Filipinos love soups. We enjoy them as they are, or we eat them with rice to add moist and texture. When I was a kid, I remember eating a bowl of rice overflowing in warm soup of Nilaga or Sinigang — types of pork, beef, or seafood stews. One of my favorite soup dishes is called Misua Bola-bola or Meat ball soup with Misua Noodles, and you can easily prepare this dish at home using today’s recipe.
Misua noodles originated from China which we inherited through its culinary influence in the country. Unlike rice vermicelli (bihon), which is made from rice, misua is made from wheat flour. These are very thin, white noodles that are very delicate, easily break when raw, and quickly absorbs liquid. You can buy them from your nearest sari-sari store (variety store), public market, or supermarket.
Misua Bola-bola is also known in some parts of the country as Almondigas. Because some recipes of Almondigas use rice vermicelli instead of misua, we will call it Misua Bola-bola to make a distinction. Besides, that how we call it back home in Malabon.
Perfect for rainy days, enjoy a warm bowl of Misua Bola-bola as a main dish, an appetizer, or as an afternoon snack. I still prefer the childish way by mixing it with my rice. It reminds me of the good old days.
I divided the recipe into two parts: the first one is how to prepare the meatballs; the last one is for the soup. Check the recipe below:
Misua Bola-bola Recipe
To make the meat balls, you will need:
- 1 kilo ground pork
- 250 grams medium-sized shrimps (heads and shells removed and set aside), minced
- 2 medium-sized onions, minced
- 1/4 cup spring onion, minced
- 1 tspn iodized salt
- 1 tspn ground pepper
- a dash of MSG (vetsin)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and shredded (or brunoised — very finely chopped)
How to prepare:
- Wash your hands properly. You will be using your bare hands in this procedure.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients thoroughly using your hands. Make sure everything is incorporated. Set aside.
To make the soup, you will need:
- 1 tbsp cooking oil 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 1 medium-sized onion, minced
- 5 cups water
- meat-shrimp mixture (recipe above)
- shrimp heads and shells
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
- 2 packs misua noodles
- 1 medium-sized patola (loofah), peeled and chopped crosswise (optional)
- 1/4 cup spring onion, chopped
How to prepare:
- In a large sauce pan over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in oil. Add water and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil.
- Using the meat-shrimp mixture you prepared earlier, heap a tablespoon and form a small ball about 1.5 inches in diameter between the palms of your hands. Carefully drop it into the soup. Repeat steps with the rest of the mixture.
- Pound the shrimp shells using a mortar & pestle to squeeze out the juices. Place everything in a bowl and pour some hot broth from the soup. Careful press the mixture using the back of a spoon to extract all the shrimp flavor. Using a strainer, pour the shrimp extract into the soup.
- Season with salt, pepper, and fish sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked.
- Add misua noodles and patola. Simmer for about 5 minutes more.
- Garnish with spring onion. Serve in a large soup bowl.