Saturday, January 26, 2013

Southeast Asian Soup with Turkey Meatballs


I quickly made this soup after work Friday to save for weekend consumption, since as a rule every Friday night Garrett and I go to Sultan's Market.

It was so good, though, that I ate a whole bowl and then went to Sultan's for a veritable bazaar of middle eastern delights.  We did manage to hold off eating my new favorite cookie - these Saudi date-filled treats below - to savor with a cup of milky chai at home before bed.  Err, at least before I also made the best mug brownie recipe I've come across yet...then went to bed.

Back to the southeast from the middle east.  Randomed* upon this recipe and perked up immediately because it happened to utilize much of the remaining produce and protein I had about the fridge.  Didn't have quite all the exact ingredients (sesame seeds, green onions, soy sauce, or pork), but was still delicious with substitutions or exclusions.  For example, had a few leftover rice wrappers from the Vietnamese spring rolls, so re-purposed them as rice noodles.  Clever me.
Maamoul, my new favorie cookie
Southeast Asia Trip, Summer 2011
cap cay soup in Bali and a Thai soup vendor
Bottom line, very quick, very delicious, very healthy.  Very good for storing away until Saturday lunch.

Meatball Mix:
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (original recipe called for green onion, might be better)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. sambal or chili paste
  • 2 tbsp. freshly ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. coriander 
  • 1 tsp. salt

Soup Ingredients (4-5 servings):
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3-4 tbsp. sambal (depending on how spicy you want your broth)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets 
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/8 cup of lime juice 
  • Noodles of your choice (rice, glass, udon, ramen, or none at all)
  • Bean sprouts & cilantro (for garnish) 

Mix all the ingredients for your meatballs.  I went with the cooking technique advised by the original recipe, but didn't account for the change in fat content between pork and extra lean ground turkey.  So I baked them on aluminum-lined pans at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, but found they stuck to the aluminum and didn't brown up much.  Making this again, I would have gone with the technique from the Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs post, browning them in a pan on the stovetop and letting them cook through in the hot broth.  Delicious baked, nonetheless.
While your meatballs cook, bring your broth, sambal, and lime juice to a boil in a large pot.  If you are using a noodle that needs to be cooked, add them now.  I had already soaked my rice wrappers and sliced them into noodles, so there was no need for cooking.  Then, add the broccoli, spinach, and meatballs until everything is cooked through.  Serve with a topping of bean sprouts and fresh cilantro.
 *By "randomed" I mean found on foodgawker, with which I've developed a tense relationship.  They've now rejected my recipe submissions three times for my photo quality ("composition too tight" or "underexposed").  If you have any photography tips, let me know, because they aren't done hearing from me over there at foodgawker.

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