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Seaweed Soup with Pork Balls

Seaweed Soup 紫菜汤
Delicious Chinese soup on the go – seaweed soup with home made pork balls & prawns

This soup is a life saver whenever I crave for some home-made soup but don’t have a lot of time. It’s fast to whip up and yet very yummy and nutritious. Unlike most Chinese soups which require a long time to simmer, the actual cooking time of this soup is under 10 minutes. My version which is served with pork balls is a flexible recipe and you can add/substitute whatever ingredients you like or have in your fridge, such as assorted meat balls, sliced meat, yong tau foo and tofu. If you are cooking the soup in advance, warm it up and add the seaweed just before serving.

Seaweed Soup 紫菜汤

According to this site, dried seaweed is super nutritious – it contains a wide spectrum of nutrients hence offsetting deficiencies of an unbalanced diet, keeps hair and skin healthy looking, increases metabolism, aids detoxification, prevents osteoporosis, combats weight gain – to name a few key benefits. I love dried seaweed in my soup and can never get enough of it when it’s served outside (usually a tiny piece in a side serving of soup if you order dry noodles at a hawker stall, teochew fish porridge or in fishhead steamboat). So I thought, why not make a soup where the seaweed is the star. Then I can have as much seaweed as I like.

Dried Seaweed
Cut seaweed pieces

Home made pork balls
Home made pork balls

(Serves 2)

– 700ml of soup stock (I use cheat method – dissolving 700ml hot water and 1 knorr ikan bilis cube)
– 10g Chinese dried seaweed 紫菜 (I use half a piece of a 20cm diameter seaweed), cut to smaller sizes
– 6 prawns (shrimps); shells, head and veins removed, tails trimmed
– 200g minced pork
– chopped spring onions (garnish)

Marinade ingredients (A)
– 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
– 1/2 tbsp corn starch
– 1/2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
– 1 tsp sesame oil
– dash of white pepper

1. Marinade the pork with the ingredients in (A). Shape into individual meat ball (each about 1 tbsp size). Set aside.
2. Bring stock to a boil, then add pork balls, one at a time, making sure they don’t stick to one another. Cook for about 3 minutes.
3. After the pork balls are cooked, add prawns to the boiling stock until cooked (prawns cooked really fast, less than a minute).
4. Portion pork balls and prawns to individual serving bowls, and add seaweed pieces on top. Pour hot soup over. Stir the seaweed around and it should spread out nicely due to the hot broth. If you like the seaweed to be more evenly spread out in the soup, you can add the seaweed to the soup and boil for a few seconds instead. Garnish with chopped spring onions.

Cooking Notes
Dried Seaweed

My pack of dried seaweed

1. Where to buy dried seaweed in Singapore. During the Chinese New Year season, dried seaweed is well-stocked in NTUC. Throughout the year, they can be purchased at Hock Hwa (Fu Hua) medical hall. I bought my packet at Hock Hwa (brand Maru Sun; see photo above) containing two pieces of seaweed for S$1.30.
2. Preparing the seaweed. It’s not necessary to wash the seaweed before using because any contact with water will dissolve it instantly. If you really want to rinse them, do it quickly & just before adding them to the soup. Try to buy a brand where the seaweed is clean. The one I get at Hock Hwa is quite clean for my standard. Cutting the seaweed to smaller sizes before adding to the soup helps to spread them out more evenly.

Seaweed Soup 紫菜汤

52 comments on “Seaweed Soup with Pork Balls”

  1. My mom used to make something similar when I growing up, but I never thought to try it myself. I love soups of all kinds!

  2. This looks fantastic! I grew up on seaweed soups and have been craving healthy Chinese foods lately. I don’t eat pork, but will substitute shrimp balls perhaps.

  3. This is a home soup my mom makes frequently. I love this soup.

  4. This is one of our favourite soup that we always ordered from the “Zhi Char” stall. And yours look great! :)

  5. Lovely soup…reminds me of my childhood :-)

  6. I cook similar soup on a daily basis. No time to simmer everything ya know? :D

  7. Such a flavoursome soup! I sometimes add mung bean noodles for a more substantial meal too!

  8. i hope it’s taste much better than it looks;) but it’s only my opinon! Greetings from Poland

  9. This soup is great on a cold night. I love the seaweed.

  10. Hubby and I love this soup :) I like to add carrots for colour (I cut mine into flowers – prettier!) and stir in a beaten egg to make it an egg drop soup.
    But what really rocks this soup is to add some black rice vinegar, the kind used in shark’s fin soup. I put in a spoonful in the serving bowl and then pour the soup on. It makes the soup tangy and extra tasty~…slurp slurp!

    • Hi Christina, thanks for sharing your family recipe, I would love to try it out one day! Unusual combo – egg, seaweed and black rice vinegar – but it sounds absolutely delicious! :wink:

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