Almondigas is a soup dish that has two main ingredients: meatballs and patola (this is also known as loofa of Chinese okra). I’m not sure where exactly this dish originated but it sure reminds me of a similar Spanish dish called Albondigas.
I used to call this dish Misua and Patola soup not until my high school days. I have several foodie friends back in those days and we always share ideas related to food and cooking. During that time, I also help my mom cook for her catering business.I love simple dishes and this is one of the humble dishes that I always crave for. Whenever I eat this dish, I often picture my childhood days in my mind wherein I am enjoying this dish with my family on a rainy day. Quite nostalgic, isn’t it?
When you think of noodles with meatballs, it’s probably spaghetti that comes to mind first, right? After all, we love some good meatballs! Firm, round, and oh so juicy, the flavors are unmatched –– all the more so when you pair them with something equally delicious. Generally, people enjoy meatballs when you put them in a rich tomato sauce that’s just the right balance of sweet and savory. But there’s another dish that meatballs bring comfort to just as easily. Warm, soothing, and mild but powerful, almondigas –– or misua with meatballs –– is another noodle dish you’re sure to love.
Almondigas actually has Mexican origins, although in that country it’s rice that you more commonly find within this soup. Here in the Philippines, we find our fix in a nice, steaming bowl of misua. Misua, a thin noodle popular in Chinese cuisine, are noodles that cook quickly –– and easily, too. Their chewy texture of these noodles complements your meatballs perfectly. It can absorb all the hearty flavors of your dish, which are only enhanced further with the presence of beef cubes and fish sauce, to name a few other ingredients.
The regular almondigas of Mexico also includes the bright, summery tomato. But another star of this misua with meatballs recipe is the ingredient loofah –– otherwise known as patola! This clear green ingredient, which some refer to as Chinese okra, may have you confusing it with other veggies like coyote or papaya. It has a mild taste, and its appearance itself isn’t one that exactly stands out. Nonetheless, its subtle flavors have a deep impact on this misua with meatballs dish! Behind the small slices of this vegetable lies a taste that seeps into the very broth of your misua. It adds not only to the mix of textures in your mouth, but its subtle flavor will also leave you wanting more! While the meatballs or misua may be what most consider the star of the dish, your loofah definitely comes in a close second.
Misua with meatballs is definitely a comfort food that can bring back a lot of memories of nostalgia and warmth. Indeed, there are very few things that can comfort you faster and better than a bowl of nice noodle soup. Delicious and nourishing, misua with meatballs is a simple but effective way to truly satisfy cravings. Let’s try it together!
How to Make Misua with Meatballs (Almondigas)
Making misua with meatballs is actually a lot easier than you think. The whole process only takes about 40 minutes, and a lot of that time is dedicated to making the meatballs and cooking your other ingredients in your soup. You only add the misua towards the end, as it cooks quickly and you don’t want your noodles overdone.
Before cooking, you have to prepare some of the ingredients of your misua with meatballs first. This preparation includes slicing your medium patola, as well as mincing a small onion. You’ll need to crush 6 cloves of garlic, too! If you’ve done all these steps and prepared the rest of your ingredients, you can now start cooking!
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients you’ll need for your meatballs. These include your pound of ground pork, half of your onion, your raw egg, and salt and ground black pepper. You’ll also need your ⅛ cup of all purpose flour in order to bind the ingredients together. Mix your meatball batter thoroughly, incorporating all the ingredients together. You’ll want to combine all of those flavors, so all your meatballs turn out equally tasty! Once you’re happy with your batter, set it aside.
Now, in a large cooking pot, pour in 3 tablespoons of cooking oil. When hot enough, you can then sauté your garlic and the remaining half of the onions. After they become slightly tender, you can add in your beef cube, and three tablespoons of fish sauce. Let this cook for about a minute, then pour in 5 cups of water. Bring your misua with meatballs’ soup to a boil, letting the flavors blend together harmoniously.
When your soup is now boiling, take your batter and scoop about a tablespoon of that meat mixture up. Form it into a ball, then drop it in the boiling water, one after the other. Use up all your mixture, then cook your meatballs for about ten minutes. Then, add your loofah, or patola slices! These don’t cook for long either –– just 2 to 3 minutes should do the trick. Lastly, add in your 4 ounces of misua noodles. Cook these for only 1 to 2 minutes, making sure to gently stir them around in the pot.
Once you’re sure your misua with meatballs are cooked, turn your stove off and transfer your soup to individual serving bowls. Misua with meatballs taste best when they’re fresh and piping hot –– so there’s no better time to dig in than now!
Share and enjoy your misua with meatballs with the rest of your family! Let us know what they think of this homey, hearty meal.
If you enjoyed this soup dish as much as I have, here are a couple others that your family will love, too:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, half of the onion, raw egg, salt, ground black pepper, and flour. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside.
- Heat a cooking pot and pour-in oil.
- When the oil is hot enough, sauté the garlic and remaining onions.
- Add the beef cube and fish sauce and cook for a minute.
- Pour-in water and let boil.
- Scoop about a tablespoon of the meat mixture and form it into a ball shape figure then drop in the boiling one after the other. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the patola (loofah) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Put-in the misua and cook for 1 to 2 minutes while gently stirring.
- Turn off heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Serve hot. Share and enjoy!