Pork meatball broth

Aromatic rice and pork meatballs and lots of interesting vegetables bring Asian flavours to this satisfying main–meal soup. Serve it at the table in a warmed tureen or straight from the pan. The meatballs work equally well if made from chicken.

Pork meatball broth


  • 250 g silverbeet leaves
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, or to taste
  • 200 g baby corn, each sliced on the diagonal into 2–3 pieces
  • 120 g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 200 g snow peas, each cut on the diagonal into 2–3 pieces
  • 1 can sliced bamboo shoots, about 220 g, drained
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 cup (150 g) long–grain rice
  • 350 g lean pork mince
  • 250 g bok choy, leaves finely chopped and stalks reserved
  • 2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five–spice
  • pinch chilli powder


  1. First prepare the meatballs.
  2. Place the rice in a saucepan and pour in enough water to cover, then bring to the boil.
  3. Boil for 1 minute, then drain in a sieve and leave to cool.
  4. Mix the pork with the chopped bok choy leaves, ginger, spring onions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, five–spice and chilli powder.
  5. Pound the mixture until thoroughly combined.
  6. Put the rice into a large shallow bowl and separate the grains with a fork.
  7. Take a small lump of pork mixture, squeeze it together and roll it into a ball about the size of a walnut.
  8. Roll the ball in the rice until thickly coated.
  9. Set aside.
  10. Repeat, making about 20 balls.
  11. Cover the bottom of a steamer rack with a single layer of silverbeet, leaving gaps between the leaves.
  12. (If using stacking bamboo steamer baskets, you will need 2.
  13. ) Add the meatballs in one layer, leaving space between them for the rice to swell.
  14. Put the stock and ginger in the steamer base and bring to the boil.
  15. Set the steamer on top and cover.
  16. Steam the meatballs for 35 minutes.
  17. While the meatballs are cooking, cut the stalks of the bok choy across into 1 cm pieces.
  18. Remove the steamer from the pan and set it aside on a plate.
  19. Add the sherry, soy sauce, baby corn, shiitake mushrooms, snow peas, remaining silverbeet leaves, bamboo shoots and spring onions to the stock.
  20. Bring back to the boil, then replace the steamer rack and steam the meatballs for a further 5 minutes.
  21. Carefully transfer the balls to a warm serving bowl.
  22. Add the silverbeet leaves from the steamer to the broth.
  23. Taste the broth and add more soy sauce, if liked, then transfer it to a warm tureen.
  24. To serve, ladle some broth and vegetables into 4 warm bowls and add a few balls to each.
  25. Ladle in more broth and add balls during the meal as required.

Serves 4
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: about 40 minutes


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