Quick and easy homemade shrimp balls soup that fills with Chinese napa cabbage and glass noodles. This is the perfect comfort slurp dish for a cold and chilly night that is full of umami flavor. It is light, yet it is super comforting. I made this glass noodle soup dish with my favorite hotpot shrimp balls.
What is cellophane noodles
Cellophane noodles or glass noodles, like the name suggested they are transparent noodles like glass. Glass noodles are made from starch (such as mung bean starch, potato starch, sweet potato starch, or tapioca) and water. They are commonly used and found in Asian cuisine and are often used in soups, stir-fry dishes, spring rolls, or buns.
Now, glass noodles are not the same as rice vermicelli noodles. Unlike glass noodles, rice vermicelli noodles are made from rice flour and are white in color after cooking.
How To make This Shrimp ball soup with napa cabbage and glass noodles
The good news is the hardest part of making this glass noodles soup dish is the homemade shrimp balls. But don't worry, these homemade shrimp balls are super easy to make. If you have made meatballs or dumplings before, making this shrimp ball is a piece of cake.
Napa cabbage can easily be found any at grocery stores. You will need about a pound of fresh napa cabbage to make this soup recipe. If you are unable to find this ingredient, you can swap for another green like bok choy, Chinese cabbage, or spinach.
Making these shrimp balls are much easier and simpler than you think. To make these delicious and tender shrimps balls, you have to chop the shrimps into small pieces or into a paste. Then add flour, ginger, cooking wine, egg white, and salt and pepper for taste.
If you like a little shrimp texture, finely chop the shrimps. If you like a smoother texture like hotpot shrimp balls, chop the shrimp into a paste-like texture, which options to go with it's a personal preference.
Glass noodles can be found at most grocery stores under the International aisle and in the Asian section. Or you can also find them at the Asian market. The most common type of glass noodles you can find in the US is made from mung bean starch, potato starch or sweet potato starch, and water. And if you can't find glass noodles, you can substitute for vermicelli noodles.
Depending on which Asian grocery store you go to, it will determine the type of starch made from your glass noodles.
Mung Bean Starch
Chinese glass noodles are made with mung bean starch and are popular for stir-fries, soups, and are used in varieties of dumplings, flatbreads, and buns.
Potato & Sweet potato starch
Japanese glass noodles are usually made with potato starch. And Korean glass noodles are usually made with sweet potato starch.
In Japanese cuisine, potato starch noodles are commonly used in salads and hot pot. While in Korean cuisine, sweet potato starch noodles are used in making stir-fries.
Indian glass noodles are usually made with arrow starch. In Indian cuisine, glass noodles are used to serve on top of kulfi, a traditional ice cream.
shrimp balls soup with napa cabbage and glass noodles Recipe
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Serving Size: 4
2-3 bundles of glass noodles
1 Small Napa cabbage (~1 lb)
32oz Chicken Or Vegetable stock
2 tablespoon coconut amino or soy sauce
1 Tablespoon of miso Paste
Green Onion For Garnish
1 lb shrimp peeled deveined
1 egg white
1 teaspoon wheat flour or cornstarch
1-2 teaspoon cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Paprika
Salt and pepper
- Chop Napa cabbage in half the long way. And then chop each half into quarters. At this point, you should have eight sections.
- Chop the eight sections the long way into bite sized pieces.
- In a medium pot, add chicken stock and coconut aminos, and bring the broth to boil at medium heat.
- Add in Napa cabbage and let it cook down until it is tender.
- While Napa cabbage is cooking, grab a medium-size mixing bowl and make your fish balls mixture. Add all the ingredients and mix well.
- Once your Napa cabbage has a tender texture or desirable texture, use a spoon or ice cream scooper, take a scoop of your shrimp mixture and add it to your soup. Repeat until shrimp paste is done.
- Then add your glass noodles into the soup and let them cook according to directions. Glass noodles are usually quick to cook. Once your glass noodles are cooked and all the shrimp balls are floating, turn off the stove. Let the soup cool for about 5 minutes and allow the noodles to absorb some flavor before serving.
- Shrimp balls cooking time: The shrimp balls only need 3-4 minutes to cook in boiling water. But depending on the size of your shrimp ball, it may need to cook a little longer. Your shrimp balls are cooked when it floats.
- Add your glass noodle in to cook with the shrimp balls simultaneously because they both need about the same amount of time to cook. Glass noodles usually only need about 2-3 minutes to cook. By boiling together at the same time, ensure you don't overcook the shrimp balls nor the noodles.
- Soak your noodles instead of boiling. If you are worried about overcooking your glass noodles, you can soak them in warm or hot water for 5-15 minutes and then throw the noodles into the soup at the end.
- Substitute for glass noodles: mung bean vermicelli, sweet potato vermicelli, sweet potato noodles, or rice noodles.
- Don't have miso? Check out the substitutes you can use.