Spiced chicken meatballs with noodles, basil & broth

Spiced chicken meatballs with noodles, basil & broth

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(20 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 6
This fragrant and filling dish is an excellent dinner party choice

Nutrition and extra info

  • Only the meatballs can be frozen


  • kcal536
  • fat16g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs54g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre2g
  • protein48g
  • salt4.74g
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  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • thumb-size piece fresh root ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1-2 long red chillies, finely chopped (seeds in or out, you decide)



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 6 white peppercorns, crushed
  • 20g pack coriander, stalks, roots if you have them and leaves, chopped and kept separate, plus sprigs to finish
  • 50ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1kg quality chicken mince



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the broth

  • 1½ l chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
    Fish sauce

    Fish sauce

    A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

  • 6 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • thumb-size piece fresh root ginger, sliced



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 spring onions, thinly sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 300g egg noodles, cooked
  • sliced chillies to taste (optional)



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 1 small bunch basil, leaves picked



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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31st Mar, 2010
Forgot to rate!
31st Mar, 2010
Loved this, used turkey mince though, because couldn't get the chicken. Left out chillies for my 18 month old who loved it as well!
9th Dec, 2009
This didn't really work for us. The flavour was good but the meatballs were far too messy to shape and the soup left a slimy aftertaste due to the sesame oil. I really wanted to love this but most of it was wasted this evening.
23rd Oct, 2009
Really fresh tasting and light but filling dinner. Used turkey thigh mince, which tasted really good.
16th Sep, 2009
Mad my own chicken mince and it was really easy - love this recipe - so tasy and healthy!
16th Sep, 2009
Absolutely love this, have been looking for a good (and quick) asian soup base recipe and this is perfect, especially with the toasted sesame oil. I use whatever meat I have to hand, cooked chicken, or even sausage meatballs, and organic noodles which are so much more tasty normal ones. Delicious.
8th Sep, 2009
Made this dish tonight. Took a little longer to prepare as I had to make my own chicken mince as couldn't get any from Tesco, but the flavour was great and enjoyed by all the family. I added a few veg (carrot sticks & mini sweetcorn) and found it then easily served about 8. Would make the meatballs smaller next time so that they are only one mouthfull sized.
24th Aug, 2009
Made this dish last night and it was superb. The flavours were perfect. Used turkey mince and slightly less fish sauce. Definately a hit and one for an evening with friends.
19th Aug, 2009
If you use well-drained (hung overnight in cheesecloth) tofu instead of breadcrumbs and put them into thin pastry or 'pizza-dough' circles, they are very much like Chinese 'potstickers' or Korean 'mandu,' especially when made with pork!
18th Aug, 2009
I couldn't get chicken mince so used pork mince instead, it was wonderful!


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