Sat, 20th Apr 2024 23:04 (GMT +7)

How to make Da Lat-style meatball soup

Thursday, 23/11/2023 | 15:12:35 [GMT +7] A  A

Da Lat's shumai meatballs delight by combining sweet, tender meat with crisp vegetables, all immersed in a fragrant broth - a cherished favorite for both locals and visitors.

This recipe serves 3-4 people, takes approximately 90 minutes to prepare, and provides around 2,000 calories in total.


- 400 grams of ground collar pork

- 10 salted egg yolks. If salted eggs are unavailable, boiled quail eggs can be a substitute.

- 4 tomatoes

- 1 set of chicken bones or 400 grams of pork bones

- 100 grams of pork skin

- 1/2 cassava (Cassava ensures natural crispiness and sweetness in the meatballs.)

- 1/2 onion

- Garlic, shallots

- Herbs: Coriander, scallions

- Spices: Fish sauce, salt, sugar, stock powder, pepper, ketchup, sesame oil, white wine

- Tapioca starch or corn starch

- 4 loaves of bread


1. Preparation

Ground collar pork is marinated. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

- Marinate the collar pork with 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, half a teaspoon of sugar, half a teaspoon of stock powder, half a teaspoon of pepper, and minced shallot. Opt for pork collar with a bit of fat for juicy meatballs. Allow it to marinate for 15-20 minutes.

- Wash salted egg yolks with white wine and brush with sesame oil. Depending on your preference, you can either cut the yolks in half or leave them whole.

Salted egg yorks boast bright orange color. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

- Cut the cassava into small pieces, then either steam or blanch it. Afterward, you should press or squeeze out any excess water from the cassava.

- Clean the pork skin thoroughly, eliminate any remaining hairs and then boil it.

- After boiling, take about half of the skin and cut it into small pieces. The remaining half should be cut into bite-sized pieces and added to the broth.

- Take half of a crusty loaf and tear it into pieces.

- Peel the carrots and then chop them into small pieces.

- Chop the onion, garlic and shallots into small pieces.

Small pieces of cassava, pork skin, carrot, onion, garlic and bread crumbs to be combined with the ground pork. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

- Combine the marinated meat with cassava, pork skin, carrots, onions, and half of the minced garlic in a large bowl.

- Add tapioca starch (or cornstarch) and half a teaspoon of salt, then mix them until it becomes smooth.

- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up the mixture.

- Once removed, shape the mixture into small, round balls.

- Press a salted egg into the middle, gently squeeze the balls, compressing them tightly while ensuring to leave a space at the top for aesthetic appeal.

Salted eggs are added to the meatballs. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

2. Cooking process

For the meatballs:

- Bring the steamer to a boil, then place the salted egg shumai inside and steam them for approximately 15 minutes.

- As the shumai cooks, the salted egg in the center will change to an opaque yellow color. The mention of a lighter color indicates that the shumai balls are fully cooked.

The meatballs are cooked in a steamer. Photo by VnEpxress/Bui Thuy

For the bone broth:

- Place the bones in a pot with 5 liters of water and 1 tablespoon of salt.

- Bring the water to a boil on high heat.

- Once boiling, remove any foam that forms on the surface.

- Reduce the heat to low, allowing the water to simmer gently for about 1 hour.

- Remove the bones and discard any remaining residue.

For the sauce:

- Sauté the remaining onion and garlic, then add chopped tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of ketchup for a vibrant color.

- Add a bit of salt to hasten the softening of the tomatoes.

- Pour the filtered broth to cover the surface, along with adding the remaining half of the pork skin.

- Adjust the seasoning to your taste.

- If a thicker broth is desired, add 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch with water, gradually bringing it to a rolling boil while stirring well. This process helps achieve the desired thickness in the broth.

Large pieces of pork skin are added into the broth. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

- Add the meatballs back into the pot of broth and bring it to a boil again.

- Once boiling, scoop the meatballs into a bowl.

- Sprinkle a little pepper and herbs on top, and enjoy the dish with hot, crispy bread.

The meatballs take on the rich taste and essence of the broth. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

Finished product:

The dish offers sweetness from the meat, crunchiness from the vegetables, richness from the broth, and chewiness from the pork skin.

Source: VnExpress