Sotanghon at Bola-Bola Soup

Sotanghon at bola-bola soup is made of juicy meatballs, cellophane noodles, cabbage, and celery for a hearty and filling main or side dish. This Filipino-style noodle soup is a delicious way to warm up in cold weather and sure to be a family favorite.

Sotanghon at Bola-Bola Soup in a white bowl
Sotanghon at Bola-Bola Soup

Table Of Contents

  • Meatball ingredients
  • Cooking tips
  • How to serve and store
  • More soup recipes
  • Sotanghon at Bola Bola Sopas (Cellophane Noodles and Meatball Soup)

When I make lumpiang shanghai, I usually make twice the meat filling. These Filipino-style spring rolls freeze well and are perfect for days when I am too pressed to prepare anything elaborate for lunch or when guests drop by impromptu.

But mostly, I keep the filling handy and ready in the freezer for other meal ideas.  This sotanghon at bola-bola soup is only a matter of defrosting the meat mixture, shaping it into balls, and a quick twenty minutes on the stove. I get a delicious and satisfying meal to enjoy in no time.

chicken meatballs on a plate

Meatball ingredients

  • Ground chicken– ground pork, beef, or turkey are also good options. You can also add minced shrimp to boost flavor.
  • Green onions, water chestnuts, and shredded carrots– adds color, texture, and extra nutrition. You can add or substitut chopped shitake mushrooms, parsley, or cilantro.
  • Soy sauce– adds umami flavor
  • Salt and pepper– season to taste
chopped onions, garlic, kinchay, carrots, and sotanghon noodles

Cooking Tips

  • The recipe uses napa cabbage and kinchay (Chinese celery), but you can also add other vegetables in season such as patola, upo or chicharo (snow peas).
  • Make sure the water is boiling before adding the meatballs to keep from falling apart.
  • You use atsuete /annatto to add color. Soak about 1 tablespoon atsuete seeds in about 1 cup warm water go extract color and then strain in a fine-mesh sieve. Discard seeds and add annatto water to the soup.
sotanghon soup with meatballs

How to serve and store

  • Serve the soup on its own or with puto or pandesal for a midday snack. It’s also delicious for lunch or dinner as a main or side dish with steamed rice and fried fish or meat.
  • For best results,  enjoy the soup freshly cooked as the sotanghon tends to absorb liquid and soften as it stands.
  • To store leftovers, allow to cool completely and transfer in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. This noodle dish does not freeze well.
  • To reheat, place in a saucepan, add more water and adjust seasonings as needed. Heat to an internal temperature of 165 F.

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