My juicy meatball noodle soup recipe with jammy soft boiled eggs, aromatic herbs, crunchy fried onions, chillies, and chives makes a Southeast Asian style noodle soup with deliciously rustic homemade pork meatballs. Called kuy teav in Cambodia, this comforting bowl of soup is typically eaten for breakfast, but also makes a comforting brunch, lunch or dinner.
This meatball noodle soup recipe will make you succulent pork meatballs that swim in the kind of savoury noodle soup that you’ll find all over mainland Southeast Asia, but is closest in style to the traditional Cambodian noodle soup called kuy teav, which we eat here for breakfast in Cambodia‘s northern city of Siem Reap.
I use traditional Cambodian toppings such as sliced carrots and bok choy and provide an array of beloved Southeast Asian condiments and garnishes typically served with noodles soups so diners can customise their own broths: fresh fragrant herbs, crunchy fried shallots, fish sauce, chilli oil, chilli flakes, and chives or spring onions.
The main differences between my meatball noodle soup recipe and the soup you’ll slurp in a local noodle joint are the style of meatballs and the boiled eggs. When eggs are served with noodle soups and rice porridges here in Southeast Asia they’re generally hard boiled, while the meatballs are firm, dense and chewy.
Aside from the juicy pork meatballs and jammy soft boiled eggs, it’s a very typical Southeast Asian noodle soup of the type you’ll find here in Cambodia and in neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, and it’s absolutely delicious.
If you’re a soup lover like I am, particularly a lover of Southeast Asian soups, then you should enjoy this meatball noodle soup. And please do take a look at our other soup recipes, many of which I’ve compiled into recipe collections for your convenience, as much as my own.
We have recipe round-ups for chicken soups, noodle soups, chicken noodle soups, fish soups, potato soups, as well as warming winter soups and cold summer soups, depending on what hemisphere you’re in, and we’re always adding new recipes and creating new recipe collections for our extensive recipe archives.
This meatball noodle soup recipe with jammy soft boiled eggs is this week’s edition of Weekend Eggs, our 12-year-old series of recipes for egg dishes and dishes with eggs from around the world. We’ve published Weekend Eggs randomly in recent weeks, but from hereon you can expect regular weekly egg recipes for breakfast eggs, brunch eggs, lunch eggs, and dinner eggs, from places we’ve travelled, lived in and loved.
If you’ve arrived here for the first time, we started Weekend Eggs back in 2010 when we launched Grantourismo with a yearlong global grand tour aimed at promoting slow, local and experiential travel, more sustainable, ethical, engaging, and immersive forms of travel.
On that 12-month trip we spent two weeks in each destination, staying in apartment rentals and holiday homes to get an insight into how locals lived their lives. In each place we settled, we explored the local food, connected with local cooks and chefs, and learnt to cook local specialties, which we shared in two series, The Dish and Weekend Eggs.
If you’re an eggs lover and particularly a lover of breakfast eggs dishes, we encourage you to dig into our Weekend Eggs archive (link above) for inspiration and ideas. Or browse our collections of our 21 best breakfast recipes and our all-time 12 most popular Weekend Eggs recipes in 12 years of Grantourismo, which we compiled as part of Grantourismo’s 12th birthday celebrations earlier this year.
Now before I tell you more about my juicy meatball noodle soup recipe with soft boiled eggs, we have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or other content on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo. You could buy us a coffee and we’ll use that donation to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing or contribute to our epic original Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon.
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Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe with Jammy Soft Boiled Eggs and Aromatic Herbs
While my juicy meatball noodle soup recipe with jammy soft boiled eggs is pretty authentic, the meatballs are something of an East-West fusion and the jammy soft boiled eggs are in no way authentic. When boiled eggs are used in rice soups, rice porridges and noodles soups, they tend to be hard-boiled. And as for those meatballs…
I’m using a couple of European techniques in this meatball noodle soup recipe. Firstly, when it comes to making the meatballs, I’m soaking a slice of white bread in milk and incorporating that into the ground pork meatball mixture, just as you would for Italian meatballs or any of the Eastern European or Slavic meatballs.
Secondly, I’m creating very loose, rustic meatballs, as you can see from the images, which is achieved, firstly, by not over-mixing the pork mince mixture when you combine all the ingredients, and, secondly, when you’re forming the meatballs, just roll them a few times between the palms of your hands. They don’t have to be perfect.
As I mentioned in the intro above, meatballs and fishballs in Southeast Asian soups tend to be very tight, dense and firm, often chewy, even bouncy, and most Southeast Asians love that texture. I have a confession, however…
I adore the cuisines of Southeast Asia, but after 12 years living in the region, and even longer travelling here and cooking and eating the food, I have to confess that I’ve never warmed to that meatball texture, which to me tastes like the meatballs have been manufactured in a factory, even when they’re fresh.
Of course, if you’re a fan of the tight, dense, bouncy meatballs, all you need to do is keep mixing and folding the pork mixture ingredients until they’re thoroughly combined and you have the texture of a smooth paste. Then when it comes to forming the meatballs, keep rolling them between the palms of your hands so they’re nice and smooth and perfectly round.
Just a few tips to making my juicy meatball noodle soup recipe with jammy soft boiled eggs.
Tips to Making this Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe with Jammy Soft Boiled Eggs
I only have a few more tips to making my juicy meatball noodle soup recipe with jammy soft boiled eggs, starting with the noodle soup, I’ve only listed ‘stock’ under the ingredients list, but I recommend a chicken stock or vegetable stock, home-made or store-bought stock, chicken bouillon or chicken stock cubes.
Unless I’m making a vegetarian dish, I mostly use homemade chicken stock, which I probably make a couple of times a week using a super easy method that I explain in this chicken and potato soup recipe. It lasts a few days in an air-tight container, however, if I’m not going to use it, I’ll divide it into portions and freeze it in reusable freezer bags or ziploc bags.
I love this big soup pot because even though most of my recipes are for two, I’ll often make twice that amount. I use this mortar and pestle for pounding the fresh ginger and garlic. It’s one of our Asian kitchen essentials.
For perfect jammy soft-boiled eggs, use Terence’s guide to boiling perfect soft-boiled eggs every single time.
When the noodle soup is ready to serve, I like to use this slotted spoon to scoop out the meatballs and carrot slices first. I set those aside, distribute the broth and noodles between two big bowls, then arrange the meatballs and carrots on top.
We often get asked which fish sauce we use. We have a sizeable collection and tend to use Cambodian fish sauces for Cambodian recipes, Thai fish sauces for Thai dishes and Vietnamese fish sauces for Vietnamese recipes.
If you’re not in Asia and don’t have access to a wide selection of fish sauces, we tend to recommend Thailand’s Megachef for its consistency. It’s easy to find in Australia, the USA and online.
Many of our Asian-American friends have recommended the American-Vietnamese brand Red Boat Fish Sauce but we haven’t tried it as it’s not available here in Southeast Asia, but it might be easier for you to source and as you can see, it’s on Amazon.
Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe with Jammy Soft Boiled Eggs
- 1 slice white bread
- 2 tbsp milk or as needed
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 2 knobs ginger fresh, peeled
- 1 large shallot or small white onion finely diced
- 200 g pork mince fatty blend
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander/dill finely chopped – or other Southeast Asian herbs of your choice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 2 lemongrass stalks white base only
- 1 litre stock chicken, pork or vegetable
- 2 large eggs
- 1 small carrot sliced
- 1 bunch bok choy or other Asian greens or lettuce
- 200 g rice noodles
- 6 garlic chives finely diced
- 2 tbsp fresh basil coriander and dill – or other Southeast Asian herbs of your choice
- lime wedges spring onions or scallions, fresh herbs such as coriander, basil, dill and mint, fresh sliced red chillies,
- fish sauce Sriracha sauce, chilli oil, chilli flakes, crispy fried shallots, crispy fried garlic
- In a dish, soak a slice of white bread, crusts and all, in around 2 tablespoons of milk or as needed; just enough to cover it.
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic cloves and knob of ginger into a paste, then transfer to a mixing bowl, along with the fatty pork mince, soaked bread, salt, white pepper, and tablespoon of finely chopped fresh coriander, basil, dill or other Southeast Asian herbs of your choice. Combine well then refrigerate until ready to use.
- Pound the other knob of ginger and lemongrass in the mortar and pestle just until they break and their aromas are released.
- To a medium-sized soup pot over high heat, add the litre of stock, ginger and lemongrass, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer.
- While the soup is simmering, boil the eggs until jammy-soft (around 5 minutes – follow our guide to boiling perfect soft-boiled eggs) then transfer to a cold bowl of water and set aside.
- Remove the pork mince mixture from the fridge and form the seasoned pork mince into mini meatballs: use a teaspoon to scoop out the mince, roll it between two hands a few times to shape into a rough small meatball of around 3cm in diameter (don’t over-roll), place it on a plate, and repeat.
- Once you’ve finished making all the meatballs, increase the soup heat again, and gently submerge each meatball into the soup. Reduce the heat, add the carrot slices, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- A few more minutes before you are reading to serve, add the rice noodles and stir to combine well, then ladle the noodle soup between bowls, arrange the meatballs, carrots and bok choy/lettuce on top, submerging the latter so it ‘cooks’.
- Peel the eggs beside the bowls, and carefully slice each egg in half over the bowl where you intend to place the egg, so any soft runny yolk drips onto the noodles and not on your cutting board.
- Sprinkle each bowl of noodles with finely sliced garlic chives and chilli flakes, and serve with fresh aromatic herbs, and condiments, such as chilli oil, fresh sliced red chillies, fish sauce, Sriracha sauce, crispy fried shallots, and crunchy fried garlic.
Please do let us know in the Comments below if you make this juicy meatball noodle soup recipe with jammy soft boiled eggs as we’d love to know how it turns out for you, and we’d also appreciate a rating.