Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

The secret to the fabulous-ness of this one is not in the sauce, it's in the meatballs.

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes
Prep time: 15 minutes   Cook time: 40 minutes

1lb ground pork
1 egg
1/2 cup Panko
1 clove garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger [Yes, two. Don't freak out and definitely don't skimp]
1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 green onions, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

Teriyaki Sauce:
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Rice, enough to yield 1/2-1 cup of cooked rice per bowl
Fresh green beans OR pea pods, cut into 1" ish pieces and lightly steamed
Sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

2. Meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the meatball ingredients, using a microplane to finely grate the two inches of ginger. Mix, using your hands, until evenly combined.
I'll admit: I was scared of this much ginger too. Trust me; just go with it!

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the meatball mixture into small balls, about one tablespoon each (1 recipe yields about 30ish meatballs). Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
I was a little generous and ended up with 24 meatballs.

These smelled even more amazing than they looked.

4. While the meatballs are in the oven, begin cooking the rice according to package directions.
I use my microwave to steam so did this actually a few minutes before the meatballs were done.

5. Teriyaki Sauce: (psst! This same sauce also appears here on my blog!) While the rice simmers and the green beans or pea pods steam, cook the teriyaki sauce. In a medium to large saucepan over low heat, combine all of the sauce ingredients. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and bubbles. Turn off the heat and let sit until the meatballs are done. The sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.
Teeny bit of sauce in a great big pot

6. When the meatballs are done, transfer them from the baking sheet to the saucepan. Gently stir to coat.
This is why you need a bigger pot.

7. Assembly: Place 1/2 to 1 cup of rice in the bottom of each person's bowl. Top with about five meatballs and a drizzle of extra sauce. Scatter a few green beans or pea pods, then sprinkle the top with a few sesame seeds.
Layer 1: Rice. This is about 1/2 cup.

Layer 2: Meatballs and sauce

Layer 3: Steamed veg of your choice

Layer 4: Sesame seeds

This recipe is definitely going to be one of my staples! Not only is it fantastically flavorful from all the ginger, garlic, and soy sauce, but it's also easily adaptable to something even simpler. On a tough day, I could quickly turn this into a truly effortless meal using bottled sauce and microwave or instant rice.

You might think about using some pre-made frozen meatballs but I'd advise against it. For the very reason I alluded to earlier: the secret is in those meatballs. What's the secret? All that ginger. These little meatballs really pack quite the punch! So feel free to make whatever prep or assembly shortcuts you need to, but NOT with the meatballs. The spicy punch of the ginger is balanced out by the sweet-and-salty tang of the teriyaki sauce. The combination of which is a total Happy Flavor Bomb in your mouth.

Actually, to help myself out down the road, I plan on making up a few pounds of these beauties this summer and freezing them raw, just like I do my beef ones. Then for dinner time, it's a simple matter to pull out a few and bake them up while putting together everything else. You know me: I love my Get Ahead Options!
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