This is the sort of pan-Asian recipe a predominately Norther Euro-American comes up with when trying to incorporate all the delicious learning from her Chinese, Japanese and Cambodian friends into a single simple recipe. What I love most about this is that the kids can each build their own bowl. It’s super fast to make with a bright fresh flavor from the raw veggies, herbs and lime. I learned about the use of cilantro stems in meatballs and dumplings from a Cambodian friend. It blew my mind I had mostly been discarding those crunchy tasty bits for years!
1 lb ground Pork
2 Tablespoons finely chopped Cilantro stems
2 cloves minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Marash Chile Flake or other Red Chile Flake
1/2 teaspoon ground White Pepper
2-6 Carrots, depending on size, peeled and finely sliced
1/4-1/2 head of Cabbage finely shredded
1/4 Red Onion finely sliced
1-4 Serrano Peppers finely sliced
4-8 Mint leaves
4-8 Basil leaves
2-4 Limes cut into wedges
4 bundles dry Udon noodles
4 teaspoons Chicken Powder
1 cups Water
4-10 Kaffir Lime Leaves
Mix pork, cilantro, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chile flake, and pepper.
Shape pork mixture into small meatballs (24-28).
Prepare Udon noodles per package directions and rinse with cold water.
Divide noodles among 4 large Ramen style bowls.
Layer on top of noodles carrots, cabbage, onion, peppers, mint and basil. This part each person can do themselves to their own taste.
Bring water, chicken powder and Kaffir lime leaves to a gentle boil.
One at a time, gently drop meatballs into the broth. Adding slowly, one at a time ensures that they do not stick together.
Gently boil until meatballs are cooked. This should only take about 4 minutes. Meatballs will float when cooked through.
Divide meatballs between soup bowls and ladle broth over all to fill bowl.
Serve with lime wedges, for a fresh squeeze into the soup.
Makes approximately 4 servings