Sesame Ginger Meatball Soup

Autumn 2011
food and drink

BY: Jennifer MacKenzie

The zing of ginger and toasted sesame flavour from the sesame oil creates a lively-tasting soup. It’s studded with tiny meatballs and bright vegetables—a little like sweet-and-sour soup with wontons (just no wonton wrappers to fuss with). Both the meatballs and the broth can be made ahead, making this a breeze to heat up at the last minute for the party.

1 egg
½ cup (125 mL) dry bread crumbs (panko or regular)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp (15 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
4 small carrots, diced
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh ginger
6 cups (1.5 L) homemade or low-sodium beef broth
2 cups (500 mL) water
¼ cup (60 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) Asian red chili sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar
2 cups (500 mL) thinly sliced bok choy leaves (see TIP)
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or greased foil.

2 Beat egg in a large bowl until blended. Stir in bread crumbs, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Add beef and use a fork to gently incorporate seasonings into meat. Shape rounded teaspoons (5 mL) into small meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet.

3 Bake for about 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Set aside. (To make ahead, let cool, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 day).

4 Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add sesame oil and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes or until carrots are softened. Add ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in broth, water, soy sauce and chili sauce, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots are tender and flavours are blended. (To make ahead, let broth cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days).

5 Just before serving, reheat soup over medium- high heat until boiling, if necessary. Add meatballs and vinegar to soup, reduce heat and simmer until meatballs are heated through. Stir in bok choy until wilted. Garnish each bowl with green onions.

Serves 8 to 10

TIP When slicing the bok choy leaves, if they are large, cut them in half or thirds lengthwise before slicing crosswise to avoid very long strands in your soup.