When invited to a food bloggers potluck dinner the pressure is on deciding what to bring, as these folks can COOK! With an ‘Asia in July/Christmas’ theme I decided on a simple starter that was light but tasty. Introducing the San Choy Bau meatball. Traditional San Choy Bau is normally a loose mince mixture served in a lettuce cup that can sometimes be difficult to eat daintily when out and about. The meatball version is a little more compact, and easier to handle.
I took inspiration from Matteo Bruno’s book ‘Meatballs: TheUltimate Guide’ from his pork, peanut and water chestnut meatballs.
Ingredients (makes about 40 meatballs)
1 kilo of pork mince
4 garlic cloves, crushed
60g ginger, grated
120g water chestnuts, diced small
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
100ml soy sauce
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 brown onion, finely diced
Zest of 1 small lime
50g coriander leaves, chopped
½ cup of breadcrumbs
1 egg, whisked
Serve with bean sprouts, and limes wedges for drizzling
Mix all the ingredients, except the bean sprouts and lime wedges, in a large bowl. When mixed, allow the mix to sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavours infuse.
Remove from the fridge, and mix into 50g balls.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and add a small dish of water in the back of the oven. This will help create moisture when finishing the meatballs.
While the oven is warming up, begin to cook batches of the meatballs in an oven-proof pan. Keep turning the balls over to get a nice brown colour on all sides. When all the balls are cooked, place them all back into the pan, and place into the oven for 8 minutes. This finishes the balls off, plus keeps them nice and moist.
Serve on lettuce leaves, top with bean sprouts and squeeze over lime.
I also made a sticky, sweet dark sauce to drizzle over. This sauce was a 'throw it together' mix made with absolutely no measuring. It contained soy sauce, brown sugar, Japanese 'katsu' barbecue sauce, Australian barbecue sauce, honey and hoisin sauce. Microwave the mix for about 1 minute to dissolve the sugar, and let sit as it will thicken on standing.