I've had meatballs on the brain lately. Made some good old-school spaghetti and meatballs a couple of weeks ago. Tonight I decided I wanted to go a bit crazy and come up with a new meatball. As is my tendency, I went for Asian flavors. I found some Chinese and Korean meatball recipes on-line, took some ideas from those, and came up with these bad boys, which give a nod to American Chinese take-out. Cashew Chicken Meatballs! Yum.
Cashew Chicken Meatballs-1 Tablespoon oil-1 shallot, finely chopped-1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin, white parts separated from green tops-3 cloves garlic, minced-1 Tablespoon fish sauce-3 Tablespoons soy sauce (divided)-1 pound ground chicken-1/2 cup salted cashews, chopped-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs-1 egg-small handful cilantro, chopped-1/8 teaspoon each: white pepper, ground ginger, coriander, cayenne pepper, black pepper-small bowl of sugarIn a small pan, saute the shallot, garlic, white parts of green onions in oil. Add fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce. Cook until vegetables are soft and beginning to brown. remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine the cooked shallot mixture with the rest of the ingredients, except the sugar. Mix well with hands. Roll meat mixture into small, 1-1 1/2 inch balls. Gently roll each ball in sugar to lightly coat, and place on a foil-lined, greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning once, until browned and cooked through. Serve on rice with shredded cabbage, garnished with cilantro, sliced green onions and chopped cashews. If desired, make a dipping sauce with 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar, 3 Tablespoons each of rice vinegar and soy sauce, and some Sriracha sauce.