Japanese Meatball Dango Soup

This Asian meatball soup, known as Japanese Dango soup, is filled with juicy Japanese meatballs in a clear and flavorful broth. An Asian soup with meatballs that will warm your soul and leave you full and satisfied during the winter months!

The dango broth soup is made from a Japanese Dashi base and flavored with a touch of salt and soy sauce.

But the real flavors are extracted from the dango meatball that provides a delicate yet flavorful soup that will leave you feeling full and warm!

This soup is not only healthy and low carb, but it’s packed with protein making it a perfect soup especially during the winter months. Follow along to learn how to make this delicious Asian soup with meatballs.

Japanese meatball soup, aka dango soup, being picked up with a pair of wooden chopsticks, top down shot.

What is Japanese Meatball Dango Soup?

This Asian meatball soup also known as Dango soup has homemade meatballs using a blend of ground beef and pork dropped in a light and flavorful dashi broth then simmered until tender and juicy.

What does dango mean in Japanese?

Dango literally translates to “rolling into a ball”, more specifically, it’s referring to making the ‘meat balls’ for this soup.

In Japanese, it would be called ‘niku dango’ with the literal translation being ‘meat balls.

Japanese meatball dango soup served in a wooden bowl, close up shot.

What ingredients do I need and what are the instructions this Asian recipe for meatball soup?

Soup 

  • Dashi – a soup base broth made from boiling bonito flakes.  This is the base responsible for giving Japanese cuisine its signature umami flavor.
  • Green Onion – thinly chopped and used for garnish.
  • Japanese Sake – use Japanese cooking sake which is fairly inexpensive and can be found in most Asian supermarkets.
  • Soy Sauce – low sodium is preferred.  For gluten free you can use tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Salt – use table salt or sea salt.

Meatballs

  • Onion – Finely diced, and pre-cooked before added to meatball mixture.  Adds a lot of flavor to meatballs.
  • Vegetable Oil – used to cook the onions.
  • Ground Pork – using ground pork which has a higher fat content produces very juicy and soft pork meatballs.
  • Ground Beef – using ground beef along with ground pork for meatballs gives them a perfect texture.
  • Eggs – binding agent for meatballs.
  • Half and Half – can use milk or heavy cream as well.
  • Salt – table salt or sea salt.
  • Black Pepper – freshly ground or pre-ground.

Cook diced onions in a large skillet until translucent, add meatball ingredients that include ground meats into a big bowl along with cooked onions, half and half, eggs, salt , and pepper. Mix very well using hands then make them into balls.

Prepare a large pot and drop them into dashi broth, stir and cook for 10-12 minutes.  Transfer to large bowl and top with green onions.

Our recipe does not include garlic but if you prefer, you can always add one grated garlic to the meatball mixture.

What is dashi?

Dashi is a broth made by boiling bonito flakes in water.  The bonito flakes are discarded and what’s left is a umami filled soup that can be used as a base for many Japanese recipes.  For a shortcut, you can also use hondashi powder dissolved in hot water.

What is the nutrition information for this Asian meatball soup recipe?

  • 653 Calories
  • 5g Carbohydrates
  • 1g Fiber
  • 43g Protein
  • 49g Fat
  • 244mg Cholesterol
  • 1061mg Sodium
  • 787mg Potassium
  • 80mg Calcium
  • 4mg Iron
  • 161ui Vitamin A
  • 4mg Vitamin C

Japanese meatball dango soup being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Looking for other Asian soup recipes?

Now, let’s get making this Japanese Dango Meatball Soup recipe!

  • Prepping Time 10M
  • Cook Time 10M
  • Total Time 20M
  • Net Carb/Serv ~2g
  • Servings 4-5

Ingredients

Broth

  • 6 Cups Dashi
  • 1 Stalk Green Onion
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt

Meatballs

  • 1 Cup Chopped Onion (about 1/2 a whole onion)
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lbs Ground Pork
  • 1 lbs Ground Beef (20 % fat or greater.  You can also use 2lbs of Pork if you prefer, which will make the meatballs juicy)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 tbsp Half &  Half
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (1)

2) Make 6 cups of Dashi and leave on simmer.

3) In the meantime, chop onions.

4) In a frying pan, add oil and cook onions on medium heat until translucent.  Should be around 2-4 minutes.  Set aside once cooked.

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (30)

5) Chop green onions into thin slices and set aside.

6) In a large mixing bowl, add and combine ground beef, ground pork, half & half, eggs, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and grilled onions.

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (31)

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (32)

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (33)

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (13)

7) Take a small amount of the meatball mix and throw from one hand to another while gently cupping the meatball with the palm of hands to form shape.  Meatballs should be a little bigger than a golf ball and you should end up with ~12-16 meatballs.  Note – these meatballs are very fragile, so handle with care.

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (14)

8) Bring Dashi to soft boil then add Japanese sake and meatballs.  Lower heat to medium low, cover 7/8 ways and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (34)

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (35)

9) Once meatballs are cooked, add 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp soy sauce. Taste and adjust tastes with salt only.  Transfer meatballs & soup to serving bowl and top with chopped green onions.   Note – when serving, make sure you mix the soup around to mix in the oils from up on top as the soup will be very hot!

Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (19)

Hope you enjoy your Japanese Meatball Dango Soup!

If you’re looking for other recipe ideas, be sure to check out our growing Recipe Index full of healthy Asian inspired recipes!

Join us on Facebook to be part of our interactive discussions & recipe requests and follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, or subscribe to our New Recipe Notification and be the first to know when we post a new recipe!

More Recipes

Japanese meatball soup, aka dango soup, being picked up with a pair of wooden chopsticks, top down shot.

Japanese Meatball Dango Soup

This Asian meatball soup, known as Japanese Dango soup, is filled with juicy Japanese meatballs in a clear and flavorful broth. An Asian soup with meatballs that will warm your soul and leave you full and satisfied during the winter months!
4.75 from 8 votes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Asian meatball soup, Asian soup with meatballs, Japanese meatballs, recipe for meatball soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe
Calories: 653kcal

Ingredients

Broth

  • 6 Cups Dashi
  • 1 Stalk Green Onion
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt

Meatballs

  • 1 Cup Onion chopped , about 1/2 a whole onion
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lbs Ground Pork
  • 1 lbs Ground Beef 20 % fat or greater
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 tbsp Half & Half
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (1)
  • Make 6 cups of Dashi and leave on simmer.
    Tonjiru Pork Miso Soup Recipe (1)
  • In the meantime, chop onions.
    Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (2)
  • In a frying pan, add oil and cook onions on medium heat until translucent. Should be around 2-4 minutes. Set aside once cooked.
    Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (30)
  • Chop green onions into thin slices and set aside.
    Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (5)
  • In a large mixing bowl, add and combine ground beef, ground pork, half & half, eggs, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and grilled onions.
    Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (13)
  • Take a small amount of the meatball mix and throw from one hand to another while gently cupping the meatball with the palm of hands to form shape. Meatballs should be a little bigger than a golf ball and you should end up with ~12-16 meatballs. Note - these meatballs are very fragile, so handle with care.
    Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (14)
  • Bring Dashi to soft boil then add Japanese sake and meatballs. Lower heat to medium low, cover 7/8 ways and cook for 10-12 minutes.
    Japanese Meatball Soup Recipe (35)
  • Once meatballs are cooked, add 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp soy sauce. Taste and adjust tastes with salt only. Transfer meatballs & soup to serving bowl and top with chopped green onions. Note - when serving, make sure you mix the soup around to mix in the oils from up on top as the soup will be very hot!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 1061mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 161IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 4mg
*Values Based Per Serving
Did you make this recipe?Tag @LowCarbingAsian on Instagram and hashtag it #LowCarbingAsian

*This page contains affiliate marketing links*

Tomorrow's Dinner?

BEST 25 EASY & HEALTHY Recipes Sent Directly to Your Inbox!

Plus Monthly NEW RECIPES Exclusively from LCA!

By subscribing you agree to receive our promotional marketing materials and agree with our Privacy Policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*