An intoxicating mix of Asian flavors in a mash-up pork meatball swimming lazily in a rich, dark broth, this new take on a classic dish is both fun to assemble and delicious to slurp.
1 lb. ground pork
Noodles of choice
Garlic, 1 clove
Yuzu soy sauce, 4 T
sesame oil, 1 t
Rice wine vinegar, 1T
Szechuan peppercorns, toasted
Sugar, 1 t
Pepper flakes, 1 t
Chicken or beef broth, 4 C
Water, 2 C
Fish sauce, to taste
Kaffir lime leaves, 2
Leafy greens by the handful – Kale, Mustard, etc
Mushrooms, a handful, sliced
Cilantro, handful, chopped
Lime juice and its zest, at least 1
In a bowl, mix a couple finely chopped green scallions, a knuckle of grated ginger, the zest of one lime, one smashed garlic clove, a drizzle of Yuzu soy sauce, a dash of sesame oil, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar, sugar, pepper flakes and pepper corns (and even coriander seeds) that have been toasted lightly then crushed with a mortar.
Mix together and dump in the ground pork and introduce all the stuff. Then form the mixture into golf-ball sized creations and set aside on a plate.
Cook the noodle of choice (a thicker choice like ramen or vermicelli work best to stand up to the elements). Drain and strain and let sit. Doesn’t matter if it cools as the soup will perk it right back up.
In a dutch oven slathered with olive oil, place the balls in when hot and sear to brown on one side then turn for the other. About 6 minutes in total. Remove balls.
Add broth, water, more chopped scallions, kaffir lime leaves, the juice of half a lime and a couple glugs of fish sauce to the pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer, uncovered, for a good 10 minutes.
Now add the greens chopped into soup-sized bites and the shrooms along with the seared balls. High simmer for a good 5 minutes and you should be good to go.
Drop the cooked noodle in the bottom of a bowl. Cover with soup melange and top with extra scallions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. A dollop of Sambal or Sirracha won’t hurt a bit either.