Makes 45 mini-meatballs
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
- 1/3 cup crushed, salted peanuts
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup finely minced cilantro (including stems)
- 4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
- 2 medium (3/4 cup) carrots, finely grated
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 2 Tbsp. grated, peeled fresh ginger
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes (2 1/2 cups crushed), with juice
- 1/4 cup packed, dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha, or more to taste
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a large bowl combine the pork, peanuts, bread crumbs, egg, cilantro, scallions, carrots, 1 Tbsp. of the soy sauce, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Mix quickly with your hands to incorporate. Using about 1 rounded Tbsp. of meat mixture for each, roll 45 small meatballs, lining them up on a baking sheet with a little room between.
Bake the meatballs until the tops turn golden, 15 minutes. Pour the whole tomatoes and their juices into a food processor and process until smooth. In a wide-bottomed nonreactive skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, 3/4 cup water, the brown sugar, chili sauce, the remaining 2 Tbsp. of soy sauce and the fish sauce. Simmer, stirring often, and scraping the sides, until the sauce has reduced by about half, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lime juice and season with salt.
Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat until the meatballs are glazed with the sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. (At this point you can keep the meatballs warm in a crock pot.) Serve with toothpicks.
From The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes (Clarkson Potter) by Amy Thielen.
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