1. Bean Curd Soup
  2. Clear-Simmered Meatablls

Chinese meals are often balanced with both a meat and a fish dish. Serves 4, or would serve 6 if accompanied by a substantial rice dish such as Yangchow Fried Rice or Shanghai Vegetable Rice with Chinese Sausages.

1. Bean Curd Soup ()
    1.5 litres (2 1/2 pints) chicken stock
    6 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked for 20 minutes, drained and stemmed
    3 cakes bean curd, cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) squares
    50 g (2 oz) uncooked rawns, peeled
    50 g (2 oz) canned bamboo shoots, drained and sliced
    200 g (7 oz) cooked pork, finely sliced
    3 slices root ginger, peeled
    pinch of salt
    pinch of freshly ground white pepper
    1 spring onion, finely chopped
    pinch of MSG 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

    Preparation time: 10 minutes< plus soaking
    Cooking time: 45 minutes

1. Put the chicken stock in a large pan and bring to the boil.

2. Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan with the bean curd and bamboo shoots. Bring back to the boil.

3. SiSimmer for about 30 minutes. Cut the prawns into bite-sized pieces and add together with the pork slices, ginger, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute until the prawns change colour. Sprinkle on spring onions, MSG and sesame oil. Serve hot.

2. Clear-Simmered Meatablls ()
    750 g (1 1/2 lb) minced pork
    50 g (2 oz) dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked for 20 minutes, drained, stemmed and diced
    100 g (4 oz) dried shrimps, soaked for 20 minutes, drained and diced
    100 g (4 oz) canned bamboo shoots, drained and diced
    2 spring onions, finely chopped
    2.5 cm (1 inch) piece root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons cornflour
    2 tablespoons salt
    600 ml (1 pint) vegetable oil, plus 4 tablespoons
    1 teaspoon sesame oil
    5 tablespoons chicken stock
    1 tablespoon soy sauce

    Preparation time: 10 minutes plus soaking
    Cooking time: 25 minutes

1. In a bowl, mix together the pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, shrimps, spring onions, ginger, egg, 1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour, salt, 4 tablespoons vegetable oil and the sesame oil. Mix together thoroughly and form into balls, using about 1 tablespoon mixture per ball.

2. Heat the remaining oil in a wok until it is smoking, then add the meatballs. Fry until brown on the outside. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on papper towels.

3. Pour off the oil. Add the chicken stock to the wok and return the meatballs. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Lift out the meatballs, drain and place on a warmed serving dish.

4. Add the soy sauce to the wok. Mix the remaining cornflour with the remaining tablespoon of chicken stock, add to the wok and stir until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve immediately.

<>   Xiaoniu SuChu Hsu (p) 1998    suchu@techart.nia.edu.tw