This is one of those recipes which feels really, really good for you. A clear chicken stock, flavoured with ginger, rice wine, spring onions and garlic, forms the base for this lovely soup. Meatballs still crisp from frying float in it, deliciously light in texture with their little cubes of water chestnut. Fresh, barely cooked slivers of baby vegetables give the whole dish a lovely sweetness.
If you made the chicken rice on this site, you may have kept some of the leftover broth in the freezer. If your freezer is innocent of chicken broth, you can make some from scratch using:
3 pints water
1 lb chicken wings (usually very cheap from the butcher)
1 inch piece of ginger, whacked with the flat of a knife to squash it a bit
5 cloves of garlic, crushed slightly with the flat of a knife
5 spring onions, tied together in a knot
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
1 wine glass of Chinese rice wine
1 chicken stock cube
Just bring all the ingredients to the boil in a large pan, reduce to a simmer and cook, skimming any froth of the top occasionally, for 30 minutes. Strain the solid ingredients out and discard. The broth can now be used or frozen. (These amounts will make enough for you to use half now for this soup, and freeze half to use later.)
To make the meatballs and finish the soup you’ll need:
1 lb pork mince
5 spring onions
5 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 tablespoons dark soya sauce
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 red chilli
1 small can water chestnuts
1 small handful each of baby carrots, mange tout peas and baby sweetcorn
Cut the spring onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and water chestnuts into small dice and combine with the pork, soya sauces, sesame oil and egg in a large bowl. Use your hands to form the mixture into meatballs about an inch across, and roll them in the seasoned flour.
Slice the vegetables into matchsticks. Saute the meatballs in a small amount of vegetable oil while you bring 1½ pints of the broth to a gentle simmer. When the meatballs are cooked and the broth is bubbling gently, drop the vegetables into the broth and immediately turn the heat off. Fill bowls with the vegetable-filled broth and place meatballs in each bowl. Garnish with sliced spring onion and eat immediately.
These meatballs are also fantastic just served with rice and a little soya sauce with raw chillies diced into it to dip.