Tofu and Meat Ball Winter Melon Soup (Canh Bi Thit va Tofu)

With all the turkey and lots of good eats over the Thanksgiving holiday, we can use some lighter meals to get us geared up for a second big and meaty holiday meals in the weeks to come. Being winter time, having winter melon is a given, right? So I was given another big melon recently and making an entree soup out of it is a must. Here, I brought in the meat balls, which is a combo of ground pork and shrimp, so think dim sum's siu mai, and the super healthy tofu. Put them all in a big pot and you'll have yourself a big pot of entree soup for lunch or dinner. You can also check out my other winter melon soup with chicken if you like chicken better. If you are a true Vietnamese and must have rice with your soup, then go ahead, but I'm skipping the rice this time. Enjoy!

Tofu and Meat Balls Melon Soup
tofu and melon soup

RECIPE for 8 servings

3 lbs of winter melon, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 quart of water
1 quart of chicken stock 
4 tbs of fish sauce or to taste
1 large handful of cilantro 
Fish sauce to taste

Pork and Shrimp Meat Ball 
1 lb of shrimp, deveined, shelled, and roughly chopped 
1/2 of lean ground pork
1/4 of white onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 tbs of fish sauce
1 tsp sugar

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl. Use a melon baller to scoop out the meat ball into little balls. Set aside until the broth is ready.

In a large soup pot, add the water and stock, and bring to a slight boil. 
Add in the melon and cook for 5-7 mins on medium heat.
Carefully add in the meat balls. Cook for another 10 mins or until the melon is tender and also translucent looking. 
Add fish sauce to taste. 
Turn of heat and then add the cilantro.