Have you ever heard of Asian Wedding Soup? Neither have I. I did a quick Google search on it and didn’t find anything either. Actually, I just made the name up because this soup was intended to be an Asian counterpart to traditional Italian wedding soup, which is also a misnomer as that dish has nothing to do with weddings either. But, it works for me and I’ll tell you why.
Italian wedding soup is a a traditional Neapolitan soup containing greens, little meatballs and pasta suspended in a clear broth. It gets its name from the harmonious “marriage” of flavors of the ingredients in it. My Asian Wedding Soup works much the same way. It also contains greens, little meatballs and pasta suspended in a clear broth. And, the flavors all marry very well together. Except that instead of spinach or escarole, this soup contains baby bok choy and Napa cabbage. Instead of pastina, it has rice noodles. And, while both soups contain little meatballs, the Asian version is made with pork and minced shrimp, and is flavored with garlic, ginger, scallions, soy and fish sauce. Even the broth is different, permeated with hints of coriander, ginger, clove and star anise. So, while the basic components of both soups are the same, they differ greatly in execution. The broth is based on the Vietnamese Phở Gà. It’s like a pho fusion or a confused pho, depending on how you look at it. Either way, I thought the dish was a big hit.