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He Jia Tuan Yuan (Tofu Ball Soup for Lunar Chinese New Year)

Rated as 4.73 out of 5 Stars

"On Lunar Chinese New Year, we usually like to have meatballs or sweet dumplings. Ball in Chinese is 'wan,' sweet dumpling in Chinese is 'tang yuan.' Their shapes are both round. So we use a meatball dish and/or sweet dumpling dish to emphasize the Chinese expression 'He Jia Tuan Yuan.' 'He Jia' means the whole family. 'Tuan Yuan' means 'all be together' ('yuan' also means circle, round as well, which connects with the shape of the meatballs and the sweet dumplings). This tofu ball dish is easy to make, and it is a great soup for your Lunar New Year meal."
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45 m servings 239
Original recipe yields 5 servings


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  1. Place the tofu into a large bowl, and mash it into a paste with a large spoon. Stir in the pork, cornstarch, egg, 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules, and 1 teaspoon salt until the mixture is very well combined.
  2. Heat the water and vegetable oil to a boil in a large saucepan, and reduce heat to an active simmer but not a full boil. Using gloved hands, pinch off about 1 tablespoon of the tofu mixture, roll it into a ball between your palms, and slide it carefully into the water so it doesn't break apart. Repeat with the rest of the tofu mixture. Without stirring the soup, let the tofu balls simmer until they rise to the top, about 30 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, and stir in the dried shrimp, pea vine shoots, 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon granules, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve hot.


  • Cook's Notes
  • You may substitute some of the water with chicken stock.
  • Snow pea shoots have a unique aroma, and they make the soup taste refreshing.
  • Good choices for substitutions for snow pea shoots: watercress (highly recommended substitution), cilantro, Taiwan lettuce, spinach.
  • To make good tofu balls, the tofu to meat ratio should be 2:1 (If you are meat lover, you can use a 1:1 ratio). The tofu and cornstarch ratio should be 6:1.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 239 calories; 15.3 11.7 14.5 70 786 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 9
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An excellent and easy meal. The only complaint I have is that it is that the flavors are a bit subdued for me. Its not really a complaint though as the soup is supposed to be simple. I would add...

we are foreigners living in China, i made this soup for some local Chinese friends tonight and they loved it! My toddler son also love it - and he is very picky. i left out the shrimp only b/c i...

Wow!! This very good. I had to use spinach because I couldn't find pea fine shoots, and I didn't add the shrimp because I'm not a big fan of them, but my family told me next time I should put th...

Very simple, filling, and soothing soup. If you want to add anything to spice it up, I would recommend using something like a ground white pepper to give it a kick. Or even to simmer with a 2 ...

Good soup. I had a little bit of trouble with making the balls so most of them ended up as "lumps". My family and I weren't sure if you were supposed to eat the dried shrimp or not so we didn'...

So good! It's a very light soup - it would appeal to people who are afraid to try new things. The dumplings almost taste sweet. The mixture looked a bit wet and I was afraid they would dissol...

I keep this one in my recipe box. I've made it several times over the last couple years. Tasty, Satisfing and digestible. I do like the broth with chicken stock and a little bit of fermented s...

Oh yeeeeeehz ni hua my luv this very mucc happy chinese nu yea ^^

This is a great recipe. Easy to prepare and cook. It makes for a light soup so it's easy on those who haven't tried tofu before. I took a suggestion from someone else and added some white pepper...