In Singapore, this soup is made with the fresh wheat-flour noodles called mee swa. In the U.S., mee swa are usually sold dry; look for thin, spaghettini-like noodles, packaged in twisted bundles. To find other unfamiliar ingredients, visit your local Asian market.
For the Stock
- 3 lb. meaty pork bones
- 3 yellow onions, peeled and halved
- 1 head garlic, halved
- 1 thick piece ginger, about 2" long
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 white turnip, peeled and halved
For the Soup
- 6 medium dried cloud-ear fungi
- 1⁄2 lb. ground pork
- 18 fish balls (optional)
- 1⁄4 lb. Asian greens (such as choy sum or bok choy), washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped
- 1⁄4 lb. thin, round wheat-flour noodles
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- For the stock: Place bones, onions, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and turnip in a large pot. Add 5 quarts water and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, skimming any foam. Lower heat; simmer for 2½ hours.
- For the soup: Place cloud-ear fungi in a medium bowl, add boiling water to cover, and soak until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain, wash, and roughly chop.
- Strain stock, and skim any fat from top. Heat 8 cups stock in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat. Add cloud-ear fungi and simmer 3 minutes. Add pork, fish balls (if using), and greens, keeping stock at a low simmer for 5 minutes. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook noodles for 3 minutes, gently separating with chopsticks or a fork. Drain and add to soup.
- Serve in individual bowls, garnished with scallions and cilantro. Serve with Chile Fish Sauce on the side, to be added to taste at the table.