TT National | Mama Ramen Shrimp Soup with Mini Pork Meatballs

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To learn more about this recipe, read the related story, "Snack Attack" in our National edition. 

Mama Ramen Shrimp Soup with Mini Pork Meatballs

Recipe adapted from Andy Ricker, Ping, Portland, OR

Yield: 4 servings

Cook Time: 20 minutes


6 ounces ground pork

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon fish sauce, divided

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar

4 large eggs

4 packages shrimp-flavored ramen noodle soup (preferably Mama brand), seasoning packet reserved

5 cups chicken broth 

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons tamarind paste

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chile powder

1 bunch yu choy or Chinese mustard greens, coarsely chopped

12 extra-large 16/20-count shell-on shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped


1. In a medium bowl, add the ground pork, garlic, ½ teaspoon of the fish sauce and the black pepper. Mix just until combined, then portion the mixture into ¾-inch meatballs. Place the meatballs on a plate and refrigerate.

2. Fill a large, shallow saucepan with enough water to reach 3 inches up the sides of the pan. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl and carefully tip the egg into the boiling water. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs. Use a spoon to baste the eggs, cooking until the whites are set, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the eggs, one at a time, to a paper-towel-lined plate.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the ramen noodle bricks and cook until the noodles are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the noodles in a colander.

4. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, add the chicken broth, tamarind paste, sugar, chile powder, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the ramen seasoning mix, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the yu choy, shrimp and the chilled pork meatballs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the yu choy is tender and the shrimp and pork meatballs are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Divide the cooked ramen noodles among 4 bowls. Use tongs to top each bowl of ramen with a few shrimp and plenty of meatballs. Divide the broth mixture evenly over each serving, then top with a poached egg. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately.

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