My husband said these soy-ginger chicken meatballs were the best chicken meatballs I’ve ever made. His reason? Because they aren’t dry. Using soy sauce, a limited amount of panko, and by not over-rolling the meatballs, you’ll end up with juicy, flavorful chicken meatballs that go with soba noodles perfectly.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 45 minutes (25 minutes inactive)
INGREDIENTS FOR SOY-GINGER CHICKEN MEATBALLS
1 pound ground chicken
1 small shallot
1 red Fresno chili pepper
6 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch of chives
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3-1/2 cup panko (more or less depending on your meatballs)
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 ounces soba noodles
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil (divided)
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Prepare Ingredients: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, and drizzle with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and toss to coat. Set aside. Mince the shallot, red Fresno chili pepper, garlic cloves, and chives. Reserve a pinch or two of chives for garnish. Remove and discard the stems from the shiitake mushrooms. If your mushroom caps are large, cut in quarters. Leave small mushroom caps whole.
Prepare the Chicken Meatballs: In a bowl, combine the ground chicken, minced shallot, garlic, chili pepper, and chives. Add the soy sauce and use your fingers to mix well. Add 1/3 cup panko. If the mixture seems too moist, add a bit more panko. Be careful not too add too much panko – the mixture should be moist. Carefully roll the mixture into balls. Do not over-roll the mixture; it’s okay if they look a little rough. Transfer the plate of meatballs to the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Cook the Meatballs: In a large skillet (large enough to later hold 4 cups of chicken stock), heat the peanut oil over medium high until very hot. Add the meatballs and cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side without moving. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Continue turning the meatballs every few minutes until well browned all over, about 10 minutes total. Note: adjust the heat as necessary to ensure the meatballs don’t burn. You will continue to cook them in the broth, so it’s okay if they’re not cooked through. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Using a paper towel, carefully blot out most of the excess cooking oil.
Start the Broth: Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the skillet over medium high. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add the mirin, minced ginger, and soy sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Add the meatballs and cook an additional 10 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked through. Taste and season the broth according to your tastes.
To Serve: Divide the soba noodles between bowls and ladle the broth and meatballs over the noodles. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chives on top. Enjoy!