The cooking liquid from making chicken meatballs (Recipe ID: 256745)
Chicken meatballs (optional)
as many as you like
King oyster mushroom
Cooked bamboo shoots in water (canned or vacuum packed)
Dried wood ear mushrooms
a small amount
Zha cai (Chinese pickles)
Cellophane noodles (dried)
a small amount
Have the soup that results from making chicken meatballs ready (Recipe ID: 2569745).
You an make a delicious soup with the poaching liquid from boiled chicken too (Recipe ID: 2564923).
Strain the soup through paper towels. If there isn't enough soup, augment it with water. If the soup doesn't have enough flavor, add a little soup stock granules.
Rehydrate the wood ear mushrooms by soaking them in water, and cut into 2-3 pieces each. Cut the carrot and king oyster mushroom into sticks. Slice the bamboo shoot thinly. De-salt the zha cai for a short time and then julienne.
Simmer the cut up vegetables in the soup.
Season with sake, salt and pepper. Add the chicken meatballs and cellophane noodles.
I used these noodles this time. They don't have to be pre-soaked to rehydrate and can just be added to soups.
Add a little sesame oil and some pea shoots that have been cut into 3 cm pieces, and the soup is done.
You only need a small amount of pea shoots as garnish. I cut the roots off a pack I'd bought previously and put them in water to grow more shoots. I used these shoots in the soup this time.
You can omit the chicken meatballs, and the soup will still be great. Add lots of mushrooms and vegetables.
For light and fluffy egg drop soup (Recipe ID: 2564974).
The meatball-soup can be used to make Chinese style rice (Recipe ID: 2564977).
Story Behind this Recipe
This soup is a by-product of my chicken meatballs! Sometimes I make the chicken meatballs just because I want to have the delicious soup.
Whole unsliced zha cai is very salty, so soak it for a while to remove some of the salt before using. If you are using pre-cut zha cai (like the ones that come in jars), you can use it as-is.