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updated: 11/21/2010 8:41 PM

Indonesian Bakso

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1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon diced shallot

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, finely chopped

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sugar

Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste

cup crushed ice

5 tablespoons cornstarch

2 quarts chicken broth


14 ounces egg noodles

1 head bok choy, cut into -inch chunks

4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, finely chopped

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Kosher salt, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped celery

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Sambal, to taste

For the meatballs: In a small skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the garlic and shallot and saute until golden and aromatic. Transfer to a food processor, then add the chicken, egg white and sugar. Process until well ground, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Transfer the chilled mixture to a cutting board. Add the crushed ice and cornstarch, then knead the mixture for 5 minutes. Using 2 spoons or an ice cream scoop, form the mixture into 20 tablespoon-size balls. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the chicken broth. Add the meatballs, working in batches if necessary. Cook until the meatballs are firm and read 165 degrees at the center, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs to a bowl. Cover to keep warm. Keep the broth warm over low heat.

For the soup: Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain, then cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a second saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the bok choy and blanch until just tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Cover and set aside.

Use a mortar and pestle or a knife to mash the garlic and ginger to a paste.

In a medium skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the garlic-ginger paste and saute until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and soy sauce, then saute until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Divide the noodles between the serving bowls, topping them with some of the bok choy and sauteed chicken. Ladle hot chicken broth into each bowl, then divide the meatballs among the bowls. Garnish with celery, hard-boiled eggs and sambal.

Serves four.