Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Xiu Mai (Chinese/Vietnamese meat balls)

My mom stayed with us for a whole month after John was born.  To say we were pampered is the least of it.  She made this for us while I was wallowing in self-pity about my peri-partum Bells Palsy (facial nerve paralysis) and Reid was fighting a flu-like cold.  And she helped with baby John.  The kitchen smelt so good.  I asked her to write down her recipe for me (a very hard task for someone who cooks as well as she does).  We ate it in baguettes with French mayonnaise and cucumbers and shredded and pickled carrots for banh mi xiu mai (though I couldn't chew the crusty delicious outer crust so I ate mine with lettuce).

Xui mai, or su mai, or whatever other crazy spelling we've come up for translating Chinese/Vietnamese words into English phonetics are basically Asian meatballs.  They are savory from fish sauce and soy sauce and have a bit of a chewy/crunchy bits sprinkled throughout from the waterchestnuts or jicama root.  So like instead of onions in Italian-style meatballs.  This is hard to describe. But trust me, they are good. Combine them in a French-style baguette and mayonaise and it's even yummier.

Ingredients:
Meat mixture:
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  •  1 can waterchestnuts (or 1/2 small jicama root, small dice, cooked in microwave for 1 min and juice squeezed out
  • 1 tbs. corn starch
  • 1 tsp. choped garlic
  • 1 tbs. chopped shallot
  • 1 tbs. white part of green onion
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tbs. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce
Sauce:
  • 2 or 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbs. oil
  • garlic
  • shalllots
  • 3 tbs. ketchup or tomato paste
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 tbs. sesame oil
  • pepper
  • 1 c. water
Directions:

  1. Mix well.  Let stand 30 minutes.  
  2. Moisten hands with a small amount of vegetable oil to prevent meat mixture from sticking to hands.  Form into small ~1 inch balls.   
  3. Fry in 1 tbs. oil until golden brown on all sides.
  4. Simmer meatballs in sauce until fully cooked.  Taste to adjust seasoning as necessary.
  5. Add green onions

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