Monday, 25 March 2013

Vietnamese Meatball Soup

While vacationing in Arizona Josilin wrote a blog of our daily adventures.  Her best friend also wrote one while visiting San Francisco at the same time.  At the end of our day it was fun to choose what Jos wanted to upload and share with her friend; and even more fun to see what she had to share with us.  I am amazed at how social media savvy these young girls are and can't help but wonder what their futures will hold.

Fairly quickly the San Fran blog appeared to highlight a lot of great food.  Daughter of some foodie parents, they were making some great meal choices that we could only drool with envy on our screen.  One such photo was a Banh Mi sandwich that looked amazing.  Upon returning home I set out to try and recreate it.  Sandwiches are not really my thing, but it is Don's favourite meal so I thought it would be a hit in our kitchen.
What's all this sandwich talk on a soup recipe post, you ask?  While mixing the pork mixture Don casually mentioned he hates ground pork (I thought it was just pork belly?) With banh mi on the mind I set out to use those meatballs some other way.  I wanted to call this banh mi soup, but a little research tells me that loosely translated banh mi means sandwich or bread.  With similar flavours, it was exactly what I hoped a sandwich turned soup would taste like. It's not an authentic recipe by any means but uses a lot of flavours found in Vietnamese cuisine.

Vietnamese Meatball Soup

inspired by Bon Appetit
If you can make the vegetable broth linked below from scratch.  The lemongrass flavour is a must.  If you choose to use boxed broth, add a little minced lemongrass when adding the vegetables. 
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
3 Tbsp minced jalapeno
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded chard
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sriracha
1/2 cup fresh basil, shredded
In a large pot heat oils on med-high heat.  Add onion and cook until softened.  Add garlic, jalapeno, carrots and cabbage and cook 2-3min more.  Add chard and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables cooked through, about 10min.  Add vinegar and sriracha.  Add meatballs (recipe below) and warm through.  Top each bowl with shredded basil.  Enjoy!
1 pound ground pork
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp sriracha
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp bread crumbs
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp sesame oil
In a large bowl combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed.  Form into small balls, using your hands or melon baller.  In a frying pan heat sesame oil and then add 1/2 the meatballs to pan.  Flip after 5-7min and cook through.  Remove from pan and add remaining meatballs.  Cook through and reserve for soup.

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