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My mother in law, moved from Japan to Colombia over 40 years ago. We don’t have a lot in comon: Tak – my husband -, we are immigrants  and we enjoy cooking. These have given us enough to share.

From her I learned two things that are very important to me nowadays:

  • Food shouldn’t be wasted
  • You can easily make a dish taste as Japanese home made food by adding two or more of the following: dashi broth – japanese fish stock -, soy sauce, fresh ginger root, sesame oil, green onions, daikon, wakame seaweed or shiitake mushrooms.

This is what inspired the meal I cooked this evening.

There was some stuff in the fridge that was going to be wasted so I tried to find a dish I could cook using all, or at least most of them:

  • Letuce
  • Tofu
  • Lean ground beef – out of the freezer for over a day –

Vancouver has been colder than normal these days, so soup seemed to be a good option: meatball soup it is!


  • 1 pound lean groundd beef
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 green onion stalks
  • 1/2 cup bread-crumbs
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root – grated –

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and make small meatballs – 1 cm diameter –


  • 10 cups water
  • Two tbs hon dashi – Japanese granulated bonito flake stock.
  • Two  tbs soy sauce

Bring the water to a boil, mix in hon dashi and soy sauce. Add the meat balls and let them cook for 10 minutes.

If you want you can add one or more of the following: vegetables – I used asparagus and carrots; daikon, cabage, leeks or shiitake mushrooms would make it -, noodles – glass noodles also called bean threads are the best but you can also use rice or wheat noodles – and tofu.

Serve in soup bowls and garnish with letuce and green onions.

It is cold out there… I am having my soup now. Hope this inspires you to cook  a Japanese-style soup.



One response to “Japan Inspired Meatball Soup

  1. Ricardo ⋅

    I’ve always admired Japanese cuisine for which I will start following your tip regarding the ingredients. I look forward to more recipes and articles!

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