Another meatball checked off the list! I’m calling this a pho noodle bowl rather than straight pho because I over-reduced the broth and really just had a small amount of broth with noodles and meatballs and garnishes all piled on top. Didn’t make this any less delicious.
I sort of combined this meatball recipe with this quick pho broth, with a couple of adaptations. We thought this was just terrific, especially the meatballs themselves. I’m happy to know meatballs grill up so well – opens the door to more possibilities.
For the meatballs:
1/2 tsp baking powder (I think this is key for their slightly firm, chewy texture, as I saw this component in a few recipes I looked at
1 pound ground pork
2 thick slices pork belly
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp minced scallions (mostly white parts)
1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
Combine all ingredients in the food processor. Form into small meatballs (I made about 18).
Grill on direct heat about 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
For the pho broth::
1 large onion, halved
about 1 tbsp minced ginger
2 whole cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise
3 whole cloves (I used a bit of powdered clove because I couldn’t find any cloves)
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
4 cups beef broth, 1 can Campbell’s beef broth (I like its meatier flavor) and about 1 cup chicken broth (Note I’d add another two cups beef or chicken broth next time to avoid the reducing issue (or just keep a better eye on the temperature than I did)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
Simmer all ingredients together for 30-45 minutes.
1/2 package rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
chopped cilantro, to garnish
bean sprouts, to garnish
sliced jalapenos, to garnish
chopped mint and/or basil, to garnish
Sriracha, for serving
A good bowl has 4 meatballs, a cup or two of broth (depending on how soupy you’re going for), about a cup of rice noodles and assorted garnishes