March 19, 2011

meatballs asian-style (go-to dish)

Every time we eat this, S always says, "HOME MADE IS THE BEST!!" with a big smile on her face.

Oh, I love home made too. Most days. Other days I just want to give everyone a stick of carrot (unpeeled) and tell them that is dinner and that we are doing an orange-colored detox diet that night! Once I declared we were all going out to the backyard to eat some grass for dinner.

But if I am not experiencing cooking-fatigue, or just plain feeling that I was becoming a fixture in the kitchen, I enjoy home-made. These meatballs I have adapted from a recipe in Gourmet (recipe can be found online here) and it very much reminds me of an everyday dish that my grandmother made when I was young. Instead of making such a mixture into meatballs, she puts the seasoned ground meat into a dish and steams it. It is then served over steamed rice with some soy sauce drizzled over, with vegetables added. It truly is homey food. I like to add some minced ginger during the cold months to add some heat to the belly. The girls enjoy rolling the meatballs together. I think that is part of why "home-made" is best-- it is fun too.

This recipe makes enough to feed five mouths, with extras to freeze for at least another meal.

Meatballs asian-style


  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs

  • 3 pound ground chicken

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 medium-sized jicama, peeled and chopped finely

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus 1/4 cup sprigs

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 8 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 Tbsp sugar

    1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
    2. Pour milk over bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed. 
    3. Add ground chicken, eggs, jicama, salt, chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 4 teaspoons sesame oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape meat mixture into balls (whatever size you like, but about 2-inch ball is what we go with) and transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish (or parchment-lined baking sheet), arranging meatballs about 1/2 inch apart in baking dish. (Having a dish of water to keep hands wet while rolling is useful.)
    4. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, stir together lime juice, water, sugar, remaining 1/2 cup soy sauce, and remaining 4 teaspoons sesame oil in a bowl until sugar is dissolved.
    6. Transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle meatballs with some sauce and sprinkle with cilantro sprigs.
    7. Serve meatballs with remaining sauce. 
    8. The meatballs freeze beautifully. You can also cook the meatballs in broth and make an easy one-bowl noodle soup, adding shredded cabbage, shredded carrots and sweet peas to fill out the meal. Or you can do it as my grandma did, and pat the mixture into a dish and steam till cooked.

    1 comment:

    1. These sounds delicious. I am adding them to the week's menu!