From the May 2007 issue of Gourmet Magazine, this recipe was featured (and trialed) on Paper Palate, by Kristen Doyle. We have altered it only slightly, by changing the first ingredient of milk to milk alternative. For a gluten-free dish, use GF bread crumbs and wheat-free Tamari in place of the soy sauce.
“Enlivened with crisp water chestnuts and fresh cilantro, these delicate Asian-inspired veal and pork meatballs are a world away from their Italian counterpart — but they’re just as moist and irresistible.”
1/4 cup milk altervative (soy, rice)
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound ground veal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus
1/4 cup sprigs
5 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
Accompaniment: steamed white rice
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500°F.
Pour milk over bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add ground meat, egg, water chestnuts, salt, chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape 3 tablespoons meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. Make more meatballs with remaining mixture, arranging meatballs about 1/2 inch apart in baking dish. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together lime juice, water, sugar, remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a bowl until sugar is dissolved.
Transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle meatballs with 1 tablespoon sauce and sprinkle with cilantro sprigs.
Serve meatballs with remaining sauce.
Makes 4 (main course) servings.