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Pork Meatball Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Toasted Rice

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Easy meatballs made with ground pork give this brothy Asian soup added richness.

  1. 1/2 pound ground pork
  2. 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  3. 1 shallot, minced
  4. 1 garlic clove, minced
  5. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Szechwan peppercorns or freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1/3 cup Shaoxing rice wine or sake
  7. 1 teaspoon sugar
  8. Salt
  9. 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  10. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  11. 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  12. 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps halved
  13. 3 ounces baby spinach (4 cups)
  14. 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  15. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  16. Red chili sauce, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, mix the ground pork with the ginger, shallot, garlic and ground Szechwan peppercorns. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the rice wine and the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and sesame oil. Form the mixture into 10 meatballs.
  2. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and mushrooms and simmer over moderate heat until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach, scallions, soy sauce and the remaining 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon rice wine and simmer until the spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute. Season the soup with salt and serve with chili sauce on the side.
Serve With Toasted Rice.
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