Bowl food – beef meatballs & soba noodle soup

As we're retreating indoors to the safety and sanctuary of our own homes for self-isolation, here in Australia the weather is also cooling down. We need to nurture ourselves with hearty bowl food. This tasty beef meatballs recipe was created by Noha Seregeldin and is the perfect comfort food for trying times. Meatballs immersed in a fragrant broth scented with lemongrass & ginger, along with a tangle of soba noodles & crisp snow peas.


  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 packet (270g) soba noodles
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised with the back of a knife
  • 200g sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed & halved
  • 4 spring onions, white parts roughly chopped, green parts sliced and set aside
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • toasted sesame seeds, to serve


  1. In a medium saucepan combine the stock, water, sugar, lemongrass & sliced ginger. Place on medium heat and simmer.
  2. Meanwhile combine the white parts of the spring onions, remaining ginger, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse till finely chopped. Add breadcrumbs, fish sauce and beef. Pulse until the mixture comes together (don’t over mix!).
  3. Form heaped-tablespoons of the mixture into meatballs by firmly rolling them between your palms. This mixture is very easy to roll and should yield about 20 or so meatballs.
  4. Add oil into a large pot over high heat, add meatballs and leave to brown on one side for 3 minutes. Carefully flip meatballs over and brown for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add simmering stock to the pot with the meatballs through a sieve (to catch the ginger and lemongrass, which you can discard). Turn the heat down and let the meatballs simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the soba noodles and cook for 3 minutes. Add sugar snap/snow peas, cook for another minute.
  7. Serve soup in large bowls, with a generous squeeze of lemon juice and some sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Featured in this post is the soup bowl.