Mee Swa Soup with Ground Pork and Fish Balls

Mee Swa Soup with Ground Pork and Fish Balls

Visit your local Asian market to find ingredients for this Singaporean comfort food.Christopher Hirsheimer

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.

Mee Swa Soup with Ground Pork and Fish Balls
This authentic soup from Singapore is made with wheat-flour noodles called mee swa; hence the unusual name.
Yield: serves 6

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
  • 12 lb. ground pork
  • 18 fish balls (optional)
  • 14 lb. Asian greens (such as choy sum or bok choy), washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped
  • 14 lb. thin, round wheat-flour noodles
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.