lemongrass-meatballs

Thirty pounds of ground beef with our quarter-cow, but a gal can only eat so many burgers. So we’ve branched out. One recurring favorite is a big dish of meatballs with minty yogurt and rice pilaf, and another the lemongrass meatball, which we’ve just discovered this week. This smaller meatball makes for an easy, good looking appetizer, though admittedly the real discovery is the sweet chili dipping sauce, whose flavors make everything taste new.

Recipe: Lemongrass Meatballs

Meatballs: 1 lb. ground pork, beef, or a combination / 1 tbl chopped cilantro / 2 tsps fish sauce / 1 tbl soy sauce / 1 tsp sugar / 2 tsps garlic, minced / 2 tsps lemongrass, minced / 2 tsps baking powder / ½ tsp salt

Dipping Sauce: ¼ cup rice vinegar / ¼ cup water / 1 tbl chili paste, or to taste / 2 tsps cornstarch / 3 tbls sugar, more if you like a sweet sauce / 1 tbls cilantro, chopped

Combine meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl and shape into pieces the size of golf balls. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in 2 tbls vegetable oil. When hot, add meatballs without crowding. Moderate heat so the exterior browns but does not burn; turn meatballs every 3 minutes or so to cook evenly. They are done when cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Makes about 24 appetizer-sized meatballs.

Meanwhile, mix the rice vinegar, water, chili paste, cornstarch, and sugar, ensuring that the cornstarch dissolves thoroughly. Heat mixture over high heat in a saucepan, boiling for 3 minutes or so until the mixture turns transluent. Cool before stirring in cilantro and serve alongside meatballs.

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