Nishta Mehra brings on the exotic with this recipe. She assures that the eating makes the complexity worth our while.
Nishta’s Porky Asian Meatballs
- 1 pound ground pork (or beef)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine, mirin, or sake
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 green onion, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 large eggs, beaten (2 if you want firmer meatballs)
- ¼ cup green bean starch (if unavailable, cornstarch will work just fine)
- 1 pound bok choy, stems trimmed but otherwise intact
- Combine everything but the eggs, starch, and bok choy together in a large bowl and mash vigorously until well-blended. I just use my hands.
- Add the starch and mix with a fork (I withdraw the hands-on approach at this point because the starch makes it quite sticky). Beat the eggs and add, mixing again to incorporate. The mixture will seem extremely liquid at first -- just continue to mix and the egg will gradually absorb into the pork, leaving a thick porridge-like mixture. If you want rounder and firmer meatballs that you can shape with your hands, use two eggs instead of three. I thought this yielded meatballs that were lovely and tender, so I used three.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of oil into a large wok, or enough to coat the bottom with about 1/2 inch of oil. Turn the heat to medium and give the oil a few minutes to warm up. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup or a large ice cream scoop, drop balls of the pork mixture into the wok in a single layer. Let sizzle in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned, then flip and cook the other side. Once the meatball is browned on both sides (it doesn't have to be cooked through), remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. You will likely have to fry in two batches.
- Once all the meatballs are browned, line the bottom of a large pot with the bok choy leaves. Place the meatballs on top and turn the heat to medium-low. Cover and let steam for 30 to 40 minutes, or until bok choy leaves have wilted and the stems are tender. Serve with rice!