12 April 2006

Our Kind of Chicken Soup

Last year while we were in Tokyo, I was trying to be more Japanese in my cooking; seemed like the right thing to do according to that old adage. You know, the one about Rome. Not to mention that it was cheaper to go with Japanese ingredients. In my recipe search, I borrowed some magazines from my sister-in-law and copied pages with potential. Ironically, while I was there I never much got around to using them. But now that we're here and craving Japanese food more, I find myself turning to these pages in my three-ring binder, looking for inspiration.

Today I had some ground chicken and no idea what to do with it. These pages are conveniently divided into recipes by main ingredient, so I turned to the page labeled "ground chicken" and found the following soup recipe. It's easy AND delicious!

"Pot of Chicken Meatballs"
Tear about six cabbage leaves into bite size pieces and chop one leek. In a bowl, mix 300 grams (approx. 1/2 pound) of ground chicken, an egg, a teaspoon of ginger paste (or make your own by peeling and grating a fresh piece of ginger; if you do this, squeeze what you grated and add a teaspoon of the juice to the chicken and egg) and a pinch of salt until thoroughly combined.

In a medium pot or saucepan, combine 1200 ml (4 1/2 cups) water with 1 tsp. of chicken boullion, 2 tablespoons each of cooking sake and soy sauce, and another pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the cabbage and leek and simmer until soft (about 4-5 minutes). Spoon the chicken mixture into the broth a scoop at a time, making meatballs to your preferred size. Simmer until meatballs are cooked (3-5 more minutes).

Great with rice (Japanese style, please!) either on the side or added to the soup. Noodles would probably be good too, but I haven't tried that yet...

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