I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A 3-Kid Hit! Udon Soup with Turkey Meatballs

You would think that we wouldn't want anymore turkey this weekend, but here it is Saturday and we're having turkey already. But turkey in a very different form, one that was a huge hit with all three kids at the table, and with the adults as well. This recipe is a riff on one from Sarah Marx Feldner's A Cook's Journey to Japan, which appeared on the fabulous blog The Kitchn last week, combined with a standbye originally riffed from a Donna Hay recipe.

This is slightly more complicated than my typical weeknight fare, what with the mixing and shaping of the meatballs, but it is definitely going into the regular rotation for nights when we have a but more time, but want something warm and soothing.

For the meatballs:
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 t minced ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon shichimi togarashi, or to taste
1 lb ground turkey
2 T matzo meal

For the soup
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
4 coins ginger
2 T white or dashi-style miso
3 cups sliced Napa cabbage, white stems separate from the leaves
3 scallions, thinly sliced
5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup hot water till softened, de-stemmed and sliced into thin strips
2 T soy sauce

4 packets udon noodles (fresh or frozen) without seasoning packet*

Make the meatballs: Combine the egg and seasonings ingredients in a small bowl. Add the turkey, mix to combine, add the matzo meal and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Cook the noodles: Bring a pot of water to boil and cook one minute less than package instructions suggest, about 4 minutes. Drain, rinse, and drain again. Set aside.

Make the soup: Combine the broth, water and ginger coins and bring to a simmer. Add the miso, stirring until it dissipates into the liquid.

Meanwhile, form the turkey mixture into small 1 teaspoon balls, placing on waxed paper or a plate after forming.

Reduce the broth mixture to medium and add the meatballs. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook 4 minutes. Add the cabbage stems and cook 1 minutes, then add the cabbage leaves, scallions and udon. Cook 1 minute more to heat through.

Serve garnished with gomasio or shichimi togarishi.

* I buy udon in 3-packs from the refrigerator section at Nijiya Market.

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