Meatball recipes are a dime a dozen, due in part to their broad appeal. Perfect in pasta, soup, sandwich fillings or as an appetizer, the meatball transcends all cuisines. The inspiration for these meatballs comes from my love of Asian food. Hoisin & Water Chestnut Meatballs – slightly sweet, a little crunchy & gingery are baked, not fried & can be served on their own or with a simple dipping sauce as part of any soiree menu.
I have a few meatball recipes on my blog: Chicken, Spinach & Feta Meatballs (four-ways); Beef, Pine Nut & Raisin & Sticky Honey Soy Meatballs. And these Hoisin & Water Chestnut Meatballs. Fish meatballs are popular in Asia as a snack, appetizer or in soups. I was in Hong Kong several years ago, it was around dinner time & food vendors with their little carts lined the streets. One vendor had seafood meatballs (an ironic name surely) – mild, medium or hot. I chose hot as I’d not associated Chinese food with flesh-stripping heat. Until then. To this day, those meatballs are the hottest things I’ve eaten. I wasn’t sure whether to cry or collapse all I knew is I wanted my mummy & I’d never experienced pain from chili heat like that before. I often think of that time, especially when I cook meatballs. It said that over time pain lessens. That pain is still singed into my memory – like a branding.
These delectable morsels really need no adornment but if you’re insistent on a dipping sauce I’d suggest either sriracha, hoisin or mix together some or both & a drizzle of honey. If you’re serving these with other finger food for a New Year’s Eve bash or a Christmas gathering, you can prepare them ahead of time, roll them into balls, freeze them on baking sheets then store them in a re-sealable bag when they’re frozen. Cook from frozen as per the recipe instructions, just give them 10 or 15 minutes extra on the timer. Served warm, I think they’re the perfect party food because you can pop a whole one in your mouth without appearing greedy. Chat to you soon, toodles,
Hoisin & Water Chestnut Meatballs
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs or cornflake crumbs
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 lb ground beef I used 80/20 organic, grass fed beef
- 4 garlic cloves, mined
- 2 tablespoons finely diced or grated ginger
- 5 oz can water chestnuts, drained
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro coriander, plus extra for garnish
- a good pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
- sriracha or hoisin sauce, to serve
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil for easier clean up. Place a greased wire rack onto baking sheet.
- Whisk egg, breadcrumbs & sauce in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes for the breadcrumbs to soften. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly – I like to use my hands for this.
- Using a tablespoon measure, drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the wire rack. Then, using slightly wetted hands, roll each tablespoon into a ball & place back on the wire rack in a single layer. Spray with cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned & cooked.