For the meatballs:

■ 150g|5oz minced beef

■ 2 sprigs of chives finely chopped

■ salt and pepper

■ pinch of corn starch

■ 1 teaspoon of egg white

For the soup:

■ 80-100g|3-4oz mung bean vermicelli

■ 1.5 litres|quarts of light chicken broth

■ 2 thin slices of fresh ginger root

■ 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce

■ 2 sprigs of chives

■ 3-4 whole peppercorns

■ warm water to soak the vermicelli

For garnish:

■ 2 Eggs, hardboiled, peeled and quartered

■ 60g|2oz of frozen peas, blanched and drained

■ 2 slices of bread, cubed and fried in olive oil

■ 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil

■ boiling water to scald the peas

■ mint leaves


1. Season the minced beef with the chopped chives, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add a dash of egg white (Use the shell to capture the egg white from a whole broken egg). Mix and roll into approximate 7g balls, about 1 heaped teaspoon. Refrigerate till ready to cook.

2. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat the water to a boil and then cover the pan, turn off the heat and leave the eggs to rest for 12 minutes before running under cold water to cool. Peel and quarter the eggs or chop roughly and set aside.

3. Put the vermicelli noodles in a bowl, cover with warm water and soak for 5 minutes until softened, then rinse and drain.

4. Remove the crusts from the bread and cut the slices into cubes. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and fry the croutons until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

5. Put the peas in a bowl and cover with boiling water, soak 2-3 minutes and then drain. Set aside.

6. Put the chicken broth, chive sprigs, soy sauce, ginger slices and peppercorns in a saucepan. Heat the broth to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pass the broth through a strainer to remove the seasonings and return the broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Scald the meatballs in the broth for 4-5 minutes, and then remove with a spoon and set aside.

7. Add the vermicelli to the broth, heat to a simmer and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove the vermicelli from the broth with chopsticks or tongs and divide between serving bowls; top with the meatballs, chopped egg, and peas and then ladle over the both. Garnish with mint leaves and croutons.


1 serving (of 4): 321 calories, 15.3g fat (3.1g saturated fat), 115mg cholesterol, 1128mg sodium, 30.2g carbohydrates (2.1g sugars, 1.6g fibre), protein 17.3g.

Prep: 20m | Cook: 20m | Serves: 4  

Macao Mung Bean Vermicelli Soup Recipe

Sopa de Aletria

Recipe adapted from "Macanese Cooking: A Journey Across Generations", by Cecília Jorge, published by A.P.I.M, 2004

Mung bean vermicelli soup served with meatballs, peas, egg, fresh mint and croutons