Monday, October 15, 2012

Asian Style Italian Wedding Soup: or Asian Chicken Meatballs


Well hello, there!  I hope you all enjoyed your month of Jewish Holidays.  Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and then Sukkos, and now we're all kind of sick of eating, right?

Nah.  Never.

But all the same, this Shabbos called for lighter fare and less time in the kitchen, especially since I've had a virus for the past week.  So I decided to keep it REALLY simple and just make a pot of classic chicken soup for dinner.

But then, you know me.  I can't just leave it at that.  I had to do SOMETHING interesting with it.

While walking through the grocery store contemplating what I'd make, I found myself irked by the price of a chicken these days.  $14?  For a chicken?  That's max 2 meals for us.  But $10 for a 5lb package of frozen ground chicken?  That's a lot more meals.  Bang for your buck, ya know?  So I started formulating ideas.

What I landed on was making wontons for the soup.  That idea lasted until I started trying to actually MAKE the wontons about an hour before shabbos and realized that maybe I should have given myself more time.  I made 6 wontons (and they rocked, by the way), then I gave up and just made the rest of the filling into meatballs (which also rocked).  So instead of wonton soup, I kind of ended up with an Asian style Italian wedding soup.  And I bet these meatballs would be great if you baked them in the oven, too.  Maybe served them with some rice and a sweet and sour sauce?  Yum.



Asian Chicken Meatballs (for soup, or not)
(note: since I measured nothing for this recipe, I'm giving approximations of how much I used.  But use your own taste and judgement.  I used a lot of scallion and ginger and I think the resulting taste was amazing.  You might prefer it with less.  Do your thing.)

Ingredients:

  • ~ 1lb ground chicken
  • 1-2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 8oz package mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-2 inch cube ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar (I actually think sesame oil would be better, but I was working with what I had on hand)
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1-2 eggs (use your judgment.  I tried one egg but it didn't seem to cover enough of the mixture, so I added a second)
  • 1/2 C - 1 C bread crumbs (just add a little at a time until the mixture becomes a manageable texture)
  • Chicken broth for cooking (should be enough to cover all the meatballs)
Instructions:
  1. Mix all ingredients (except for broth) in a bowl until combined.
  2. If you want to make wontons, place a small amount of filling into the center of the wonton.  Moisten the edges with a wet finger and fold one half over the other, creating a triangle.  Push out as much air as possible while sealing.  Fold in the 3 corners of the triangle and seal them.  Repeat until filling is gone or you give up and decide to make meatballs.
  3. Bring chicken broth to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
  4. If making wontons, add to simmering broth, cover the pot, and let simmer until fully cooked (I just did an hour.  Came out fine).  If making meatballs, form meatballs and drop gently into the simmering broth.  Cover and cook for about an hour.
  5. Serve in broth or in a pot of chunky chicken soup.  Yum yum.