Darjeeling tea inspired this noodle soup. Recipe testing this broth with an infusion of tea took several tries, but we finally landed on one that we really enjoyed. It isn’t overwhelmingly tea forward but just enough so the essence of Darjeeling snuggles in nicely with the chicken broth and spices. This is a warming, comforting soup. The combination of noodles and meatballs swimming in a broth of sunshine is perfect on a cloudy day. Serve with a simple green salad or green onion pancakes and your favorite beverage.
FOR THE SPICY TAMARI MEATBALLS
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1 fresh organic egg, beaten
- 3 T tamari or shoyu sauce
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 T fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 lb organic ground pork or beef, or combination of 1/2 lb of both
- 1 T Sriracha or sambal
- 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 1 T organic sugar or agave
Preheat oven to 400. In a small skillet, add sesame oil and saute green onions for approximately 5 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. In a separate bowl, add the egg, tamari, garlic, shallot, ginger, ground meat, sriracha, chili flakes and sugar. Mix well. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Shape meat into equal sized 1 inch balls. Place on parchment lined sheet pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Meatballs should be slightly caramelized. Drain meatballs and set aside until you’re ready to assemble soup bowls.
FOR THE DARJEELING INFUSED BROTH
Makes 2-1/2 quarts
- 10 dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
- 6 cloves of fresh garlic, fried
- 1 T sesame oil, plus more for soup ingredients
- 2 T dark sesame oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1/4 C fresh ginger, grated
- 2 T fresh turmeric, grated
- 2 Qrts homemade organic chicken bone broth or organic chicken stock (store bought is okay)
- 2 C steeped Darjeeling Tea ~ we purchased loose leaf (prepared according to directions)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 12 ounces vermicelli rice noodles or egg noodles (cooked according to directions)
- 1/2 C chopped organic scallions
In a medium size bowl, add dried shiitakes and cover with cold water. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. In a saute pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and sliced garlic. Cook for about 7 to 8 minutes or until garlic is crisp and caramelized. Set aside until soup assembly. In a stock pot on medium heat, add sesame oil, onion and shallot and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rehydrated shiitakes and saute with aromatics for about 3 minutes. If you need to add a little more sesame oil, you can. Add chicken broth and steeped Darjeeling tea and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 additional minutes. Noodles should be al dente.
To assemble bowls:
Divide noodles equally between bowls and ladle broth over the top. Add 3 to 4 meatballs per bowl and garnish with scallions and fried garlic ~ and if so desired, your favorite sambal.