Monday, January 18, 2021

Weeknight Wonder: Mongolian Meatballs

Moist and tender turkey meatballs doused in a sweet and spicy sticky glaze.  Served over some fluffy rice and you have a quick dinner in under 45 minutes!

Mongolian Meatballs

Pinterest is the best place to find something new to make for dinner.  This is one of my "must try" pins that appealed to me as an easy weeknight meal.  Who doesn't love meatballs??  And these are even more appealing since they are not your ordinary Italian meatball but an Asian version.

I made these with turkey instead of beef to cut down on the fat and baked them instead of frying them, again to make them healthier.  These little meatballs came out wonderful!  The sauce is sweet and spicy and oh so sticky.  The perfect glaze over the well seasoned meatballs and on top of a bed of fluffy rice.  Heaven!  They will be on the table in under 45 minutes and are very easy to make.   So make sure to stock up on some Asian condiments and get cooking!

What do I serve the meatballs with?

  • Fluffy sticky rice
  • Asian noodles
  • Green steamed vegetables such as broccoli or green beans
  • On top of a salad

What Ingredients do I need?

  • ground turkey
  • bread crumbs
  • egg
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes
  • hoisin sauce
  • sesame oil or canola oil
  • brown sugar
  • sriracha
  • cornstarch
  • cilantro

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use ground beef, pork or chicken, instead of the ground turkey
  • This would be great on top of a salad
  • Make the meatballs a little larger and stick a toothpick inside for great appetizers
  • Serve them on slider buns for Asian Meatball sliders, great for Game Day!
  • Fry the meatballs instead of baking them.
  • Leave out the red pepper flakes and any sriracha

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Meatballs are freezer friendly.  You can either freeze them unbaked by flash freezing or after they have been baked but do not put the glaze on them.  They will keep in the freezer 3 months.
  • A cookie scoop makes quick work in forming the meatballs. I use this one.
  • If forming by hand wet your hands a little first to avoid the meat mixture from sticking to your fingers.
  • The sauce may be made in a wok, large skillet, or a medium sauce pan.

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Mongolian Meatballs

yield:  18 meatballs

For the Meatballs:
1 lb. ground turkey, 7% fat
⅓ cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the Mongolian Sauce:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce 
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1/4 cup water 
cilantro, chopped as garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl add the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Gently mix all the ingredients until everything is well combined.  Do not handle the meat very much.  Over mixing will result in dense tough meatballs.  Roll out the meatballs using a small cookie scoop into 1 or 1 1/2" meatballs.  Place them on a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Place them in the refrigerator to firm up for about 10 minutes.  

Bake the meatballs in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and browned.  Remove from oven.

Meanwhile start on the sauce.  Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat.  Add the sesame oil and heat.  Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.  Combine the cornstarch and the water to a small bowl and whisk together to create a slurry.  Add the slurry to the sauce and cook until thickens, stirring often, about 2-3 minutes.  Sauce will become translucent.  

Add the meatballs, tossing to coat.  
Allow meatballs to heat thoroughly in the sauce.  Sprinkle with cilantro.    Serve.

adapted from Food52

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