30 minutes. Serves 4 / Prep tip: To save time, use bottled chopped garlic and ginger. Serving tip: Accompany with steamed bok choy and Asian pork buns (cha siu bao), available at Asian markets.
2 small bundles bean-thread noodles (3-4 ounces)
½ pound ground pork or beef
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
½ teaspoon salt
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, or large spinach leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Low-sodium soy sauce, to taste
Soften noodles by placing in a medium bowl with warm water to cover for 15 minutes. When flexible and white, cut into 3-inch lengths and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix pork or beef with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and salt; combine well to season meat evenly. Shape mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a rolling boil. Drop in meatballs, a few at a time, and stir to keep them from sticking together. When all meatballs are in soup, adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Skim off and discard any foam.
Add noodles and stir well, cooking until clear and soft, about 1 minute more. Stir in spinach and green onion. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with sesame oil and soy sauce. Serve hot.
PER SERVING: 259 cal, 50% fat cal, 14g fat, 5g sat fat, 41mg chol, 12g protein, 21g carb, 1g fiber, 736mg sodium