Mizoreni: Pork Meatball and Daikon Soup
I absolutely love daikon radishes and I'm so glad to see it featured more in new American dishes at restaurants. But my favorites daikon dishes are the traditional ones. Mizoreni (みぞれ煮) is a dashi based soup where grated daikon radish is cooked until translucent, resembling mizore, or sleet. Cooked, daikon radish becomes sweeter with still enough kick to give the soup some depth. Add some pillowy soft pork meatballs and vermicelli noodles and you have yourself a delicious hearty soup.
There's multiple steps to prep but it goes by fast. First, make the meatball mixture by mixing ground pork, scallions, egg, sake, ginger juice, salt and potato starch. The mixture is quite loose, so don't be alarmed. You want to give this some vigorous mixing with your hand so that the meatballs will stay together in the soup. Don't worry, they'll still turn out super soft and they won't turn chewy. Keep the mixture in the fridge covered until ready to use.
Next, grate half a daikon radish on a box grater and squeeze out most of the water. You can use a microplane too but it'll require some elbow grease. Soften the vermicelli noodles in lukewarm water so that they are easier to cut shorter (every brand I've tried is always so long!). I always get the lungkow vermicelli which I recognize in the store by the pink netting and dragon packaging. Make sure to buy the mung bean variety and not the rice.
Once you have all the ingredients prepared, heat the dashi, sake, soy sauce, mirin, and salt until boiling. Scoop some meatball mixture with a small spoon and gently drop into the boiling dashi broth. They will instantly firm up and keep its shape if you've mixed properly. Continue until all the meatball mixture has been made into balls and dropped into the soup. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes to fully cook the meatballs through and skim the top.
Add the vermicelli and grated daikon radish as well as the potato starch slurry (equal parts starch and water mixed until the starch is dissolved) and simmer for another couple of minutes until the vermicelli and daikon are cooked.
Garnish with some fresh scallions and enjoy!
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