- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Szechwan peppercorns or freshly ground black
- 1/3 cup Shaoxing rice wine or sake
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps halved
- 3 ounces baby spinach (4 cups)
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Red chili sauce, for serving
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.
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.
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.