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Vietnamese Chicken Meatball Soup with Bok Choy

Throughout Vietnam there are many kinds of soups, “canh,” served all year long. I particularly love enjoying this warm, flavorful bowl of Vietnamese chicken soup on laid-back weekends, but it's also great packed in a thermos for lunch. It's the perfect bok choy soup, too! —Brenda Watts, Gaffney, South Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings (about 2-1/2 quarts)


  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • SOUP:
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup bok choy leaves, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cup fresh baby carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup julienned roasted sweet red peppers
  • 3 serrano peppers, julienned
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, optional
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  • In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Add chicken; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 3/4-in. balls. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown meatballs in batches; drain. Transfer to a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker.
  • Add stock, tomatoes, onion, bok choy, carrots, red peppers, julienned serrano peppers, garlic and salt. Cook, covered, on low until meatballs are cooked through and vegetables are tender, 6-8 hours. If desired, stir in panko. Without stirring, drizzle beaten egg into slow cooker. Let stand until egg is set, 2-3 minutes. Freeze option: Before adding egg, cool soup. Freeze in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add broth if necessary. Without stirring, drizzle beaten egg into soup. Let stand until egg is set, 2-3 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 147 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 836mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 10g protein.

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  • Lana
    Jun 24, 2020

    I followed the recipe somewhat loosely, but I owe a debt of gratitude nonetheless for the inspiration for the dish I made. It was delicious! Incidentally, I usually think people who don’t bother to follow the recipe have no business rating it unless they loved it, but I did!!!!

  • NH-rescue
    Apr 30, 2020

    I also made this on the stovetop but it turned out like a restaurant dish - full of vegetables and flavor. Being able to put it in a slow cooker on a busy day will be a treat when I make it again. I'd never used baby bok choy before, but am now a fan!

  • curlylis85
    Apr 26, 2020

    I made this stovetop mostly because I forgot to start making dinner earlier, but our whole family loved the chicken meatballs and all of the vegetables.

  • jzmndreams
    Jan 27, 2020

    I am actually very offended. There is NOTHING Vietnamese about this soup. I wish people would quit saying Asian, or any other nationality thing because they used a few Asian ingredients in their throw together recipes.

  • Tom
    Sep 30, 2019

    Not buying this needs 6 hours to cook in a slow cooker. Those things literally leech the life out of foods. I find nothing on the web to support this method either, with Vietnamese soups. You'll get all the freshness of a can of Campbell's soup that's been on the shelf for six months, if you use a slow cooker. One star. But four stars stovetop. Use Nam Pla, not salt!