Recipe by Debbie R.
Mark Bittman Cooking time is a guesstimate.
Top Review by threeovens
This was quick and easy and tasty too! The dish is a little sweet for our tastes (not the fault of the recipe, the fault of our palettes), so next time I would use less sugar. I did enjoy the subtle nuances of flavors from the spices.
- 2 tablespoons oil (neutral)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 lb ground pork
- 10 cups chicken stock (or beef stock)
- 1 teaspoon ground aniseed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- one 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1⁄4 cup nam pla
- 11 tablespoons sugar
- 1 lb dried rice vermicelli
- 1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed
- 10 fresh cilantro stems
- 10 fresh basil (preferably Thai basil or mint stems)
- 2 fresh chilies, preferably Thai, stemmed, seeded and minced
- 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
Directions See How It's Made
- Set large, flameproof casserole or stockpot over medium heat; add oil. A minute later, add garlic and chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine pork and minced onion with a large pinch of salt; form into about 20 small meatballs.
- When onion is cooked, remove with slotted spoon. Add meatballs to pan. Turn heat to high; brown quickly, about 5 minutes. Return onion to the pan along with the stock, anise, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nam pla and sugar.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the seasonings have married.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles in boiling salted water until tender, just a few minutes. Strain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.
- When meatballs are cooked, add noodles to the broth and reheat them. Divide noodles and meatballs among 6 - 8 serving bowls and pour in the broth. Garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, chiles and scallions. Serve, squeezing lime juice over all.