I have a bit of a confession: I love meatballs. I don’t know exactly how this started but a few years ago, I came up with a traditional recipe and was hooked! They’re low carb, high (sometimes lean) protein, super flavorful and freeze great. What more could you ask for? I made and ate them weekly. I’d like to say this is the least ladylike thing about me but let’s face the facts: It probably isn’t. You know those girls who are the naturally graceful types? It’s like they were born ballet dancers or fashion designers? Meanwhile I am over here, spilling coffee on myself during my Super Bowl outbursts and wracking my brain to remember if I already wore this shirt this week. It takes all kinds though, right? Just doing my part…
This meatball variation is an amalgam of two of my all time favorite snacks: meatballs and potstickers. The mix of turkey and pork keeps them nice and light and the fresh ginger, garlic and shredded carrot really bring home the potsticker flavors. They are great as an appetizer or for dinner with a little side of rice and vegetable stir fry. They really couldn’t be any easier and they’re always a hit when I bring them to events. I hope you give them a try and let me know what you think! Go Niners!
Thai Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 cups finely diced white or yellow onion
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup shredded carrots
6 cloves smashed garlic (…or more if preferred)
1 ½ inches grated, fresh ginger
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 whole egg, two egg yolks
1/2 cup chopped scallions (plus some for garnish)
1 tsp. Sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp. Ground ginger
1/4 tsp. Red pepper flake
1 Tbs Favorite hot suace (I like Siracha for this)
1 1/2 Tbs Oyster sauce
1 tsp. Coconut aminos (or soy sauce can be used. Use less salt if choosing soy sauce)
Cracked black pepper to taste
1 & 1/2 tsp. Salt (or to taste)
Teriyaki for basting
Cashews or peanuts for garnish
Serve with fresh apples (I like a Fuji or Honeycrisp for this)
Gettin’ After It:
Remove turkey and pork from fridge and place in a large bowl to allow it to come to room temp.
In a large skillet, sauté onions, celery and carrots in a little coconut or olive oil until soft and onions are translucent. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper. Once veggies and onions are softened, add in garlic and ginger and toss until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool to just above room temp. You’re going to be adding this to the meat mixture with eggs and you don’t want to 1) cook the meat and also 2) scramble your eggs. Cooking is pretty forgiving but that…that’d be tough to recover from. If short on time, transfer to a plate or cooking sheet to speed up cooling time.
To the large bowl with the turkey and pork, add the rest of the ingredients (except the cashew, apples, scallions and teriyaki) and cooked vegetable mixture.
Mix with your mits. Don’t be shy, get in there. They’re the most effective and you won’t smash the meat. You want all the ingredients incorporated but not to manhandle the meat too much so they have a nice, light texture.
Let mixture sit 15-20 min. (Wash dishes, text your friends…go nuts)
Sample cook: This step is really important! You want to make sure the flavors are to your liking b
efore you commit to making a whole batch. Cook a small amount of the mixture in a pan with a little oil and determine if you like the flavors. Keep in mind that you’ll add teriyaki glaze and peanut sauce later which will add some salt and more flavor. You It should taste somewhat like the filling of a potsticker.
Once you’re happy with the flavor, take mixture and form into 1 – 1 ½” inch balls. In a large skilled on Med-Low to Medium heat, brown the meatballs, turning once each side is browned. You want the heat warm enough so they’ll brown but not so hot that the sugars from the oyster sauce burn.
As the meatballs finish browning, transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and baste with teriyaki sauce and place in a 300-350 degree oven. This will ensure they are cooked through and the teriyaki sauce has a chance to caramelize on the outside.
Oncecooked through, remove and serve with peanut sauce, crushed cashews (or peanuts) and scallions.
I like to serve them also with slices, crisp apples for a little fresh break from the rich meatballs and sauce… they also go great for finishing any leftover peanut sauce! Hope you enjoy!!
Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce
3/4 can coconut milk (full fat)
3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/3 Sliced yellow onion
6 cloves garlic
1 cup Chicken broth
⅔ cup Peanut butter
1/3 cup Tahini
1 – 1/2 tsp Sesame oil
1 tsp Ginger powder
1” fresh grated ginger
Favorite Hot sauce (I still like Siracha for this as well)
In a medium sized pot, sauté onions, garlic and ginger with a little coconut oil.
Add all other ingredients. Whisk until combined and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer on low for about 15 minutes.
Ideally, blend together with an immersion blender (the best kitchen tool $50 can buy you!!). If you don’t have one, carefully transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot. Taste. Adjust accordingly. Continue to simmer/reduce until desired consistency is reached. I like it to be a little thinner and saucy but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. That’s it! Bon Appetit!