Chicken mince can be hard to find. Ask your butcher, or buy boned thighs and chicken breasts, chop them, then whizz in the food processor.
Whizz the onion, ginger, chillies, garlic,
white pepper and half of the coriander
stalks, roots (if using) and leaves in a food
processor until finely chopped. Mix the
milk and breadcrumbs together in a large
bowl. Add the onion mix and chicken into
the breadcrumbs, then season. Now,
really mix – I mean mix – until the whole
thing becomes a paste rather than lumpy.
If you have a tabletop mixer, then use
that instead of your hands. Shape into
small balls around the size of a 50p piece.
Place a large frying pan or casserole over
a medium heat, add a drizzle of oil then
fry the balls until well coloured – about
10 mins. You’ll need to do this in batches,
adding more oil each time. Set aside.
For the broth, put the stock into a large
saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer.
Add the sesame oil, fish sauce, ginger,
remaining coriander stalks and roots,
star anise and peppercorns. Simmer,
covered, for 20 mins. Add the spring
onions, noodles and chillies, if using.
Take 6 large bowls, then divide the
noodles between them – tongs are the
best tool. Drop in the warm meatballs
then ladle in the stock. Scatter with
coriander and basil leaves then tuck in.