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Chinese Winter Melon Meatball Soup

As a child, I loved my mom's winter melon soup as it had flavorful meatballs, light broth and tender winter melons. My mom would always serve homemade Chinese steamed buns with her winter melon soup. It was one of my favorite meals growing up and I would frequently request it during the cold winter months.

When I saw winter melon on sale for $0.29/lb at Sunrise Market, the only thought that came to my mind on that wet rainy Sunday was my mom's winter melon meatball soup.

Like all Chinese moms, my mom does not use a recipe. Instead of calling her to ask her for her recipe rough measurements, I elected to use a recipe I found online. The soup I made tasted good and received great reviews from my husband (the non-soup person). This winter melon soup has a light mild flavored broth with flavorful and soft pork meatballs. The winter melon has been cooked tender and it was a nice soul warming soup for a cold and rainy day.

Even though the soup checked off all the same things that is in my mom's winter melon soup, it seemed to be missing something. Perhaps what was missing was my mom's labour of love. Food always tastes better when someone else makes it specially for you.

1/2 pound lean ground pork
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped (optional)
1-1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp freshly minced ginger
1 egg

6 cups pork or chicken broth
2 pounds Chinese winter melon (Dong Gua), skin peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 slices fresh ginger, cut into coins
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar

1. Mix pork, cornstarch, cilantro, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and egg in a bowl. Using your hands, mix the meat mixture until it is thoroughly combined.

I made a double batch and used half for Chinese Braised Stuffed Tofu. :)

2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, combine pork or chicken broth, winter melon, ginger, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the soup reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. With a spoon or a cookie scoop, gently drop meatballs by the tablespoon into the soup. Stir the soup occasionally. Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the meatballs have fully cooked. Serve immediately.

Source: Slightly adapted from Allrecipes

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