches of meatballs, a smaller mixer is really a great too. It can helps to create a fluffy and tender mixture of the meatballs in 2 or 3 minutes. It has been my favorite kitchen tool.

There are lots of food are quite appealing to eye. Those bright red or orange color indicates how delicious the food is. However I love strong contrast too. There is a soup in Sichuan cuisine named as “boiled water cabbage” “开水白菜”. It looks quite plain and nothing special, no strong color and no oil flower, but it can amaze the eater with just one drink. I believe this one is approaching that one. Plain dishes with great flavors.


Add salt, sugar, cooking wine, white pepper, ginger and spring onion in pork and blend for around 1 minute. Then crack one egg in and add 1 to 1/5 tablespoon of starch (I recommend using sweet potato starch or you can use cornstarch). Mix for another 1 minute until the mixture becomes light pink and fluffy.

Bring water to a boiling and then turn off the fire. Make balls in and transfer them to the soup base.

meatball and tofu soup|

Turn up fire and there will be small bubbles. Remove them.

meatball and tofu soup|

Add ginger and nori and tofu. Continue simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and sesame oil. The tofu is my homemade tofu with rice vinegar.

meatball and tofu soup|
meatball and tofu soup|
Tofu and Meatball soup|
Tofu and Meatball soup|

Tofu and Meatball Soup

Easy homemade tofu with meatball soup
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Servings: 4
Calories: 261kcal


Pork balls

  • 300 g pork , with 25% to 30% fat
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
  • 2 green onions , white part
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. starch , sweet potato starch or cornstarch

Other ingredients for soup

  • 1/2 small box of tofu , cut into blocks (homemade instruction)
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 piece ginger , smashed
  • 20 g nori
  • chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp. salt , seasoning the soup
  • 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil


  • Add salt, ground pepper, shaoxing wine, green onion and ginger in the pork. Then blend for 15 seconds.
  • Add egg and starch and until blend until very smooth (take around 30 seconds)
  • Heat a pot of water until boiling and then slow down the fire. Squeeze the meat mixture with one hand to form a ball then scoop the balls to the pot. Repeat to finish all. Remember to wet the scoop firstly to avoid sticky.
  • Turn up the fire, add a piece of ginger and then simmer for 8 to 10 minutes after boiling. This process helps some of the amino acid combining with the water.
  • Add tofu and nori in. Then cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt and sesame oil. Serve hot.


Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 2147mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 379IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Tofu and Meatball soup|

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  1. Hi Elaine,

    this soup really looks delicious. Now your recipe mentions a quarter to a third amount of fat for the pork meat. Pork belly and maybe pork shoulder or neck comes to my mind for that. Is that what you use or are there other cuts? I don’t really know, when I buy pork meat at the supermarket or at the butcher the amount of fat is not given, so I can only estimate from visual inspection.

    Also you got me very interested in the boiled water cabbage soup could you maybe post a recipe for this, too?

    1. Andreas,
      I suggest using pork leg meat or leaner pork belly. The fact contain differs from different pigs. So I can only give just basic but not precise instruction.
      I already make a plan to make the superior stock and then a water cabbage soup in the coming year when the new kitchen is well. Thanks so much for your wonderful suggestion.