Friday, March 6, 2015

Vietnamese-Style Meatballs

After work, I drive home and make dinner. Luckily, my commute is short because otherwise, I would never want to slave over a stove after a long day's work. Some days, I look forward to cooking because most of the time, I think it's fun and relaxing. But some days, whether it's due to a long day at work or lack of sleep or just plain old crankiness, I dread cooking.

Today's dish is something I slapped together when I was feeling particularly blah. It's a simple meatball dish served over rice noodles and it was inspired by my favorite vermicelli noodles served by my favorite Vietnamese restaurant.
Ingredients:
1¼ lbs. ground beef
¼ cup grated carrot
¼ cup grated onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
1 scallion, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons tamari
1 egg
¼ onion, diced
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons oil (canola, vegetable, corn, something neutral)
+ scallion
+ cilantro
+ rice sticks
+ pickled carrot & daikon

Start with lots of grated carrot, grated onion, lemongrass, garlic, and chopped scallion in a large bowl. Add fish sauce and tamari and dump in the ground beef.
Gently massage to combine the ingredients and form into meatballs. Use a measuring spoon or cookie scoop to evenly portion the meatballs.
Grab a big skillet and add in a little sesame oil and regular oil.
Nestle the meatballs into the pan. Let them cook a little and then shake the pan so that they'll roll around and cook evenly.
Add diced onions to the pan and use tongs to flip the meatballs to make sure they brown on all sides.
When the meatballs are cooked through and there's a decent amount of sauce in the pan (sauce created by the meatball juices) dump the meatballs out onto a big plate of vermicelli rice noodles.
Sprinkle the meatballs with chopped scallions and cilantro leaves.
Serve with jalapeno slices and pickled carrot and daikon. We also had a side of Thai red curry chicken soup. The meatballs are tender and flavorful and this also makes a delicious leftover lunch the next day.
Here's the recipe page:

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