Pork ball, noodle, and watercress soup

PersonalPoints™ per serving
Total Time
43 min
17 min
26 min
This favorite Chinese soup can be served in smaller portions as an appetizer, or as one hearty main-dish bowlful to satisfy the hungriest. It features ground pork, egg, ginger, garlic, and dried shiitake mushrooms. Since it’s often cheaper to buy dried shiitake mushrooms in bulk than it is to buy them fresh—and dried mushrooms keep well for months—substitute 5 to 6 dried whole shiitake mushrooms for the fresh, if you like. Before using dried mushrooms, simply soak them in 1/2 cup boiling water for about 15 minutes; drain, then discard the tough stems. Also, to save time, you can buy watercress in a 4-ounce bag, already trimmed and cleaned, from the produce section of your supermarket.


Uncooked ground pork

1 pound(s), (10% or less fat)


1 large egg(s), lightly beaten

Ginger root

1 Tbsp, fresh, peeled and grated


2 tsp

Garlic clove(s)

2 medium clove(s), minced

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Reduced-sodium chicken broth

6 cup(s)

Low sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp

Packaged chow mein noodles

4 oz, or any Chinese noodle or thin spaghetti, broken in half

Dried shiitake mushroom(s)

¼ pound(s), fresh, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced

Uncooked scallion(s)

4 medium, thinly sliced (white and light green portions only)

Dark sesame oil

1 tsp, Asian


  1. Combine the pork, egg, ginger, cornstarch, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Shape mixture into 24 balls; set aside.
  2. Bring the broth and soy sauce to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add the noodles and mushrooms; return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Gently add the pork balls; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the pork balls and noodles are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Gently stir in the watercress and simmer until just wilted, about 1 minute.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat, then stir in the scallions and oil. Yields 1 1/4 cups per serving.