Food & Drink · Travel

Ro’s Recipes: The Thrill of the Chill

One of the very accurate and descriptive lines of frigid weather is from Christina Rossetti’s poem, “In the bleak midwinter” :

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;

It speaks simply and eloquently of deep, bone-chilling weather. My response is to find love and/or food to withstand the screaming scorn of arctic breath and breach the treasury of soul, self, brain and palate-warming food.

Soup! With the immediacy of the heart’s response to such ease of eating, no wonder it is universally deemed the handshake and hug of cold weather comfort.

Here is a simple-to-make and tasty-to-eat soup, to warm the cockles of your heart!



Chinese Shrimp Ball Soup

Six appetizer portions or 24 cocktail portions

Measuring cups and spoons, chef’s knife, two medium sauce pans, Kitchen Aid or medium metal bowl and hand whisk, rubber spatula.

¾ pound, shelled, cleaned shrimp
1½ teaspoons dark sesame oil
1½ teaspoons grated ginger
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 egg whites – whipped

Water seasoned with salt and pepper

1½ qts chicken broth – good quality store bought OK
2 2/3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 2/3 tablespoons soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1½ pounds diced shiitake mushrooms
1½ cups blanched, rice vermicelli cut into 1” pieces

1 cup thinly sliced snow peas, blanched


For the shrimp balls, combine shrimp, sesame oil, ginger, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Puree to a paste. Fold in whipped egg whites.

Using a medium melon baller or ice cream scoop, scoop shrimp paste into balls.

Poach in seasoned water until they float.

For the broth, combine chicken broth, sherry and soy sauce. Season. Heat to boil for a few minutes to eliminate alcohol.

Add shrimp balls and sliced shiitake mushrooms. Simmer five minutes.

To serve, pour into heated bowls. Portion vermicelli and snow peas into each bowl or portion into cups for cocktail party service.




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