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  • Writer's pictureJordan Heinrich

Ground Chicken and Shrimp Meatball Soup with Noodles

One of the many useful things I learned from chef 'Daddy Jack' Chaplin (RIP) during his countless YouTube lessons was to keep all of your vegetable trimmings throughout the week. Including peels, stems, skins, ends, seeds, and so forth. You never know when they will come in handy for a rich stock.

It's all flavor, Jack would say.

Cover with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil.

Another tip I hadn't tried before is adding the shells from the shrimp back to your stock. I picked up these beautiful wild Gulf prawns at Sunh Fish on Broadway here in Sacramento, CA.

I made a version of this soup once before using a clear chicken stock that darkened slightly with the addition of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Owning primarily to the amount of red and yellow onions (with skins) and the added shells, this stock picked up a wine-like hue and rich flavor.

The only additions made during the boil were Thai basil stems, (1) star anise pod, and (1) clove for aromatics. These were added in the last five minutes.

With the stock back on the heat I started to add some additional flavors.

Juice from some so-so limes.

My preferred soy sauce brand. Teddy Efstratis turned me on to it. Among other things delicious.

Scallions. Thinly sliced white onion. Jalapeño.

While this simmered at a medium-low heat I started the mix for the meatballs.

The ratio of the meat was roughly 2:1 ground chicken to shrimp. I also added ginger root paste, mint, cilantro, Thai basil, a clove of elephant garlic, chopped water chestnuts, juice of a lime, and a dash of fish sauce.



Thai basil. ***** I went to two different Asian markets for the basil. The first market had a bunch on sale for $2.99. That seemed expensive. The second market sold a bunch for $.99.

A small difference in the grand scale, I know, but maybe the two bucks you save buys you another jumbo prawn. Eh?

Or maybe I was looking for an excuse to visit two Asian markets in one afternoon? ***** The first time I made these meatballs I finely chopped everything and hand-mixed in a metal mixing bowl. I do enjoy hand mixing and kneading ingredients together this way. I think it gives the cook an optimal sense of texture that can tip off what is missing or unbalanced.

This time I plugged it in.

The broth was at a low boil on the stove.

Working one-by-one with wet hands I scooped and rolled the mixture in my palm to approximately the size of a golf ball. From there I put each meatball directly into the simmering broth to cook.

When the meatballs rise to the surface they are done. So they say. I always spoon one out, let it cool on a nearby plate, and taste for myself.

From here on the only cooked additions I recommend are the remaining chopped water chestnuts and an earthy green. The more 'Central Cali' the better.

Garnishes. Clockwise. Cilantro. Thai basil. Jalapeño. White onion.

I put Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli into boiling water until tender. Then rinsed under cold water.

Enjoy the weekend.



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1 Comment

Oct 09, 2021

It looks delicious as per usual my friend. I do miss the food and company sitting at your table.

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