He Jia Tuan Yuan (Tofu Ball Soup for Lunar Chinese New Year)

On Lunar Chinese New Year, we usually like to have meatballs or sweet dumplings. Ball in Chinese is 'wan,' sweet dumpling in Chinese is 'tang yuan.' Their shapes are both round. So we use a meatball dish and/or sweet dumpling dish to emphasize the Chinese expression 'He Jia Tuan Yuan.' 'He Jia' means the whole family. 'Tuan Yuan' means 'all be together' ('yuan' also means circle, round as well, which connects with the shape of the meatballs and the sweet dumplings). This tofu ball dish is easy to make, and it is a great soup for your Lunar New Year meal.

Recipe by   
 5 Servings
  • Prep
    15 mins
  • Cook
    30 mins
  • Serve in
    45 mins


  •   1 (14 ounce) package soft tofu
  •   7 ounces ground pork
  •   6 tablespoons cornstarch
  •   1 egg
  •   1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (optional)
  •   1 teaspoon salt
  •   5 cups water
  •   1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  •   10 dried shrimp
  •   1 cup fresh pea vine shoots, trimmed
  •   1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  •   1/4 teaspoon salt


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