This meatball pho features pork meatballs, whole wheat rice noodles, shiitakes and bok choy in a simple broth. Since you make all the components in advance, it's a great weeknight meal. Feel free to substitute any ground meat, including chicken or turkey for the meatballs. They freeze well, too.
To make the meatballs, combine the ground pork, almond flour, egg, scallion,, garlic, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and blend well using rubber spatula or your hands.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while you form the meatballs. Use a portion scoop or tablespoon to form the meatballs about the size of a golf ball. Arrange them on 2 rimmed ungreased baking sheets in a single layer about 1/2 inch apart. Bake until cooked through, about 16 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the broth by bringing the chicken stock to a simmer. Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon stick and star anise. Simmer for 15 minutes--or even longer for a more pronounced taste. Reduce the heat to low and add the fish sauce, brown sugar and pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning, then discard the ginger, garlic, cinnamon stick and star anise.
Bring the broth back to a low simmer and use a strainer to dunk the noodles in batches to cook until they are tender to the bite. Distribute them among the bowls. Finally, add the mushrooms and bok choy and simmer until softened, about 10 minutes.
To assemble the bowls, ladle the hot broth with mushrooms and bok choy over the noodles. Top with 3 to 4 meatballs and the reserved green parts of the scallions. Serve with lime slices and fresh herbs to taste.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry