Asian Fusion Meatballs

Meatballs can be very versatile for sure!  You can always stick to traditional Italian-style made with ground beef or pork but if you’re looking for a “lighter” meatball, I suggest this Asian fusion recipe that uses ground turkey.  Ground chicken also works (and is just as delicious!). Check your local health grocery store for ground meat that isn’t full of icky antibiotics or other additives. Look for products that are GMO-free and/or organic, too.

One thing about making meatballs with lighter meats such as ground turkey or chicken is they lack the fat content that helps the meatballs hold their form. It is crucial to make sure your meat is VERY cold before forming the balls and before cooking otherwise, they fall apart easily.  Once the meat is cold, try this method to make the rolling process super-quick:

Traditionally you would serve this up with some rice, but a good steamed vegetable medley is perfect. You can steam chopped red bell pepper, broccoli and carrots right in with your cauli-rice  if you go that route. This isn’t your typical Asian take-out. It’s even better! and can be made to fit your nutrition needs. If you’re feeling really brave, try using chopsticks.  If you lack the grace (it took me a few years to master), use a fork….you’ll still be just as awesome! This recipe makes about a dozen golf ball – size meatballs.

ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey (or you can use ground pork or beef or a combo)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger root, grated OR 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 -2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 scallions (green onions), chopped
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos (THIS is the brand we use) ?link to Coconut Secret brand on Amazon or Thrive
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
  • Garnish with sesame seeds
Fanci-fy it:
  • Instead of red pepper flakes mince 2 or 3 fresh or frozen Thai red chilies. You can find them at a local Asian food market.
  • Add 1 tsp red or yellow curry powder to give it a nic punch!

For the sauce

  • ½ C coconut aminos **
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 Tbs chopped scallions
  • **If you want to stretch your coconut aminos out further use only a ¼ C here plus a ¼ beef or chicken stock instead of a whole ½ C of coconut aminos.

instructions

  1. Place all ingredients for the meatballs into a large mixing bowl. If you’re using fresh ginger just break or cut off the piece you want to use. Then, using a vegetable peeler, cut away the tough outer layer. You can use the zester part of a cheese grater or a plane zester to grate the ginger root into the bowl. If you don’t have this tool just use a knife and cut back and forth over the pieces of ginger again and again until it is minced into very tiny pieces.
  2. Mix all ingredients together with a large fork or spatula until everything is evenly incorporated.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  5. When your meat mixture is very cold use a small lever ice cream scoop or your hands to roll golf ball – size meatballs ? link to video/ and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure the meatballs is packed tightly. You may want to wet your hands a bit with water to keep the turkey from sticking to you too much.
  6. Bake meatballs for 30 minutes.
  7. Immediately out of the oven sprinkle the meatballs lightly with sesame seeds for a nice crunch.
  8. Enjoy!

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