Sotanghon at bola-bola soup is made of juicy meatballs, cellophane noodles, cabbage, and celery for a hearty and filling main or side dish. This Filipino-style noodle soup is a delicious way to warm up in cold weather and sure to be a family favorite.
When I make lumpiang shanghai, I usually make twice the meat filling. These Filipino-style spring rolls freeze well and are perfect for days when I am too pressed to prepare anything elaborate for lunch or when guests drop by impromptu.
But mostly, I keep the filling handy and ready in the freezer for other meal ideas. This sotanghon at bola-bola soup is only a matter of defrosting the meat mixture, shaping it into balls, and a quick twenty minutes on the stove. I get a delicious and satisfying meal to enjoy in no time.
- Ground chicken– ground pork, beef, or turkey are also good options. You can also add minced shrimp to boost flavor.
- Green onions, water chestnuts, and shredded carrots– adds color, texture, and extra nutrition. You can add or substitut chopped shitake mushrooms, parsley, or cilantro.
- Soy sauce– adds umami flavor
- Salt and pepper– season to taste
- The recipe uses napa cabbage and kinchay (Chinese celery), but you can also add other vegetables in season such as patola, upo or chicharo (snow peas).
- Make sure the water is boiling before adding the meatballs to keep from falling apart.
How to serve and store
- Serve the soup on its own or with puto or pandesal for a midday snack. It’s also delicious for lunch or dinner as a main or side dish with steamed rice and fried fish or meat.
- For best results, enjoy the soup freshly cooked as the sotanghon tends to absorb liquid and soften as it stands.
- To store leftovers, allow to cool completely and transfer in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. This noodle dish does not freeze well.
- To reheat, place in a saucepan, add more water and adjust seasonings as needed. Heat to an internal temperature of 165 F.