Thursday, May 29, 2014

Asian Turkey Meatballs

I was in an Asian kind of mood for Tapas this month.    I'd planned on making some Sushi and Spring Rolls, and I wanted to make a protein of some kind as well.  I was thinking some kind of pork, cause let's face it, pork and sweet and sour sauce or Soy Ginger dipping sauce, it goes so well together.

But as I was rooting around in the freezer, I ran across some ground turkey and a light bulb went on over my head.

OK, so I hit the light switch with my elbow.
sheesh

I wanted to give it some Asian style oomph so I did what any self respecting cook would do.  I typed  Asian Meatballs with Ground Turkey into a search engine and found several sites.   And they all had something in common,  actually they had a lot in common.   
There were two sites who had the same recipe, and not one of them credited the other one.  But I'm not like that, so here are the sites I went to, this one   then this one, with the exact same recipe.  And the final site I checked out.
They all had turkey, green onions, bread crumbs, sesame oil and an egg in common.

I figured I was on track then.  I had all the ingredients so I went to town.

Well, not really, I didn't want to go to town, I just wanted to use what I had on hand.  
 So, I thawed out a pound of turkey, and added an egg, some panko bread crumbs, sesame oil, chopped green onions (scallions if you prefer), chopped cilantro, soy sauce, some grated ginger and a little more sesame oil.    Mixed it all up and fried a little of the meatball mixture to see if I had the seasoning right.

The time to correct seasonings is before you cook it all up, not after.  

Believe me when I say I've done that before and really regretted it.   That is, cooked the whole thing and didn't taste test it first.

Recipe
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 large egg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp. ginger, grated.  (I keep a ginger root in the freezer all the time, and just use my Microplane on it when I need ginger) 

Mix together well, and then take a little bit out, fry it and taste for seasonings.   I didn't add any salt or pepper to this, as there is a fair amount of salt in the Soy Sauce.

After taste testing it and correcting seasoning, in other words, adding a little bit more sesame oil, (at least that's what I did),  use a small scoop or a spoon, or just your hands and form small meatballs from the mix.  I used my littlest scoop and ended up with 24 mini meatballs.   I then placed them on a cookie sheet and baked that at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
They didn't brown real well, but when I checked the internal temperature, they had reached 165 deg.   So I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool.  (and forgot to take a picture).    I also ate one, just to make sure they were OK to eat.

And after all that, I then decided that maybe, if we had a crowd that I might not have enough.  So I grabbed another pound of turkey out, defrosted that and made another batch.

However, I didn't realize that I'd used up all the green onions in the first batch, so I pulled a Vidalia onion out of the cupboard and grated up about a quarter of it, and added that to the turkey along with the seasonings.

Then I thought, "hmmm, I wonder if I can make this gluten free by using some all purpose gluten free flour' along with all the other stuff.  (and yes, I know these are not truly gluten free as I did not use gluten free soy sauce, but you can if you like)  And as gray pallid and pale looking the first meatballs were, I decided that this batch was going to be fried.  So I did.
 
And they were good. 

 This end had the non gluten free meatballs, and they didn't look all that appetizing, I thought.   Tasted wonderful dipped in the
Sweet Chili Sauce, but...


And this end of the dish (complete with note) had the fried, gluten free meatballs. 









I really loved how they tasted, both versions that is, and would do them again. 

However, next time, I'm frying them.
Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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