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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.