If you’re looking for the perfect healthy soup to keep you cozy all season long, you have to try this chicken ginger lemongrass soup. Featuring tender Japanese chicken meatballs with umami miso broth and tender bok choy, this chicken meatball soup gives the classic miso soup a run for its money!
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About this soup with chicken meatballs
While I love traditional miso soup, adding juicy and flavorful chicken meatballs to the mix really adds a new dimension to this dish – great when serving hungry family and friends! Miso soup with chicken meatballs bursts with umami flavor, interesting textures, and abundant nutritional value!
The marriage of juicy chicken meatballs with peppery bok choy in a piping hot miso broth ticks all the boxes of a comforting and healthy meal that will keep you fuller for longer!
Double this chicken miso soup and store half in the freezer for those rainy days!
Why this miso soup with chicken works
Miso Soup with Chicken Meatballs is simple to make and has a mouth-watering flavor. It’s the perfect way to satisfy your Asian cuisine cravings! Here’s why you’re going to love it:
- Super healthy! Miso soup with chicken is loaded with healthy ingredients, low-carb, and packed with nutritious protein!
- Comforting and hearty. If you need a hearty and flavorful soup that will warm you from the inside out, this chicken meatballs soup is for you!
- Umami flavor! The combination of ingredients used in this dish creates an irresistible umami flavor with different textures.
- Perfect for making ahead. Reduce the recipe time by making the chicken ginger meatballs a day or two in advance. They store well in the fridge and freezer!
What is miso soup?
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of dashi (a Japanese soup stock) and miso. Many other ingredients can be added depending on the region, season and personal preference.
Miso translates to ‘fermented beans’ in Japanese. While there are many types of miso, the most common paste is made from only fermented soybeans. However, some miso pastes are made from millet, cultured wheat, or a combination of different beans and grains.
As well, the length of fermentation time affects the flavor of miso paste, which can range from mild and sweet to rich and salty. Generally, the color of miso paste is a great indicator of the strength of flavor.
Ingredients for chicken miso soup
The ingredients for this chicken ginger lemongrass soup are easy to source. They could also already be waiting for you in your pantry if you love Japanese cuisine! Here’s what you’ll need:
Chicken meatballs for soup
- Ground chicken – Use ground chicken that includes white and dark meat.
- Substitution: Ground turkey, pork, or beef are other options.
- Panko breadcrumbs – Plain.
- Substitution: Homemade breadcrumbs are great!
- Garlic cloves – 1 minced and 1 peeled and mashed. This provides the right amount of aromatic bite to this chicken miso soup.
- Substitution: Jarred minced garlic, garlic paste, or bottled garlic powder can be used instead.
- Shallot – Peeled and sliced.
- Substitution: White onions or a combination of shallots and onions can be used.
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce
- Substitution: Tamari or coconut aminos.
- Ginger – Divided (freshly grated and sliced).
- Scallions– Sliced and more for garnish. Only use the green and white parts.
- Fish sauce – Divided.
- Lemongrass – Minced. Only use the white part.
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Fresh cilantro – Roughly chopped.
For the miso soup broth
- Low-sodium chicken broth – Divided.
- Thai chili – Sliced. This is optional.
- Miso – You can use red or white miso.
- Vegetable oil
- Baby bok choy – 2 heads quartered into wedges.
- Substitution: You can use 1 regular head instead.
- Red pepper flakes – Crushed. More for garnish.
Miso chicken soup variations
- Ground chicken. I’ve used ground chicken with white and dark meat for the best flavor, but you could use ground white meat only. Ground turkey, ground pork, or ground beef are other delicious options.
- Breadcrumbs. Make your own breadcrumbs for this recipe from scratch as an alternative to store-bought breadcrumbs.
- Miso. Feel free to use red miso, white miso, or a combination!
- Gluten-free. Use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and gluten-free breadcrumbs to make this chicken broth miso soup gluten-free.
- Add-ins. Add ramen noodles to this chicken meatballs soup recipe for extra texture and volume.
How to make miso chicken soup
While this chicken meatball soup recipe does require a few steps, the entire process is pretty straightforward.
Chicken meatballs for soup
Tips for making chicken soup with meatballs
- Ground chicken. Ground chicken with both white and dark meat is best for this chicken miso soup recipe, as it creates flavorful and juicy miso meatballs. I don’t recommend lean ground chicken made solely from white meat, such as chicken breast.
- Miso. Red or white miso can be used for the miso soup broth. I’ve experimented with both in this soup with chicken meatballs, and they’re equally great!
- Broth. You can gently simmer the broth for longer than 15 minutes if you need more time to cook the meatballs. Remember that the miso flavor will intensify as the broth simmers for longer, and the broth will also reduce.
- Meatballs. Don’t overcrowd the skillet when browning the meatballs, or they will steam. You are only browning the miso meatballs in the skillet, not cooking them through, as they will continue to cook in the broth.
- Make ahead. The chicken miso meatballs can be assembled and stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer before making the chicken meatballs soup. This will reduce preparation time. Thaw frozen meatballs before browning them.
- Uniform meatballs. Use an ice cream scoop to measure uniform-sized chicken meatballs for soup. The meatballs will cook evenly and result in a better-looking soup!
FAQ: miso soup with chicken meatballs
Can miso soup be a main dish?
Absolutely! This chicken miso soup can easily be enjoyed as a hearty and satisfying main meal, thanks to the addition of ginger chicken meatballs!
Is miso broth like chicken broth?
Miso broth is similar to chicken broth in that both are savory and act as good bases for soups and other dishes. Miso soup is Japanese in origin, with a stronger umami flavor and higher salt content. Chicken broth is milder in flavor and commonly used in Western cuisine.
Is miso soup healthy?
You bet it is! Most of the ingredients in this Thai inspired chicken meatball soup are packed with nutritious vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are a few worth mentioning:
- Miso paste aids digestion and improves energy. It also contains a ton of beneficial bacteria, which improve gut health. Miso paste also contains vitamins, proteins, and antioxidants that strengthen bones, support muscle growth, and aid heart health.
- The lemongrass chicken meatballs with ginger also add plenty of health benefits. Ginger is known for its medicinal properties, while lemongrass provides antioxidants, and the ground chicken adds a healthy dose of protein!
- Bok choy is another healthy ingredient in chicken soup with meatballs. In fact, it ranks as the 11th richest food in vitamin A!
What are the three types of miso?
Miso comes in red, yellow, white, or mixed. The color usually signifies the length of fermentation of the beans, the ratio of the ingredients used, and the flavor intensity.
Serving chicken meatballs soup
Since this miso soup with chicken meatballs recipe is packed with umami flavor and delicious textures, it’s a great soup to enjoy as is. Of course, there are many side dishes to enjoy with your chicken miso broth, some of which I’ve listed below:
How to serve this Asian chicken meatball soup?
Garnish each bowl of Japanese meatballs soup with chopped green onions or scallions. Add a few extra chicken meatballs or ramen noodles for the extra-hungry!
What is miso soup best eaten with?
Storing chicken soup with miso
How to store and how long does it keep?
- Store leftover soup with chicken meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Store uncooked and assembled chicken miso meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days or in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen meatballs in the fridge overnight to cook when preparing this miso soup chicken broth.
Can you freeze this soup?
Absolutely! Store the cooled miso soup recipe with chicken meatballs in an airtight container in the freezer for one month. Thaw the frozen soup overnight in the fridge to reheat.
Reheat leftover miso soup with chicken meatballs in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Allow the soup to boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the soup and meatballs are heated through.
This slurp-worthy miso chicken soup recipe is easy to pull together for a nutritious and delicious midweek family dinner or a soup-erb weekend!!
More chicken soup recipes!
- Chicken Black Bean Soup
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
- Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Chicken with Udon Noodle
How to easily make Chicken Miso Soup from scratch👇
Chicken Miso Soup
- Mixing Bowl
- Medium Pot or Dutch Oven
- large skillet
- 1 Pound Ground Chicken (SEE NOTES)
- 1 Cup Plain Panko Breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves Garlic , DIVIDED – 1 minced and 1 peeled and smashed
- 1 medium Shallot – peeled and sliced
- 1 TBS Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce
- Ginger , DIVIDED – 2 tsp freshly grated + 1 (1’’ piece) sliced
- 8 Scallions – white and green part, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- 1 TBS Fish Sauce , DIVIDED
- 1 TBS Lemongrass , white part only – minced
- 1 TBS Fresh Cilantro – roughly chopped
- 5 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth , DIVIDED
- 1 Cups Water
- 1 Thai Chili – sliced (optional)
- 2 TBS Miso (red or white)
- 2 TBS Vegetable Oil
- 2 heads Baby Bok Choy , quartered into wedges (can substitute 1 regular head)
- ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes , plus more for garnish
- Kosher Salt and Pepper , to taste
- Make the Meatballs: In a large bowl combine the chicken, panko, minced garlic, soy sauce, grated ginger, half the scallions, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, lemon grass, cilantro and 2 tablespoons of broth. Use your hands or a rubber spatula to gently mix, just until combined. Use your hands to scoop out about a tablespoon and form mixture into (1’’-diameter) meatballs. Transfer to a plate or clean work surface lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all meatballs are formed.
- Make the Miso: In a medium pot over medium heat, combine remaining broth, water, Thai chili, smashed garlic, shallot, sliced ginger, 1 tablespoon fish sauce and remaining scallions. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove solids and discard. In a small bowl combine miso with 2 tablespoons of the broth and whisk to combine. Add the miso mixture to the pot of broth. Stir to combine.
- While the broth mixture simmers, brown the meatballs: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add meatballs to skillet (in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan) and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove and transfer to a clean plate. (NOTE: Don't worry about cooking the meatballs through, you are just browning the outsides!)
- Add to the broth mixture: Add the bok choy and crushed red pepper flakes to the broth. Simmer until bok choy is almost tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the meatballs & cook: Add the browned meatballs to the broth mixture and bring the broth back to a simmer. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Taste broth and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve: Garnish the soup with scallions, soy sauce and/or crushed red pepper to taste. Enjoy!
- Do NOT use ground ALL chicken breast. Use ground chicken (with both white and dark meat) for a more flavorful, juicy meatball.
- You can use either red or white miso. I used red.
- You can let the broth gently simmer for longer than 15 minutes if needed while you cook the meatballs. The longer it simmers the more flavorful it will be.
- Yield: about 22 meatballs
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