Chicken Balls are found in soup bowls across Asia, from Thailand, Laos and China. This is an easy guide to making them by hand. Recreating a breakfast favourite in Asia, though it can be eaten for dinner. With winter upon us it is time to get the stockpots out of the depths of the cupboards, to warm up our kitchens and our bodies. This recipe can be made in advance and kept in the freezer.
Asian Noodle Soup w Chicken Balls – serves 4
- 1 pkt of rice noodles
- 1 pork neck or piece of BBQ Pork, finely sliced
- 1 bunch of bok choi
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- Fried shallots
- Bean sprouts
- 3 x chicken carcase
- 1 kg pork bones – I used the ribs
- 2 inch x 1 inch piece of ginger, lightly crushed
- 2 sml brown onions, quartered – leave the skin and ends on.
- 3 tbsp of white sugar
- 3 tbsp of cooking rice wine (Shaoxing)
- 4 Spring onions
Place the chicken carcases and pork bones into a large stock pot, cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 2 minutes. Then drain the water off, this is to take away any impurities, making a clean stock. Cover the bones with water, add the ginger, onions, sugar and shaoxing to the pot. Allow the pot to come to the boil, boiling for 2 hours.
Drain the stock and discard all the bones, ginger and onions. Pour half the stock back into the pot and pack the rest for the freezer. Cut the spring onions into quarters, after removing the ends, add to the stock, boil for 20 minutes. Test for seasoning, add salt and pepper.
- 2 chicken breasts, roughly diced
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- A few chives
- Salt and white pepper
Place the chicken breasts and stock into a food processor and whizz to a smooth paste. Add the egg, chives and cornstarch and whizz. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. The consistency should be similar to a cake batter. Refrigerate for half an hour.
Putting the soup together:
- Coat the pork neck with a little oil and place on a baking tray, cook in the oven at 180’c for 15 minutes or till cooked. Slice thinly, once cooled.
- Place a pot of salted water on to boil. Then cook the rice noodles, to just tender, being careful not to overcook them. Drain and place into the bottom of the bowls.
- To cook the chicken balls, form in your hand or use two teaspoons. Aim for the size of a cherry tomato. Drop the balls into the chicken broth, allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Once cooked they float to the top. Remove the cooked balls with a perforated spoon and place 4-5 balls on top of the noodles. Cook the remaining mixture and place into a freezer safe container. They freeze well.
- Chop the ends off the bok choi, wash any dirt off. Place into the stock for 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Divide the greens among the 4 bowls.
- Place 4-5 slices of pork on top of each bowl.
- Check the stock again for seasoning; adjust if needed, then ladle the stock to cover the noodles.
- Garnish with, shallots, fried shallots, bean sprouts and coriander.
You can adjust your soup by adding, lemon juice, fish sauce, sugar and chili. This way you can create it for yourself.
ABOVE: Cooked chicken balls ready for freezing.