Asian Meatball Noodle Soup

This Asian Meatball Noodle Soup is a healthy and quick weekday dinner.  Pork meatballs simmer in chicken broth with cabbage, then add delicious rice noodles, chili garlic hot sauce, and fresh cilantro for a deliciously easy soup.


Once the cold weather creeps in, I start making soups.  Soups are one of the greatest inventions of all time. because it can be made in one pot.  One pot meals are genius.

I especially love soups with Asian flavors.  The flavors are so clean and fresh and they are always easy to put together.  Loaded with protein and healthy vegetables, this soup is really comforting on a cold, winter day.


This recipe is my version of the Chinese Lion’s Head soup, but with a little extra somethin’, somethin’ (aka noodles).  I mix chopped cabbage in the meatballs, make them smaller, and cook them directly in the broth.  Any type of Chinese cabbage (napa or bok choy) or a green cabbage can be used here.  Typically I use napa or bok choy in this recipe, but only had green cabbage on hand so I used it for both the meatballs and the soup.


Feel free to be creative with adding different vegetables to the broth while the meatballs are cooking.  Thinly sliced or chopped carrots, red bell peppers, spinach, kale, and broccoli would all be good additions to this soup.  Use whatever is in season and in the refrigerator.  If you don’t eat pork, change it to ground chicken or turkey.  Leave out the noddles if you want a low carb option.  Go crazy and make it your own.  I promise, I won’t be offended.

A word about using and storing fresh ginger.  My ginger always goes bad before I can use it up, so I freeze it to extend it’s life.  Put a whole piece of unpeeled ginger in a freezer proof bag or wrap.  When you want to use it,  just grate it frozen on a microplane zester and when finished, wrap it up and put it back in the freezer.  No need to thaw or peel the ginger before grating.  I’ve kept fresh ginger in the freezer for up to 6 months with no problems.


Everything in bowl & ready to mix for meatballs.


Meatballs simmering.


Get this stuff.  It will change your life.


And this too.


See, here’s a big scoop of it.  I was so happy today after taking photos because I ate this for lunch.  And I added more chili sauce :)




So brave the cold winter by making some comforting Asian Meatball Noodle Soup and bundle up!

asian meatball noodle soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 pound ground lean pork
  • 2 cups green or Chinese cabbage, finely shredded and chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely minced
  • 2 Tb fresh grated ginger
  • 2 Tb organic Nama Shoyu, or regular soy sauce
  • 2 Tb Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 Tb garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 2 cups green or Chinese cabbage, chopped
  • 8 cups homemade or pre-made chicken broth
  • 1 Tb organic Nama Shoyu, or regular soy sauce
  • 8 oz rice noddles, cooked according to package directions and rinsed well.
  • toasted sesame oil, to drizzle on top
  • chopped cilantro, optional
  • Thai garlic chili sauce, to taste
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients in bowl and stir well.
  3. Cover and place mixture in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. FOR SOUP:
  5. In a large pot, bring broth to a simmer over medium heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low. Form meatballs into balls (about golf ball size) by hand and drop them into hot broth.
  7. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then stir in cabbage. Cook another 10-15 minutes, or until meatballs are fully cooked.
  8. Stir the Nama Shoyu, or soy sauce, into broth.
  9. Place desired amount of cooked noodles in bowl. Ladle broth and meatballs over noodles.
  10. Drizzle sesame oil on top.
  11. Optional: sprinkle with cilantro and add garlic chili sauce to taste.

Asian Meatball Noodle Soup


    • Karrie@tastyeverafterKarrie@tastyeverafter says

      Thanks so much Cheyanne! BTW, love your blog. Fantastic recipes and beautiful photography.

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