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'.
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.
An excellent and easy meal. The only complaint I have is that it is that the flavors are a bit subdued for me. Its not really a complaint though as the soup is supposed to be simple. I would add some miso paste and garlic to the tofu balls as well as put some ginger and lemon grass in the broth. The best thing about this recipe is that you can use it as a base to do whatever you like! Its my new standby. - 12 Apr 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
we are foreigners living in China, i made this soup for some local Chinese friends tonight and they loved it! My toddler son also love it - and he is very picky. i left out the shrimp only b/c i forgot to buy them. thanks for the recipe Tao! - 17 Feb 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Wow!! This very good. I had to use spinach because I couldn't find pea fine shoots, and I didn't add the shrimp because I'm not a big fan of them, but my family told me next time I should put the shrimp in. I really enjoyed making this, very tasty - 06 Mar 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)