A blue bowl with meatballs in broth and a wooden spoon
Photography, Emanuela Cino

Shrimp Meatballs in Thai-Inspired Broth

This addictive, slightly-spicy soup is a perfect winter warm-up.

This aromatic broth will draw you in, but it’s the herby, slightly spicy shrimp meatballs that will keep you coming back for bite after bite.

A blue bowl with meatballs in broth and a wooden spoon

Shrimp Meatballs in a Thai-Inspired Broth

An aromatic Thai-inspired broth served with herby, slightly spicy shrimp meatballs.
Course Main Course
Servings 4



  • 1 carrot
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 chives finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks lemongrass halved lengthwise
  • generous 1-inch ginger peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves chopped
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp store-bought nuoc cham sauce
  • pinch each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 g shiitake mushrooms


  • 1 long stalk lemongrass chopped
  • generous 1-inch ginger peeled and minced
  • 3 chives finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • half Thai chili seeded and finely chopped (adjust according to taste)
  • 400 g shrimp shelled and divided
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch


  • Peel and cut carrot in half. Use mandoline to create ribbons with one half and set aside. Chop other half of carrot for broth.
  • In large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add chives, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, chopped carrot and celery; cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 6 cups water, dried shiitakes, kaffir leaves, soy sauce and nuoc cham sauce. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In large bowl, stir together lemongrass, ginger, chives, garlic and chili. Finely chop three-quarters of the shrimp; add to bowl with cornstarch and stir to combine. Chop remaining shrimp into large pieces.
  • With wet hands, divide shrimp mixture into 16 even portions and gently roll into balls.
  • Strain broth through a fine sieve. Pour back into pot and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Bring to a boil; add fresh shiitakes and cook on medium-high until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Add reserved carrot ribbons and meatballs, and poach over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Serve meatballs with broth.
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