Asian Meatballs

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I love Asian food. It’s one cuisine that I never tire of and always am in the food for noodles, wontons, dumplings, etc. I’ve made dumplings before and they were great, but I’ll admit it isn’t something you just put together on a week night. They are time consuming and in all honesty – who cares about the wrapping that is holding them together? It’s the filling that contains the delicious, savory goodness that I’m after.

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As usual, I looked online for recipes and the few I tried were just flat. No flavor. So, I did what any good cook would do and just figured it out on my own.

These are more sticky than your average meatball, but I promise the flavor payoff is worth it. I’ve tried making them other ways using less liquid, but you lose flavor. I’ve also tried chopping the shrimp by hand and that doesn’t work either.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1″ piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 whole scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚ F (or you can go old school and fry in a pan). Start by making your sauce. I feel it’s much better to get the ingredients together and let them get happy before adding them to the meat. This provides a much better distribution versus tossing things one by one on top of the meat. I do the same thing when making Italian meatballs, which I’ll blog about another time 🙂 I also try to distribute the shrimp and pork evenly in the bowl to help with better distribution. You want the meatballs to be as even as possible.

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, ginger, scallions, and cilantro.

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Distribute the pork and shrimp evenly in the bowl and season with the salt and pepper.

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Mix gently to incorporate the seasonings then add the sauce. Mix gently. They will be wet! Form into golf ball sized balls (bigger or smaller if you prefer) and place on a baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. You will have lots of juices on your baking pan, but if you let them sit for a few minutes, a lot of those will go back into the meatballs.

These meatballs are so juicy, they do not need a dipping sauce! Not to say you couldn’t make one if you wanted to. These have been a huge hit in my house and I’m looking forward to trying them in different ways. Maybe smash them down and make sliders? Maybe I should come up with a slaw to go with. What about putting these bad boys in some broth and making a dumpling soup? Pho? Mmmmm. I’ll play around with it and post any delicious updates 🙂

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