Fish Balls, Soba, and Ginger-Miso Make the Most Comforting Winter Soup

January 6th, 2016

Fish balls, a popular street food in Asia, transform into a complete meal atop soba noodles in a ginger-miso broth. The secret to putting the dish together quickly? Instant soup packets.

Miso Soup With Cilantro-Lime Fish Balls

Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


For the fish balls
5 ounces cod filets, with skin removed
5 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup haricots verts, trimmed and minced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
Zest of 2 limes
Sea salt and pepper

For the miso broth
4 1/4 cups water
3 packets instant miso soup
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
1 green onion, thinly sliced

For the soba noodles
4 ounces soba noodles
1 to 1 1/2 cups watercress leaves
]Toasted sesame oil


Make the fish balls
Place the cod in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer to a large bowl, then pulse the shrimp in the food processor until roughly chopped. Transfer to bowl with cod along with fish sauce, chile, ginger, egg, haricots verts, green onion, cilantro, and lime zest. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper, and mix well. Roll mixture into 16 balls about 1-inch in size each. Set aside.

Make the miso broth
Put the water and contents of the miso packets in a large pot and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in soy sauce and ginger. Add the fish balls and simmer until just cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice vinegar, cilantro, and green onion.

Assemble the soup
While soup is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook soba noodles until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and divide between four bowls. Place watercress leaves on top of noodles and spoon soup over. Garnish with a few drops of sesame oil and serve immediately.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Merce MuseThrive Market Food Editor

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