I love meatballs. I find them comforting and when done right, they’re lovely nuggets of complex flavor that can be very versatile. The following Asian-inspired meatballs are great served as a cocktail bite, an appetizer, a main or in a big, steaming bowl of soup (my favorite!). There’s no better way to warm up.
Makes 20 meatballs
1 lb [454 g] ground pork
3 green onions, white and pale green part only, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp [10 ml] finely grated fresh ginger
2 tsp [5 ml] toasted sesame oil
1 tsp [5 ml] toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp [5 ml] sambal oelek (or finely chopped Thaï red peppers, with or without the seeds, depending on your tolerence to heat)
2 tbsp [30 ml] soy sauce
3 tbsp [30 ml] finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp [5 ml] kosher salt
¼ cup [60 ml] breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 425°F [220°C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, and mix well to blend in the seasonings (using your hands is best). Roll meatballs by heaping tablespoonfuls (I use a 0.75-oz [1½-tbsp] mini ice cream scoop). You want the meatballs to be 1½-inch [3.75-cm] in size. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through (test one meatball after 20 minutes to see if it’s done to make sure you don’t overcook the meatballs).
These meatballs can be enjoyed many different ways:
- As a cocktail bite, served on small lettuce leaves and dumpling (or peanut) sauce for dipping
- As a meal with steamed rice, veggies, and dumpling sauce for dipping
- In a soup
The cooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days, or frozen for up to 4 months. To reheat, defrost (if frozen), place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and warm in the microwave at mid-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes (depending on your microwave’s power), turning the meatballs halfway through so that they heat up evenly (be careful not to burn yourself with the hot steam that will be released when you remove the plastic wrap).
To make a soup like the one pictured (for one serving):
In a small saucepan, bring 1½ cups [375 ml] chicken stock, 1 tbsp [5 ml] soy sauce and ½ tsp [2.5 ml] sambal oelek to a simmer. Cover and keep warm. Cook 2.5 oz [70 g] dried udon noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Two minutes before the end of the noodles’ cooking time, crank up the heat to high and add ½ cup broccoli florets, 1 handful chopped spinach, and 5-6 cooked meatballs to the pot. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the end of the cooking time. Drain and place in a deep soup bowl. Add the hot broth, sprinkle with optional seasonings: sesame seeds, chopped thaï red pepper, fresh coriander leaves and sliced green onions. Enjoy piping hot.
Recipe Source: Marie Asselin.