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5 from 1 vote

Health in a Bowl Soup

Chicken meatballs, rice noodles, and fresh vegetables in a flavorful, ginger packed broth. The spicy broth is reminiscent of pho.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 8 bowls
Calories: 255kcal


Asian Sesame Chicken Meatballs


  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger grated or finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 cups water
  • 4 vegetable bouillon cubes (I used Rapunzel)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 8 star anise
  • 6 whole cinnamon sticks
  • sriracha (to taste, optional)


  • 6 cups fresh vegetables chopped (I used baby corn, carrots, snap peas and broccoli)
  • 1 package rice vermicelli noodles (soaked in hot water, with a bit of salt and soy sauce)
  • lime to squeeze on top
  • cilantro garnish
  • sesame seeds garnish


  • Add the sesame oil to a frying pan, and saute ginger, shallots, and garlic for about 10 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add the water and the rest of the broth ingredients. If you have spice bags, tie up the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise. If you don't, you'll have to fish out the spices when you dish it up, like I do. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium-low for an hour.
  • While the soup simmers, chop the vegetables.
  • Pour hot water over the rice vermicelli noodles, and add a bit of salt and soy sauce to the water to season. Remove the noodles from the hot water after a few minutes-- it's better to undercook them, because they will continue to soften in the soup.
  • Add the vegetables to the soup broth, and continue simmering for an additional 5-10 minutes, depending on how soft you'd like the vegetables. Add a bit of sriracha to add heat, if desired.
  • Add rice noodles and sesame chicken meatballs to bowls, then cover in the soup. Garnish with fresh squeezes of lime, extra sriracha, cilantro, and sesame seeds.


If you don't have the time to make the meatballs, just add stir fried chicken. Heavily season the chicken. A lot of the soup's flavor comes from the spicy, seasoned meatballs.
Pho often has fish sauce in the broth. Feel free to use fish sauce in place (or in addition) to the soy sauce, if you like cooking with fish sauce. It will add a more authentic flavor to the broth.
For an even more healing soup, use fresh chicken stock. I have in the past, but usually I don't have the time to go through that process!


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 878mg | Potassium: 459mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9018IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 3mg