Dinner Hack: Asian-ish Meatballs
Sometimes you wind up scavenging your cupboard and fridge, trying to find something to make for dinner. My issue is that I can’t help but want to make awesomeness out of nothing.
I’ve had a pound of ground beef in my freezer for a week or so, begging to get used up. Assorted veggies, udon noodles and a pantry full of spices. So I thought, Asian meatballs! A quick pan sauce for the veggies, toss it with the udon and an easy dinner would be had.
Sometimes I start these ideas and get halfway through before realizing that I’m missing an ingredient key to an item. In this instance, I realized that I’d only imagined the box of Panko in my pantry. Breadcrumbs are a useful binder in meatballs, combining with the eggs to hold the meat and goodies together.
Rice flour, cornmeal and various other options exist but not in my house at the moment. You can cook rice and run it through a food processor, which would make a decent substitute, only I didn’t want to make a batch just for this. What I did have was a few slices of stale white bread and a half a package of low-sodium Ritz crackers. So into the food processor they want, yielding about a cup and a half of crumb total, just enough to hold my meatballs together.
Breadcrumb problem now solved, I combined them with garlic purée, ground ginger, hot Asian mustard, chili flake, turmeric, salt, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, two eggs and a half of a white onion, minced. Once the mixture is combined thoroughly, I put it in the fridge to await spherification. (It’s totally a word now.)
Use this time to prepare whatever your meatballs need for accompaniment. I threw a bunch of veggies together, with a pan sauce made from rice wine vinegar, apple juice, soy sauce, garlic and more powdered ginger to toss with some udon for a weird Asian spaghetti and meatballs deal.
Roll your meat mixture into one inch balls and place them on a foil or parchment-lined sheet tray with a little space between them. Bake them at 350 for approximately twenty minutes, until the outside is crisp and beautifully browned. The keep very well in the fridge or freezer to be added to meals later.
I ate the last of them this morning, sliced up with some mushrooms, scrambled with eggs and cheese and served up on some french bread with a little garlic aioli that I had left over from a previous adventure.