Sunday, November 26, 2017

Chinese Meatballs




My mother loves trying out new recipes. This is one that she first made when I was about 13. I can envision the kitchen it was prepared in. We were living in a rented duplex, shortly after moving to Prince George, before purchasing a home. The meatballs and vegetables, with a hint of sweetness, were served over rice. It was a big hit with the whole family, and became a tried and true dish. 

There's a bit of a joke with this recipe now. My mom used get us children to help roll the meatballs, as she often made more than one recipe. She liked the meatballs to be small, and would check on the progress my sister and I were making. "Too big," she would say, and we would pinch off little bits and make them smaller. I think of those days every time I make the recipe. So I was shocked when I was at my parents' house a couple of years ago and Mom had made meatballs that were NOT as small as they used to be! Whatever size, they are delicious.

I don't know that there's much Chinese about this recipe, except that it seems any recipe with soy sauce is labeled as such. This is not a sweet and sour recipe, but rather a meat and vegetable dish with a hint of sweetness and oriental flavour. 

Chinese Meatballs (and Vegetables), slightly adapted from the original

Meatballs

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork (or use all beef)
5 medium-sized white mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped - I'm going to guess about 1/2-3/4 cup
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Form into small balls (less than 1 inch) and fry until cooked through. Remove from pan.

Vegetables and Sauce

1-2 sweet red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1 tin pineapple chunks, drained, save the juice
1 or 2 chopped fresh tomatoes
1 Tablespoon oil

2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice

Heat the oil in a skillet. Use the same pan that was used for the meatballs, providing there are no burned bits. Add the peppers and carrots, stir fry for 5-8 minutes or until tender crisp. Add the pineapple, and meatballs.

Stir together the cornstarch, water, soy sauce and pineapple juice. Add to skillet and stir until slightly thickened. Stir in tomatoes and cook about 10 minutes. 

Serve over rice.  



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