Asian Chicken Meatballs

Asian Chicken Meatballs

I posted these 6 years ago on Juicy Bites! I made them the other night and decided they were due for a re-post. They are a family favorite around here and always get rave reviews.

They are great served with rice and some sort of green veg. For this particular dinner I glazed the meatballs with one of my favorite sauces…San-J’s Orange Sauce. San-J makes some great Asian sauces and they are made with clean ingredients. You can make your own glaze, or use whatever your favorite is. Teriyaki or sweet and sour would be good too. I made a batsmati rice and quinoa blend and some sesame soy roasted broccoli to serve them with.  The broccoli is easy and so delicious…just whisk together some olive oil with a little toasted sesame oil and a few splashes of soy sauce, drizzle over your broccoli florets, and roast at 425 for around 15 – 20 minutes.

Image result for san j orange sauce

Asian Chicken Meatballs

I have also served these with soba noodles (like an Asian version of spaghetti and meatballs!) and I have made a simple coconut curry sauce for them which was soooo delicious!

The leftovers were turned into Asian Chicken Meatball Banh Mi sandwiches for my boys’ lunch the next day. They went into a roll with a  little sriracha mayo and quick pickled shredded carrots and red onion. The boys liked them so much I may need to make them just for that purpose next time!

When I make meatballs, I like to use gloves (I get these on Amazon) so that I can mix with my hands and not end up with raw meat under my fingernails! It is really hard to get a meatball or meatloaf mixture combined well with a spoon…using your hands is the best way to go. This meatball mixture is on the wet side and a little hard to work with because of the ground chicken but they cook up perfectly.

IMG_7158

I start with some panko bread crumbs moistened in a little milk, then add in some garlic, cilantro, ginger, shallots, green onion, lime zest and salt. Mixing all of these ingredients together first helps to combine everything easier. Soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and some Sambal add a ton more flavor and a little heat. I know the milk thing might seem a little weird in an Asian meatball, but I use milk/breadcrumbs in a lot of my meatball recipes so I went it with for these as well. I’m sure you could leave it out or sub a little chicken stock, but I wanted to post it exactly how I made it because it was so good! I actually used half and half because we always have that on hand for coffee!

Asian Chicken Meatballs

Use a baking sheet lined with foil and some parchment paper…no sticking and no washing! If you don’t have parchment, spray your foil with non-stick spray. I love these parchment sheets from Amazon…they fit my sheet pans perfectly.  No struggling to get a curled up piece to lay flat and no bleaching chemicals! I use them a ton!

cooked meatballs

After they come out of the oven, you can brush on your sauce of choice for a nice glaze or throw them into a simmering pot of coconut curry! Or just eat them as is…they are super flavorful all on their own!

Asian Chicken Meatballs

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger
  • 1 small finely chopped shallot
  • 4 finely chopped green onions
  • zest of one lime
  • 2  eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 – 3 tsp of chili paste (like Sambal) the more you use, the more heat you get!
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • Sweet and Sour sauce or orange sauce to glaze
  • toasted sesame seeds, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions for garnish

Preparation

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Pour milk over bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add salt, cilantro, garlic, ginger, shallot, green onion, and lime zest. Mix until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili paste.
  4. Add the ground chicken to the bread crumbs along with the egg mixture and use your hands to combine the ingredients.
  5. The chicken mixture will be very wet, so carefully shape into meatballs and place on a baking sheet lined with foil and coated in nonstick spray or parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes then turn the meatballs and bake for 10 more minutes or until center of meatball reaches 165 degrees.
  7. Glaze with sauce of choice and serve garnished with green onion, cilantro and sesame seeds.

 

Advertisements

Grilled Mediterranean Meatballs

Grilled Meatballs 1Just let me put it out there…I LOVE meatballs! I’m not a huge carnivore, but I will eat a good meatball any day of the week. Meatballs are so versatile and I love that all of the hard work can be done ahead of time.  These meatballs have a wonderful Greek flavor profile. Lots of fresh oregano, dill, parsley, and a little mint give them amazing flavor. They are tender and juicy thanks to some plain Greek yogurt and feta cheese. There is a lot of love that goes into these, and it shows through in every bite!

I know we have entered fall and grilling season is behind us, but I lagged just a teeny bit on finishing this post so you are getting it now. Here in southern California, you would NEVER know that summer is behind us. One might think that we are in the DOG DAYS of summer here. Every time I check the forecast, it’s 80’s (and some 90’s) as far as the eye can see. So there is a good chance that plenty of you out there are still in grill mode. If not, be sure and pin this recipe to your “Summer Grilling” board on Pinterest!

Raw meatballsI make these ahead of time and put them on a cookie sheet lined with foil and cover them in plastic wrap so that I can keep them in the fridge until dinner. My husband has mastered the art of grilling these to perfection, which is great because all I have to do is drink wine while he cooks them. I served these babies with with some home made tzatziki (I use Ina Garten’s Tzatziki Recipe…It’s my fave!), my Orzo, Kale, and Spinach Salad, some toasted pita bread, and my Mediterranean salsa! I will post the salsa recipe soon!! If you are melting in this heatwave like we are, this dinner won’t have you sweating in the kitchen.

Meatball dinnerThere are tons of fresh herbs in these, so use your food processor to make quick work of all of the chopping. You will also need it for the pine nuts. Yes, pine nuts! You will grind them up in the food processor so that you have a sort of pine nut paste that adds even more yumminess to the meatballs. I suppose you could leave them out if you are opposed to pine nuts, but I can’t guarantee that they will taste as fabulous. The blend of beef, pork, and veal (aka: The Holy Meat Trilogy) is also key in these. I also think buying organic, grass fed beef and good quality ground pork (whenever possible) makes a big difference.

Meatball dinner 2Don’t skip the tzatziki! Buy it already made if you must (Trader Joe’s is pretty good), but don’t skip it – it is so good on the meatballs. It’s their perfect sauce! The Mediterranean salsa I made was really good on the meatballs as well. That recipe is on its way! This recipe feeds a crowd. I had enough for 8 servings with a few left over. The leftovers made the most amazing little sliders!

meatball sliderI cut the left-over meatballs in half and heated them up in a pan. I put them on a toasted dinner roll with tzatziki and some of my Mediterranean salsa and they were SO delicious! My kids went nuts for them! I think these would be perfect game day fare. No need to wait for left-overs…just make your meatballs slightly smaller and give them a little “smash” before grilling. These sliders would be great to serve up to all of your hungry football watchers!

Grilled Mediterranean Meatballs

For a printable version of this recipe, click here

Serves 8 – 10 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped small
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves (small handfull)
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh oregano leaves (no stems) OR 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh dill  (remove thick stems) OR 1 tablespoon of dried dill
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 pound veal
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs (I use panko)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a medium pan, saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and tender. Set aside to cool to room temp.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the greek yogurt, salt & pepper, and whisk them all together until smooth.
  3. Add the pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor with a chopping blade (I use my small one, but any size will work).  Pulse until they form a thick, course paste (don’t over process them…you don’t want them as smooth as peanut butter). Using a rubber spatula, scrape all of the ground pine nuts from the bowl of the food processor into the mixing bowl with the eggs and yogurt.
  4. Add all of your herbs to the food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add all of the herbs to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the beef, veal and pork to the mixing bowl along with the bread crumbs, cooled onion and garlic, feta, and parmesan cheese. Break up any large chunks of feta with your fingers.
  6. Time to mix! I like to use my hands for this and I wear these disposable gloves. They are perfect for this! You want to gently combine all of the ingredients and incorporate the 3 meats together without over mixing. Your hands really are the best way to get this done. Keep the gloves on after mixing…you can use them when you form the meatballs!
  7. Once everything is thoroughly combined, form into large meatballs (somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball). Keep the meatballs on a cookie sheet or a baking dish in the fridge until you are ready to grill.
  8. Before grilling, drizzle some olive oil over the meatballs and use your hands to make sure they are coated with the oil.
  9. We cook these on a gas grill. Preheat the grill on high and prep your grill by cleaning your grates well and then rubbing them with a  paper towel coated in oil. Put the meatballs over direct heat to sear on all sides –  DON’T turn your meatballs until they pull away from the grill easily. Once they have a nice crust on all sides, turn the grill down to medium heat and move the meatballs off the direct heat to finish cooking. The goal here is to get that crust on the outside to “seal” the meatball and keep it moist on the inside. You want to cook them all the way through, but not let them get too charred. Depending on your grill this can take anywhere from 20 – 30 min. If you have a thermometer, the proper internal temp is 160 degrees.

Grilling Note: If you are a grilling novice (like me) and you are worried about cooking these directly on the grill, you can use a grill pan like the one below to insure they don’t stick to your grate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save


Delicious and Hearty Lentil “Meatballs”

Lentil Meatballs cover photo

Happy (Belated) New Year to my Juicy Bites readers! Once again, sorry for the long lapse between posts. I know I am starting to sound like a broken record here, so I won’t bore you with all of my excuses for neglecting my little juicy blog. I will get right to talking about these delectable little meatless “meatballs”. 

I, like everyone else, started the new year with resolutions to eat better. For me, a healthier diet means eating less meat and eating more veggies, whole grains, and legumes. So when I came across this recipe on Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop, I was eager to try it! I’m so glad I did…they were delicious and satisfying! I tried my had at a quinoa burger last week in hopes that it would make a great post. They were really tasty, but didn’t hold together well. I will have to work on the recipe some more before it makes it’s debut on Juicy Bites.

lentil meatballs close up

These meatballs were really simple to make, especially if you have precooked lentils like I did. Trader Joes sells them in their refrigerated produce section and they worked perfect. You do need a food processor (a mini one worked for me) to puree the lentils. The pureed lentils are combined with some sauteed onion and garlic, some herbs, and a little bit of rich ricotta cheese and nutty parmesan. They are a bit messy to form but hold together well and at least you don’t have to scrub any “raw meat residue” off your hands when you are done! I love that they can be made ahead of time and baked later.

lentil meatball cut in half

These little guys are such a versatile protein and can be served in many different ways. We had them with pasta and my home made pesto and some roasted broccoli. I think they would be great with a hearty marinara sauce, or in a pita with a yogurt sauce. My family loved them and they are looking forward to the left overs. They would freeze well after they are cooked if you wanted to make a double batch.

lentil meatballs with pasta and broccoliEven if you are not a vegetarian, don’t be afraid to try these. They are delicious and filling and taste MUCH better than the typical soy-based meatless “meatball” you find in stores (which are usually loaded with ingredients that I can’t even pronounce). They are a great way to add more legumes into your diet which give you a powerful combination of B vitamins, calcium, potassium and folate.

lentil meatballs pan

Lentil “Meatballs”

Adapted from Goop

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups cooked lentils (I used cooked lentils from Trader Joes)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Method:

Preheat oven t0 375 degrees

Drizzle a pan with olive oil, place over medium high heat and add the chopped onion. Sauté for a couple of minutes until translucent and softened. Add the garlic, dried thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for about another minute or two until soft and fragrant. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.

Place lentils in a food processor with tomato paste and a drizzle of olive oil (about a tablespoon) and pulse until smooth.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and ricotta together until mixed well. Add lentils and mix together until smooth. Add the cooked/cooled onion and garlic mixture from the frying pan, the parmesan, the panko breadcrumbs, and the parsley.  Season well with salt and pepper (I used about a teaspoon of kosher salt and several turns on my pepper mill). Mix well until everything is combined. If the mixture is still feeling wet, add a little more breadcrumbs until the mixture is dry enough to stick together and roll into balls.

Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray or olive oil (I lined mine with foil first to save time on clean up). Form the lentil mixture into balls with your hands (mine made around 18 meatballs). A little olive oil on your hands helps the mixture from sticking while you form them. Drizzle more olive oil over the top of the meatballs and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Gently turn half way through so that they brown evenly.


Greek Chicken Meatballs

My mom and step dad were visiting over the weekend and requested that I make my Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Peppers for dinner while they were here. I love those stuffed peppers, but wanted to add something to the meal to make it a little more substantial for the manly men that would be at the dinner table. I thought a Greek style meatball would be an nice pair with the peppers. My Asian Chicken Meatballs were such a hit with the family that I decided to do another chicken meatball and just change the flavor profile. These are loaded with a really flavorful mix of herbs that include mint, dill, oregano and parsley. Finely chopped onion and garlic add great flavor and I added lemon zest for a little zip.

I served the meatballs with a tzatziki sauce. It was cool and creamy and really made the dish! The tzatziki is also great on the peppers. I bought my tzatziki at Trader Joes, but it is really simple to make your own. I basically follow this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook that I have (and LOVE).  I don’t even strain the yogurt when I make it. Most of the Greek yogurts you buy are already so thick and yummy. I was hoping to have some of these meatballs leftover because I thought they would be great sliced in half in some pita bread with some tzatziki…but no such luck. My family gobbled up every last one.

Greek Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of whole milk
  • 2 pounds ground chicken (preferably organic)
  • 1 small onion, chopped very small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves (about a handful of leaves)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • a few turns of fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Pour the milk over the panko bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add ground chicken, chopped onion, minced garlic, all of the herbs, the beaten eggs,  olive oil, lemon zest & juice, and salt & pepper. Mix well until all of the ingredients are combined.  Shape about 3 tablespoons of the chicken into a balls (this is a messy process – a little water on your hands helps the chicken from sticking) and put on a baking sheet lined with foil and coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning them over half way through (test at 20 min to see if they are done on the inside). A minute under the broiler gives them a little more golden color…just don’t walk away! Serve with tzatziki sauce.

Makes about 2 dozen meatballs