Filipino Mung Bean Noodles and Meatball Soup (Sotanghon at Bola Bola Sopas)

The kids have had a lot of food with strong flavors lately with the soy sauce chicken, a take out night where they indulged in Korean fried chicken, pasta and fish sticks. The have congee regularly throughout the week, so I wanted to do something light, yet noodle and soup related.

Sotanghon at Bola Bola Sopas is a Filipino cellophane noodle and meatball soup. I first discovered this dish searching Pinterest for a meatball noodle soup my husband told me about that his Lola (Lola means grandma in Tagalog) used to make for him when he was a child. I was inspired to recreate a small piece of that memory for him, having his favorite soup that his Lola used to make; and share that with our children. Perhaps one day, it will become one of their favorite meals that I make for them and they can find my recipe here on this blog:)

I realized looking through several recipes that there are so many variations of how people make this meatball soup. I’ve made so many variations in the past that now, I have my own version I make, depending on what I have on hand. I love this soup because it is very simple to make and it is the ultimate quick and surprisingly light, yet satisfying meal.

Typically, I add minced celery and garlic to the meatballs, but tonight of course I forgot the garlic and didn’t have celery. I also typically add Napa Cabbage to the broth (I believe that’s how it is traditionally made?). I also used ground turkey instead of the typical ground chicken because that’s what I had at home tonight.

Ingredients:

2 small onions minced or (whatever you have in hand)

1 carrot diced

2 scallion minced

1 package of ground turkey (comes in a pack of 4 in Costco)

32oz chicken broth

32 oz water (I fill up the empty chicken stock container with the water)

1tbsp of soy sauce

Salt to taste (I added about 1/2 tsp because I prefer things not too salty)

1 tsp whole black peppercorn

Black pepper to taste

Chicken powder (I use the Maggi brand- omit if you don’t have)

Fish sauce (on the side to dip meatballs or make your a little soup saltier if you’d like)

Steps for Meatball:

1- Make your meatballs combining 1 small minced onion (leave the other small minced onion for the broth), diced carrot, minced scallion, chicken powder, salt and pepper and soy sauce with the ground turkey.

2- Shape into meatballs. I made them jumbo, about 3 inches large because I don’t have time to make pretty little ones tonight. They taste the same and cook almost just as fast.

*Note: If you add the salt pepper and chicken powder soy sauce before adding the ground turkey into the mixing bowl, you don’t have to touch the salt and pepper grinder or soy sauce dispenser with raw meat covered hands. All you do is mix after you dump the ground meat into the same bowl and form the meatballs.

Recipe for Soup:

1-Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil into soup pot and add in the other half of the minced small onion to cook for about 1 minute.

2- Throw in the black peppercorns and pour in the chicken broth and water and bring it all to a big boil.

*Note-One of the main stars of this dish is the whole black peppercorns that impart a slightly smoky dimension flavor to the broth (much stronger than regular ground black pepper). Just don’t eat it whole or accident feed it to your kid (it is not a pleasant thing to chew up).

3-Dump in your uncooked meatballs one by one (making sure they are all submerged in the broth) and bring it to another big boil simmering for another 5 minutes.

4-Add in Mung Bean Noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes. Adjust accordingly and cook longer to get it softer and mushier if you are serving young children because it can be slippery and long. I always cut up the noodles along with the meatballs when serving my kids.

5- Optional-add more chopped scallion and Enjoy!

*Note: If you soak it first in water for 10 minutes beforehand to get it soft, it won’t soak up as much of the broth. This noodle is the same one my family uses for hot pot and cooks very quickly. It won’t absorb too much of the broth if you separate once it’s cooked or eat it right away. You can read more about mung bean noodles here https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-cook-bean-thread-noodles-4071418.

Do you have any meatball soup varieties you like to make at home? Do share:)

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