On a Mission in the Culinary Wasteland

Sticky Oriental Meat Balls

source: Clay T. Martin

recipes for the country gourmet
recipes for the country gourmet

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recipes for the country gourmet

Wonderful little bites of love. The flavor of black bean and garlic paste dominates the very rich flavor of the sauce (well more like a sticky coating). These are addictive and you may be asked to make this for all the parties you attend, forever, or until you get a whole new group of friends.

recipes for the country gourmet


4poundsPork, ground
4tablespoons(s) Black bean and garlic paste
1.5quarts(s) Pork stock
4tablespoons(s) Rice wine
1.5tablespoonsCrystallized ginger, fine dice
2mediumsGarlic cloves, pressed
0.5cupGlutinous Rice flour
0.75cupGreen onions (scallions), chopped fine
2cupsPanko crumbs
0.75cupShitake mushrooms, dried
1teaspoonSzechwan pepper corns, ground
1.5tablespoonsTiger lily buds, dried, fine chop (optional)
2teaspoonsToasted sesame seed oil
1.5tablespoonsToasted sesame seeds
1.5teaspoonsWhite pepper powder
recipes for the country gourmet


Partially rehydrate the Shitakes, until just damp enough to cut through, and cut into small dice. Squeeze out excess water before cutting. 3/4 of a cup refers to how much of the mushrooms you have after they are re hydrated and cut up.

Mix all the meat ball ingredients well. Note, the sauce ingredients marked with (s) and the Glutinous Rice flour is for rolling the balls in. Add 3/4 of the panko crumbs at first. Add more as needed to adjust the moisture level of the mix. You want it to look a little bit shiny when you roll them up. Roll meat mixture into small balls about an inch across. Then roll them in the rice flour to lightly coat. Remove the excess flour by rolling the meat ball around in your partially closed hand with your fingers slightly open. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Heat up a very lightly oiled fry pan, and fry the balls turning regularly until golden brown all over. You may have to do this in two or more batches, depending on the size of your pan. At this point you can fridge or freeze the meat balls to finish latter.

Deglaze the pan with the wine. Use a spatula to rub the frying residues till they come up off the pan bottom. When the wine is reduced by half add the stock and bring to a simmer. Move the meatballs to the outside of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the bean paste into the center of the pan and mix well.

Simmer gently to reduce the liquid until it is a very thick coating on the meatballs. Occasionally gently mix the meatballs around in the thickening sauce and push back out to the outside of the pan. Baste the meatballs with the thickening sauce regularly by splashing it with your spatula from the inside of the pan to the outside. You could also use a spoon. As the sauce thickens, turn down the heat so that you don't burn the sauce.

When the sauce has become a sticky coating on the meat balls, your are done. Serve warm.

recipes for the country gourmet


If you plan to make the balls on one day and finish on another you may want to splash a bit of the wine in the pan to loosen the faun so that it will stick to the balls.

If you don't have Szechwan pepper corns, you can use black pepper, but it is not very similar. You can sometimes find this pre-ground in Oriental stores as "Brown Pepper" The whole corns, will keep longer.

If you don't have rice wine, you could use sherry, but again its not the same. Just go buy a bottle of sake to cook with. Don't use seasoned (salt and sugar) rice wine.

Crystallized ginger is a great way to keep "ginger" in the house, and not have to travel 60 miles to be able to do some oriental cooking. You could use fresh ginger here if you grate it, but the dried product helps absorb some of the pork juice as the balls cook.

recipes for the country gourmet