These spicy chicken meatballs in dashi broth are loaded with garlic and Thai chili peppers and dropped into a light and simple dashi broth.
Have you cooked with dashi before? It is absolutely delicious! Dashi is a fish stock used in Japanese cuisine frequently. It is the base of many delicious soups, such as miso, clear broth soup, and noodle broth soup. Prepared with a combination of kombu (dried kelp) and bonito flakes, dashi adds complexity to any dish.
Make your own dashi at home or use the granules. I use the granules for these spicy chicken meatballs in dashi broth for an easy, quick weeknight meal.
This recipe looks so beautiful when you plate it up. The broth is a caramel brown color thanks to the fond from the onions and the fried meatballs.
We make the chicken meatballs extra spicy with minced Thai chili peppers. If you’re not a fan of heat, you can reduce them or omit them entirely.
We top these chicken meatballs in dashi broth with sesame seeds, shichimi-togarashi, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve the meatballs with rice or ladle them over udon or soba noodles for ultimate comfort!
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Spicy Chicken Meatballs in Dashi Broth
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- 8 cloves garlic peeled
- 3-5 Thai chili peppers depending on heat preference, trimmed
- 1 small yellow onion peeled
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 egg
- ½ cup panko plus more if needed
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil divided
- 1-2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil for frying
- 1 large onion peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons dashi powder
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce plus more, if needed
- Black sesame seeds and shichimi togarashi optional
- Cooked rice
Prepare the Meatballs
- First, transfer the chili peppers, garlic, and yellow onion to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken breast, soy sauce, egg, and minced onion, garlic, and peppers. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Use your hands to gently incorporate the ingredients. Add the panko and mix with your hands until just combined. Form into 2” diameter meatballs. You should end up with about 12 meatballs. Set aside.
Fry the Chicken Meatballs:
- In a wide pot, heat the neutral cooking oil and the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil over medium heat until very hot. Add the meatballs in an even layer and cook for 3-5 minutes until well-browned. Flip and cook an additional 3-5 minutes more. Once the meatballs are browned all over, but not cooked through, transfer to a plate.
Prepare the Dashi Broth:
- Add the sliced yellow onion to the pot and cook for 7-8 minutes until softened and golden brown. Pour in the water and mix in the dashi powder, soy sauce, and mirin. Bring to a low boil.
Cook the Meatballs:
- Add the meatballs to the dashi broth and reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle the dashi broth and chicken meatballs into bowls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and shichimi, if desired, and add a small drizzle of sesame oil. Serve with cooked rice and enjoy!