Sometimes when I cannot think of what to make, I turn to this dish: boiled meat ball, spinach, and clear noodle all in one bowl. Super easy.
Chinese version: 菠菜粉丝汆丸子
- ground beef or pork: 200g
- spinach (or other vegetables such as Buk Choy or baby Buk Choy)
- (optional): clear noodle , also known as Chinese vermicelli
- (optional): dried small shrimps
- (optional) egg: 1, to soften the texture of beef
- ginger: 2 slices
- spring onion: 1
- cooking wine: 1 tbsp
- soy sauce: 2 tbsp
- pepper: to taste
- Mince one piece of ginger and one spring onion. Beat an egg. Add them to the ground beef. Then add the cooking wine, soy sauce, and pepper to the ground beef as well. The cooking wine is often used with beef in Chinese cooking to tune down the beef smell.
- Use four chopsticks or a whisk, mix the ground beef with the other ingredients
- Boil some water in a pot with one slice of ginger in it to give the soup a little more flavour.
- When the water boils, make meatballs and put them in the water. The trick of making beef meatballs is to be gentle, otherwise the meatball would taste dry and stiff. You can grab some beef, then form a circle using the thumb and the index finger, gently squeeze and push some beef out from that circle. They may not have the perfect round shape. If you are not trying to impress anyone then no matter how the meatballs look like, they will taste just as good..
- After all the meatballs are in the pot, there will be bits of scum floating on the soup. You can skim them off with a spoon or a ladle.
- Wait until the water boils again and all the meatballs are floating, then add clear noodle (optional), spinach (wash them before putting into the pot if they are not pre-washed), and dried small shrimps (optional). Wait until the water boils again and transfer everything into a bowl including the soup.
Sometimes you can use a timeline to minimize total cooking time. For example in this dish, you can start by boiling the water (step 3), and then go and deal with the ground beef in step 1 and 2. This way you have something to do while waiting for the water to boil. To keep the flow of the instructions, the steps I put in the recipes are not always in the same order as how I actually cook. With more cooking experiences, you can come up with your own timeline for each recipe with ease.