Introuducing the WS Recipe of the DAy App - Download Now >
Return to Previous Page

Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs in Broth with Red Onion and Herbs

Meatballs can be heavy and bland, but not when they are made with bright Southeast Asian flavors, as in this recipe, and handled with a light touch.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb. (500 g) ground turkey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • Grated zest of 1 lime

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2-inch (5-cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, center white part only, smashed and thinly
  • 6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l) chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh mint


To make the meatballs, preheat an oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Oil a baking sheet.

In a bowl, combine the ground turkey, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime zest. Using your hands, mix gently but thoroughly. For each meatball, scoop up a heaping 1 tsp. of the mixture, form into a meatball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ginger and lemongrass and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes. Add the broth and lime juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the meatballs, red onion, cilantro and mint and simmer for 5 minutes more. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011).