Chinese New Year tofu and pork ball soup (He jia tuan yuan)

    Chinese New Year tofu and pork ball soup (He jia tuan yuan)


    9 people made this

    About this recipe: This tofu ball dish is easy to make, and it is a great soup for your Lunar New Year meal. On Chinese New Year, we like to have meatballs or sweet dumplings. Ball in Chinese is 'wan,' sweet dumpling in Chinese is 'tang yuan.' Their shapes are both round. So we use a meatball dish and/or sweet dumpling dish to emphasise the Chinese expression 'He Jia Tuan Yuan.' 'He Jia' means the whole family. 'Tuan Yuan' means 'all be together'.

    Serves: 5 

    • 1 (396g) packet soft tofu
    • 200g minced pork
    • 6 tablespoons cornflour
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon chicken stock granules
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1.2L water
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 10 dried prawns
    • 100g fresh pea vine shoots, trimmed
    • 1 teaspoon chicken stock granules
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Place the tofu into a large bowl, and mash it into a paste with a large spoon. Stir in the pork, cornflour, egg, 1 teaspoon chicken stock granules and 1 teaspoon salt until the mixture is very well combined.
    2. Heat the water and vegetable oil to the boil in a large saucepan, and reduce heat to an active simmer but not a full boil. Using gloved hands, pinch off about 1 tablespoon of the tofu mixture, roll it into a ball between your palms, and slide it carefully into the water so it doesn't break apart. Repeat with the rest of the tofu mixture. Without stirring the soup, let the tofu balls simmer until they rise to the top, about 30 minutes.
    3. Turn off the heat, and stir in the dried prawns, pea vine shoots, 1 teaspoon of chicken stock granules and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve hot.


    To make good tofu balls, the tofu to meat ratio should be 2:1 (If you are meat lover, you can use a 1:1 ratio). The tofu and cornflour ratio should be 6:1.


    Snow pea shoots have a unique aroma, and they make the soup taste refreshing. Good choices for substitutions for snow pea shoots: watercress (highly recommended substitution), coriander, Taiwan lettuce, spinach. Dried prawns and snow pea shoots can be sourced at oriental / Chinese markets.
    You may substitute some of the water with chicken stock.

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