Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Meatballs - SE Asia style

Last night’s dinner was intended to be stir-fried flank steak and long beans, but in the adventure that is grocery shopping in Bangkok there was no flank steak to be found. D and I checked at the meat counter where we were getting our ground chicken for the kebabs, nothing. We checked the pre-packaged meat section, nothing. We even asked the very nice women working at the Aussie meat counter, who looked at us and repeated, “flank steak,” then had a brief discussion in Thai and went off to find someone who could speak more English. The very nice manager told us to look at the other meat counter where we had already been. *Sigh*… Apparently, it was not meant to be. D suggested making meatballs with the ground beef and pork we had purchased to make meatloaf, since we probably had more than we needed anyway. I had forgotten my cheat sheet of how many grams in a pound and was too stubborn and embarrassed to just ask for “1/2 pound.”

I wasn’t completely sure what kind of meatballs I wanted to make since this was an “on the fly” kind of a meal. Pork balls and fish balls are a big street food item, and I remembered a conversation with my mom about them. She had made some out of Hot Sour Salty Sweet. Since, I stupidly left that cookbook at home, I was on my own. One of my new favorite combinations is fish sauce and soy sauce, learned from what quite possibly could be one of the best beef marinates ever, from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. (I’ve included it below, so you can try it too) They turned out to be quite tasty, if I do say so myself. This is a very “unscientific” recipe, but hey! It’s like Jamie Oliver!

Meatballs – SE Asia style

½ pound ground pork (these could be all beef, no problem)
½ pound ground beef
½ medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Thai chili, minced (substitute Serrano, Jalapeno, or even some chili flakes)
3 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
good chunk of ginger, grated (I used the small holes)
healthy pinch of salt
10 grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped (this is approximate)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into balls (I made them small golf ball size) and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, and then crank up the broiler. Broil for a few minutes to brown on top. Enjoy!

Beef Stir-Fry Marinade from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen
Enough for ¾ pound beef

1 teaspoon cornstarch
¾ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
1 ½ teaspoons light (regular) soy sauce

In a shallow bowl, combine the cornstarch, sugar, pepper, fish sauce, and soy sauce and stir to mix. Add the beef called for in the recipe, turn to coat the meat evenly, and set aside to marinate while you ready the remaining ingredients for the stir-fry.


FZQ said...

I'm definitely trying the meatballs. They sound yummy...

If I could ship flank steak to you, I would.

dianthus said...

aw thanks! it is a hit and miss proposition. sometimes the stores have it, sometimes they don't. it makes cooking an adventure!