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Meatballs, Abalone, and Vegetables


Meatballs, Abalone, and Vegetables
12 ounces finely hand-minced pork
2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons Chinese brandy or rice wine
1 scallion, minced
5 cloves peeled garlic, minced finely
1 egg
1 heaping Tablespoon cornstarch
5 dried Chinese black mushrooms, soaked for half an hour, stems discarded, then slivered
½ pound Chinese cabbage, slivered
½ pound bamboo shoots, shredded
½ pound winter melon, peeled and shredded or cubed
½ pound melting mouth peas, stingy edges removed and discarded, then slivered
1 pound doufu, cut into half-inch squares (optional)
4 ounces canned abalone, sliced thin, then cut into thin strips

1. Mix ground pork, soy sauce, sugar, brandy or wine, scallion pieces, egg, and the cornstarch and make into ne-inch or smaller meatballs and refrigerate covered overnight.
2. Mix mushrooms, cabbage, bamboo shoots, and peas.
3. Add meatballs and the vegetables and the winter melon to three quarts of boiling water, and when it returns to the boil, add the abalone and turn the heat so the liquid simmers, then add the abalone and the bean curd, if using it and let everything simmer for three minutes, then serve every person a heaping ladle of the vegetable mixture, and let them serve themselves as much liquid as they wish.
NOTE: Instead of the abalone, substitute half-pound cooked shrimp, veins removed and discarded or half-pound any white fish diced in half-inch pieces instead of the cubed abalone.

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