Thursday, May 8, 2014

Asian Pork Meatballs

There are many things that go into this four bite treat of a meatball and all of them are delicious!!!  For some reason lately, I've been craving the hot zig of Asian foods.  This meatball totally hit the spot on that.

I think one of the biggest reason that I enjoyed these is because of the texture and all of the fun extras that go into the meatball instead of the standard meat /egg /bread crumb combo I have been used to.  Of course, all of those things do go into this, but other things that seem to make the standard meatball more exotic.  
First off, it starts with ground pork instead of ground hamburger - then you add sauteed mushrooms and sauteed sliced cabbage.  Finish that off with fun soy, ginger and sesame oil in the meatball and the added ZIG of Sriracha sauce to give that Asian flare and you have a great twist on your traditional meatball. 
The recipe originally called for serving in a lettuce wrap, but unfortunately, the store was out of Boston and other small heads of lettuce that day and I decided to just serve with rice.  The sauce over the rice was quite tasty in itself!  
I'm thinking this would be a perfect dish for when I host my book club this summer - maybe making it a day ahead and reheating for the dinner.  Also, was thinking I should make the balls smaller in size to go further.  There are a few steps in putting this together (like many meatball recipes), but lots of options and really tasty if you are willing to put in the time on all of the steps.  


Asian Pork Meatballs


Meatballs Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 oz mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced - I used baby portabellas, but you can use shitake
  • white pepper
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4 scallions, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 - 2inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 Tbls low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbls toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Sauce & Serve Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp Sriracha chile sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbls sugar 
  • 3 Tbls sesame seeds

Preparation:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Heat 1 Tbls vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cabbage and season with salt.  Cook until softened, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a plate to cool.  
  • Wipe out the pan, then add the remaining 1 Tbls vegetable oil and the mushrooms.  Season with salt and a pinch of pepper and cook until lightly browned, approx 5 minutes.  Transfer the mushrooms to the same pan and treat the same as the cabbage.  Once they are done, approx 5 minutes, transfer to the same plate as the cabbage and let both cool.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the rest of the meatball ingredients along with the cooled cabbage and mushrooms.  Mix together well with your hands.  Roll balls into around 2" in diameter and place on parchment lined baking sheet. (Tip on Rolling Meatballs:  Wet your hands with water before handling and periodically during to prevent some of the meat sticking to your hands.)  
  • Whisk together all sauce ingredients in a bowl, reserving about a 1/2 cup for serving and brush the meatballs with the remaining sauce.  (Time Saver - make the sauce while your cabbage and mushrooms are cooking so you are not waiting for the sauce at the end.)
  • Place glazed meatballs in the oven and bake until cooked completely through - depending on your oven and the size of the meatballs, this could be between 18-25 minutes.  
  • Serve with lettuce leafs, rice, as a sandwich (really, what I am saying is - whatever you want to do here) and the reserved sauce.

Happy Meatball Rolling!!!

**Recipe from Food Network Magazine and online at foodnetwork.com, with slight adaptation.

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