chicken and watercress soup with ginger and smoked ham
Photo: Christopher Baker
A kick of ginger enhances chicken dumpling soup.

Get more Asian-inspired twists on your favorite dinner recipes

Serves 6


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. dry sherry
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chili sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1 (5-inch) piece ginger, peeled; 3 inches finely grated (1 Tbsp.), remaining 2 inches reserved
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, stems finely chopped (5 Tbsp.), 1/3 cup leaves reserved
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper, preferably white, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bunches watercress, stems finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced smoked ham (about 3 ounces), in bite-size pieces
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced


Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

For the best flavor, use a ground-chicken mix this is half dark and half light meat.

In a medium bowl, stir together chicken and egg until sticky and very well combined. Add sherry, soy sauce, chili sauce, grated ginger, cilantro stems, 1/8 tsp. pepper, and 1 tsp. salt and mix well.

Drop dollops of the mixture onto a large plate, shaping them with a spoon to form 18 or so
1 1/2-inch meatballs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Julienne reserved ginger, and chop cilantro leaves. In a large pot, bring broth, julienned ginger, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil. Gently add meatballs, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add watercress stems, cook for 30 seconds, and then add ham, cilantro leaves, watercress leaves, and scallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.