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If you love your meat, it’s hard not to like meatballs. Italian and Spanish meatballs may be the most common, but in our family, we love this Japanese version, with a tangy sauce. Eating it with some steamed Japanese rice, salad & miso, also makes the overall meal lighter than say eating spaghetti with meatballs. It’s worth making a double recipe and freezing half (cooked or uncooked) for another meal.
For the salad, I made a Japanese style coleslaw, with sliced cabbage & carrot and a dressing made with a little tahini, dash of mayo, rice vinegar, soy sauce and mirin.
This recipe is by Reiko Hashimoto, and was given to me by a friend. I have made a few changes, as I don’t like to deep fry and it’s hard to reuse oil when you have fried meat. Hashimoto calls for a mix of beef and pork, and although you can use only one kind of meat, a combination is a more favourful. You need to get your hands dirty to get the meatball mix to the right consistency.
First put all the ingredients (except the cornflour) for the meatballs into a large bowl and squelch and squeeze together with your hands to mix it well.
Now sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of cornflour, and mix until the meat feels slightly elastic.
Het a frying pan with about ½ cm of vegetable oil for pan-frying.
Whilst the oil is heating, shape the mixture into walnut-sized meatballs. Dust lightly with cornflour.
Once the oil is hot, gently lower them into the pan and fry turning them over frequently to get a crisp brown surface, about 2-3 minutes Take the meat balls out onto the plate with lined with kitchen paper. The meatballs won't be cooked through yet.
Place all the ingredients for the sauce except for the corn flour slurry into a pan. Turn the heat to medium. When the sauce mixture starts to bubble, add the browned meat balls into the pan.
Cook the meat balls for about 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan to get them fully coated in the sauce. Then pour the corn flour slurry and stir gently until the sauce thickens.
Serve with Japanese rice and sprinkle on finely sliced spring onion greens.