Every once in a while, I have a craving for beefball soup with rice noodles. I suspect it has to do with the fact that I had it on a twice weekly basis, at least, when I was growing up in Jakarta, from a street peddler who parked just outside my school gate. To this date, probably just through a combination of fond memory and my youthful appetite, I think the street peddler’s version is the best I’ve had yet and impossible to replicate.
Our own version may not be perfect, but it is light, flavorful, and satisfying. It’s also very easy to make! Here’s how…
Beefball Soup with Rice Noodles, serves 2
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 10 beef balls
- 1 litre of beef stock
- 150g of dry rice noodles
- salt, pepper, MSG or sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar, to taste
- spring onion, chopped
- fried shallots
Heat cooking oil on a saucepan. Once the oil’s hot, throw the chopped garlic in and turn down the heat to avoid them getting burnt. Stir until the garlic turns yellow and fragrant, then pour in the beef stock and the beef balls. Use high quality beef stock, since the broth is the most important part of this dish. Bring everything to a boil and add salt, pepper, a tiny sprinkle of MSG or sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar to taste.
Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package (some dry rice noodles need to be boiled while some only need to sit in hot water for a few minutes). They need to be soft but not soggy. Drain and divide them into 2 bowls. Pour the broth and beef balls into the bowls and you’re done! Serve them hot with chopped spring onion and fried shallots. Be sure to evenly distribute the beef balls. Or have more for yourself, I won’t tell. *winks*