Szechwan Meatballs

DSCF7482 (640x492)Meatballs are probably the most abused ground meat I’ve ever worked with. They can be rolled into enormous Italian size balls fresh with pasta or for industrial kitchen operations, be bought frozen, sauced (also in packages) and served by themselves. Ground meat, more often than not, are also turned into meatloaves.  I deal with all of them almost on a weekly basis; turning leftovers into patties served with a different sauce or some other dish with a twist before finally killing it to a Bolognese with all the other leftovers. I love working with ground meat given its versatility and affordability, and for whatever final dish it will mutate into after Bolognese, it is never thrown away.  That’s part of my goal. Drive the overall food cost down to the ‘ground.’

Anyway, I became seemingly curious when I saw this recipe.  It’s made with ground pork as most Asian dishes are and it’s infused with the holy trinity of Chinese cooking: Green Onions, Ginger and Garlic. I had foregone making meatballs seeing them everyday, but this recipe was a true classic masterpiece. I enjoyed every bite and the preparation is very different from what is common specially to Filipino style meatballs.  Moreover, the unique blend of spices woke my senses up, and if it does, I know firsthand I was onto something extraordinary.  It was as powerful and as stinging the way I wanted it to be and interestingly delicious and simple to prepare after a long, long day at work (with prep work done ahead of time).


  • Ground Pork
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Green Onion
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Shaoxing Cooking Wine
  • Spicy Sesame Oil
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cornstarch

Mince the ginger, garlic and green onion and add them to the ground pork. Drizzle with Shaoxing cooking wine and sprinkle with cornstarch, a pinch of salt and pepper and a dash of light soy sauce.  Knead the meat thoroughly and form into desired meatballs.

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In a small bowl, combine  some cornstarch, light soy sauce and spicy sesame oil to make a thick slurry.  Adjust the consistency by adding more or less of each and roll the ball into the paste-like mixture. Fry each meatball in hot oil, preventing each one from sticking into the pan (I placed them in a 375’C oven for an easier and less fuzzy approach).

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Wipe the wok clean (if pan-frying) and drizzle some oil into the pan or discard some oil (if deep frying). Add some brown sugar, light soy sauce, and Shaoxing cooking wine. Season to taste.

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This is should be the last episode on Szechwan food as it was on Tapas. Thanksgiving is forthcoming and the start of celebrations is about to begin in a couple of weeks.  That means trouble in the kitchen, and of course  an entirely new set of holiday dishes to ponder upon and enjoy.  I will, once in a while, revisit this episode if and when there’s an urge or if I bump into something suited to my liking.

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One thought on “Szechwan Meatballs

  1. this recipe reminds me of the Chinese friends that my parents used to have (most of them are dead now…); they loved entertaining and they had some pretty delicious meatballs back in those days! must try your recipe! bookmarked!

    appreciate much your sharing and linking over at Food Friday, Chef Erwin
    enjoy the rest of the week!

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