Ginger Pork Meatball Soup
1 pound ground pork or chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 (1 inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced or grated (reserve the extra end pieces)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons avocado or grapeseed oil
1 (8 ounce) package vermicelli rice noodles
8 cups chicken stock, ideally homemade
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 pound. baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water to cover. Let sit, agitating occasionally, until the noodles are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, drizzle with a little oil, and toss to coat so the strands don't stick together.
In a large bowl, combine the pork, garlic, ginger, cilantro, soy sauce, sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, and mix thoroughly with your hands. Form 18 to 24 ping-pong-ball-size meatballs, placing each one on a tray. set aside.
Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the meatballs in the pan, turning often, until golden brown all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean tray.
Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot. Add the carrots, meatballs, and any large leftover ginger ends and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the bok choy, simmer for another 2 minutes or until all the vegetables are fork tender but still bright in color. Taste the broth and season with salt accordingly. Discard the ginger pieces.
Place some rice noodles in a bowl, ladle in a portion of the meatball soup, and top with scallions and cilantro leaves. Drizzle a tiny bit of sesame oil on each bowl of soup.