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Meatball Soup with Mushrooms and Shirataki Noodles

Low in calories and fiber-rich, shirataki noodles are popular additions to Western menus as an alternative to pasta. This recipe features the noodles as most often served in Japan, in soups or simmered dishes. A teaspoon of sesame oil added to bowls before serving transforms it into a Chinese-style flavor.

(per serving)

Ingredients (Serves 3 to 4)

Maitake mushroom
  • 2 T finely chopped onion
  • Vegetable oil
  • 200 g / 7 oz. shirataki (konjac) noodles
  • 1/2 slice of bread or baguette
  • 1 knob unpeeled ginger, about 10 g / 0.35 oz.
  • 200 g / 7 oz. ground pork*1
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 beaten egg
  • Black pepper
  • 1,200 ml / 5 C dashi stock*2
  • 1 ½ T Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C shiitake mushrooms, 55 g / 2 oz., remove hard stem ends; cut in thin slices*3
  • 1 C maitake mushrooms, 55 g / 2 oz., torn into small pieces by hand*3
  • Green onion, chopped for garnish
  • *1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml


  1. 1

    In preparation for making the meatballs, sauté the chopped onion in a little vegetable oil over low heat in a frying pan until translucent. Remove onion from pan, set aside and allow to cool.

  2. 2

    Lightly rinse the shirataki noodles. Parboil, drain, then cut into pieces about 5 cm / 2 in. long and set aside. Soak the bread in a bowl of water, drain and squeeze out moisture and tear into small pieces to total of about 2 T. Grate ginger with skin, squeeze out 1 to 1 ½ t of juice, set aside.

  3. 3

    Place ground pork in a bowl, add 1/4 t salt and knead until meat becomes sticky. Add 1/2 t soy sauce, the bread and onion, and knead together. Add ginger juice and most of the beaten egg, saving the remainder. Knead well. If texture is a little stiff to form meatballs, add the rest of the egg. Add black pepper. Form a total of 12-16 meatballs.

  4. 4

    Place dashi stock in a saucepan. Add 1 ½ T soy sauce and 1/2 t salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to lower medium heat and place meatballs one by one into the pan. When the meatballs rise to the surface, skim off foam. Add the shirataki noodles and bring to another boil; add shiitake and maitake mushrooms, allow to simmer briefly until they turn soft. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste.

  5. 5

    Serve the meatball soup in individual bowls. Garnish generously with chopped green onion.

  1. *1May substitute other kinds of ground meat such as beef, beef-pork mix or chicken.
  2. *2Meat- or vegetable-based bouillon cubes or granules may also be used. Since bouillon contains salt, do not add 1/2 t salt in Step 4. Taste in Step 5, and add salt only if needed.
  3. *3Any available mushrooms may be used in place of shiitake or maitake mushrooms.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

Vol. 35

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