This relatively simple recipe can be done in less than an hour, and makes a rich, filling meal. There are several steps that you can do ahead and none are all that complicated. The original inspirational recipe came from Milk Street, (and is the first one we wanted to actually make). That recipe suggests garnishing the soup with fried shallots. Don’t even try this: it will small up your house for days, and are very hard to keep from burning. You can buy them packaged at Asian markets or online.
The components of this soup are:
- Jasmine rice
- Pork balls
- Soup broth
- Soft boiled eggs
Jasmine rice is a delicately scented short grain rice, that you should make first and allow to cool on a plate or baking sheet. You will add it to the soup when the rice is cold, so it doesn’t break up to much when you stir it in. Cook about 1 cup of rice with the package’s amount of water. In our Instant Pot rice cooker, we added 1.25 cups of water and cooked it for only 10 minutes. Open the pot and spread it out to cool.
Soft boiled eggs
Set out 3 eggs. Place a vegetable steamer in a 2 quart sauce pan and fill with water until just below the steamer bottom. Bring the water to a boil, and quickly lower the eggs into the steamer using a slotted spoon. Cover and cook 6.5 minutes. Run cold water into the pan to stop the cooking, empty and add more cold water. Pick up each egg and run cold water on it until no longer warm to the touch. Crack each egg and peel under running water. Set aside the peeled eggs.
- 8 oz ground pork
- 1 Tb fish sauce
- 1 Tb chili-garlic sauce
- White pepper to taste
Mix the pork and sauces in a small bowl and make around 10 balls using a small cookie scoop. Put them on a plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes or so.
- 3 Tb lard (or olive oil, or grapeseed oil)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 5 large shallots halved and thinly sliced.
- 8 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 lemongrass stalks, bruised to release the flavor, or use lemon zest instead.
- 2 Tb grated ginger root
- 5 quarts chicken broth (we used some homemade mixed with canned)
- 1 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley of you are not a cilantro fan)
- 3 Tb lime juice plus lime wedges
- 2 Tb fish sauce
- 1 Tb chili garlic sauce
- In a large pot (3 quarts or more) heat the lard and add the shallots and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Stir in the lemon grass and ginger and cook until fragrant.
- Add the broth and cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes
- Remove and discard the lemon grass.
- Add the pork meatballs, and cook through, about 4 minutes
- Stir in the rice, and cook until heated through.
- Off heat, stir in the fish sauce and chili garlic sauce, the cilantro or parsley and the lime juice.
Ladle in bowls and decorate with the halved soft boiled eggs (cut them right in the bowls), lime wedges, and the optional fried shallots. Packaged onion rings are a good substitute, too!
Serve at once to your admiring guests.