Sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce–definitely ingredients of Asian food. Now, would you think to include those with meatballs? I wouldn’t. My European heritage equates meatballs with spaghetti and tomato sauce.
When I saw this recipe, though, I was prompted to try it. I never ate much Asian food until I was on a plane heading to Japan to spend a year working there, which turned into two years. That was nearly two decades ago, but my appetite grew more adventurous with that entire experience, especially toward Asian foods.
These meatballs have a touch of Asian flavor with the ginger and sesame oil included in the meat, but the true Asian flavor comes from the Hoisin sauce, which you can probably find at the Asian section of the market (and it’s a fraction of the cost at the Asian market versus the typical grocery store). It’s rather thick and looks unappealing, but the flavor is both sweet and savory.
Once you make these, you can heat up the sauce on the stovetop or keep the meatballs/sauce in a crockpot. They make fabulous leftovers, too.
By the way, I served mine with Asian sticky rice. The gal on the site where I found the recipe served it over slightly sauteed cabbage.
- 2 pounds ground pork or beef (or a mixture)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil (you can buy it toasted)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I keep hunks of frozen peeled ginger in freezer)
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp.)
- 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup Hoisin sauce (7 oz. jar)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands or a large spoon, mix the ingredients together until well combined.
- Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Place meatballs on foil-lined and greased baking sheets or silpat mats (or, place on racks, like cookie-cooling racks, to allow meat to drain while baking). Bake for approximately 8 minutes, then turn on broiler and broil meatballs for a couple minutes until a brown, crunchy crust forms.
- While meatballs are baking, whisk together sauce ingredients. Gently toss the sauce with the cooked meatballs to coat them. Serve or place in crockpot to keep warm until ready to serve.
Yield: about 60 1-inch meatballs.
SOURCE: The View from the Great Island