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Friday, 21 October 2011

Braised Meatballs

Do you always had hard time cracking your head what to eat for lunch or what to cook for dinner?  I am sure all of you do.  The headache starts even when you are shopping at the grocery or the market.  What to buy first?

So whenever my 'headache' arises on this, I will go thru all my cookbooks again to check out.

Braised Meatballs

600g mince pork
1-2 slices bread
1-2 pcs water chestnut (chopped finely)
6 stalks baby bok choy
5-6 stalks spring onion
1 small piece ginger

Seasonings A
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 egg
dash of pepper
1 tbsp potato starch

Seasonings B
1 tbsp shaoxing wine
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
dash of salt & pepper

Crush 2 stalks of spring onion and the ginger, steep in 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes.

Tear bread into big pieces and soak in water, remove and squeeze out the water.  Set aside.

Mix well minced pork with salt, dark soy sauce, and 3 tbsp of spring onion/ginger steeping water, stir in one direction until fairly dry, then add another 2-3 tbsp of the steeping water.  Continue to stir and beat until meat is sticky.  Add the water chestnut and mix to combine.  
Add in beaten egg and pepper, mix well and stir in potato starch.

Heat 5 tbsp of oil in frying pan, dab hands in water and roll meat into meat balls.  Pan-fry meat balls in the oil until light golden brown on the surface.  Transfer them to the claypot.  (Place 4 spring onion in the claypot before putting in the meatballs.)

Add wine, dark soy sauce, sugar and 3 cups of water to the claypot, bring to a boil over high heat, then cover with a lid and cook over low heat for about 1 1/2 hour.

Add blanched baby bok choy and top with water or add salt according to taste.  Cook for another 3 minutes.

Why do you need to add bread in the meatballs?
Adding soaked and squeezed dry bread in the meat mixture help create bulk and keeps the meatballs tender.  Do not add too much or else you will not get any fragrance from the meat.  Mashed tofu may also be used for the same effect.

My meatballs doesn't looked that tender enough; this is because I didn't braise long enough in the claypot!!