Friday, 8 February 2013 - , , , , , , , 4 comments

RECIPE : Chinese Style Noodle Broth with Tiny Chicken Meatballs

As it's Chinese New Year this weekend, I thought I'd come up with something inspired by some of the wonderful oriental flavours and dishes I love.
This fantastic, steaming bowl of goodness is my own invention. It combines soft, plain noodles and an abundance of tiny little aromatic chicken meatballs. These cook in the clear broth with some sliced vegetables and traditional Chinese seasoning ingredients, resulting in an awesome one-bowl feast!
It's so quick and easy to make and is totally delicious.


This recipe serves:

1 fabulously large portion for 9pp/approx.340kcal
2 as a starter for 4pp/approx.170kcal per portion


You Will Need:

For the Chicken Meatballs:

165g Chicken Breast
3 Spring Onions
1 Clove Garlic
White Pepper
1 Teaspoon Low-Salt Soy Sauce


For the Broth:
One 50g nest Fine Egg Noodles


This is the brand I used. One nest is 4pp/158kcal. Please adjust pp/kcal accordingly if you use a different brand as they vary.

500ml water
4 Mushrooms
White Pepper
1 Tablespoon Low Salt Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Shaoxing Rice Wine

To Serve:
2 Spring Onions
Small bunch Fresh Chives
 Black/Garlic Pepper

1 Teaspoon Hot Chilli Sauce
(Any brand)


Start by chopping the garlic and spring onions finely in a food processor.

Slice the chicken into chunky pieces, add to the blender. Chop until very fine. Add a pinch of white pepper and 1 teaspoon of low-salt soy sauce.

Using a medium frying pan, place the noodles into 500ml boiling water. They only take a couple of minutes to cook so now you need to work fast!

Once softened, break up the nest using a fork to separate the noodles.

Take the chicken mixture and form into tiny meatballs using a teaspoon measure, then roll by hand.

 With the water at a rolling boil, drop the meatballs straight into the pan, as you make them. Because they are so tiny, they cook very quickly. (About 6-8 minutes)

While the chicken meatballs are boiling and steaming, slice the mushrooms into the pan and add the soy sauce, white pepper and Shaoxing rice wine. This is a subtle but pungent ingredient that adds so much to this dish. If you don't have any, just add an extra tablespoon of soy sauce.

Snip more spring onion and some chives onto the top using scissors.
One quick stir and it's ready to serve!

For one generous portion, just pile everything into a large serving bowl.
If dividing between two, you will have to count the meatballs and divide evenly, then remove the noodles from the stock before weighing and halving the portions equally. That way you can be sure that your propoints/kcal are accurate.
(You know I'm a stickler for detail with these things).

Finally, if you like a bit of a kick, dot a tiny amount of hot chilli sauce onto some of the chicken meatballs. 

I always try to buy chilli sauce with a fine nozzle for controlled dispensing....otherwise you can ruin a great dish with a big splodge!
Sprinkle with a little black pepper or dried garlic/black pepper blend. For me, these final ingredients turn this dish from pretty fabulous to total perfection.

A work of art in a bowl
and a feast for your soul.



If you want to make a vegetarian version of this soup, I've tried using Quorn 'Swedish Style' Vegetarian Meatballs... 

...or Linda McCartney Vegetarian 'Prawns'. Both work beautifully in the soup. To inject some flavour, I made a paste using garlic, spring onion and fresh red chilli which I used to fry the 'meatballs'/'prawns' in to infuse flavour before adding to the soup.

This reduces the propoints of the finished dish by 2pp, as one 75g serving Quorn meatballs is 2pp/77kcal and half a bag of 'prawns' is 2pp/approx.90kcal as oppposed to 165g chicken breast, which is 4pp/approx.160kcal.



panyan pickle 10 February 2013 at 13:11

I like the look of this broth Janey - thanks for the recipe.

Janey 21 April 2013 at 19:13

You're welcome Jan! Let me know what you think if you make it! x

robynapril. 22 April 2013 at 12:59

Looks gorgeous, however seeing as I do not have a food processor what could you recommend I use when making the chicken mixture?

Janey 22 April 2013 at 13:05

Hi Robyn, you would have to buy minced chicken or turkey xx

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