Tsukune “Matzah Ball” Soup


Tsukune "Matzah Ball" Soup

I made this Japanese "matzah ball" soup for our Seder meal. It's a soup that can be enjoyed any time of the year you're craving some good old chicken soup, though. This recipe is an adaptation of one I saw on Tori Avey's website by La Fuji Mama. My version incorporates similar chicken tsukune meatballs, while the soup is my classic chicken stock to make it taste closer to a matzah ball soup.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American, Asian, Japanese
Servings 8 Servings



  • 1 pound ground chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 green onions ends removed and finely chopped
  • 3/4 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil


  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut diagonally to 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Make the tsukune: Combine all ingredients except the vegetable oil into a large mixing bowl and mix with your hands to combine. Rub a dime-size amount of vegetable oil onto the palms of your hands, and start making meatballs that are 1½ inches in diameter, slightly smaller than a golf ball. Place them on a baking sheet. If the meat starts sticking to your hands, add more oil to your hands. You should get about 18 balls.
  • Make the soup: In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce to low and add the carrots. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the carrots and set aside. They should be firm and hold their shape but not be crunchy.
  • Increase heat to medium and add the meatballs into the pot, one by one. Cook for 10 minutes. Check one of the meatballs for doneness by cutting it half.
  • Turn the heat back to low. With a spoon, skim the surface of the soup of any white bits that have floated to the surface and discard. Return carrots to the soup.
  • To serve, sprinkle a bit of dill into empty bowls and pour the hot soup and two meatballs over it. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper into each bowl and serve immediately.


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