Once or twice a week my family either goes out to dinner or we do takeout. But since there are five other nights of the week that means there are five other nights when I have to make dinner for the family. Okay, I don’t have to make dinner, I want to; and that means I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes. These meatballs from Food & Wine Magazine definitely qualified.
Not only were they easy to make, they were a guaranteed hit with my son. See, he only eats meat if it’s ground up and in either hamburger or meatball form. Why? I have no idea, he’s three. And in all honesty, I don’t care too much because at least he’s eating meat in some form or another. One reason he may have gobbled these balls up though, was because of how different they are from the standard turkey or beef meatballs. Not only do they have several tasty herbs blended up inside, they’re also rolled in sugar for an extra kick of sweetness.
While you could enjoy them with some purple onion rolled up in a lettuce leaf for a lighter dinner, adding them to a bowl full of soba noodles makes for a much heartier meal on those cold winter nights. But no matter how you choose to enjoy these meatballs, I’m sure you’ll make them again and again, especially if you have a picky eater or two like me.
Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 3 tbsp Asian fish sauce
- 3 small shallots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, tender white inner bulb only, minced
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using your hands, mix together the chicken, fish sauce, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, cilantro, mint, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Spread the sugar on a plate. With wet hands, roll the chicken mixture into 1-inch balls. Then roll each ball in the sugar until evenly coated. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve immediately with lettuce cups or in a bowl of noodles.