Friday, April 24, 2015

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Asian Turkey Meatballs... A little over a year ago I discovered the perfect turkey meatball recipe from Smitten Kitchen which I put to use in this post and this post. The inspiration for whipping them out this week was a combination of a recent food obsession (dumplings) and a recent health obsession (majorly reducing calories and carbs *sigh*) and so I pretty much decided to make a dough less dumpling soup. AKA an Asian Turkey Meatball Soup.... and then I had so many extra that I used them in a lunch and another dinner this week.

The soup itself was super simple, think broth, meatballs, veggies, garnishes - about 15 minutes in total. The most laborious part was the making of the meatballs but for me those types of tasks are somewhat therapeutic, so if you're like me then stock of up on the following ingredients and carve out some time on Sunday and become a mini meatball factory.

What I used:
1-1.5 lbs ground turkey (I had 1lb breast meat and .5lb thigh meat)
Fresh Grated Ginger (let's call it a small palmful)
Garlic (2-3 cloves minced or pressed in a garlic press)
Green onion (say 10 or so sprigs, finely chopped)
Soy Sauce (1/4 cup?)
1 egg
Panko Bread Crumbs (1/4 cup?)

How To:
In a large bowl whisk the egg and add the breadcrumbs, give it a swirl and let them meld for a few minutes. Once they become a paste add everything else and mix by hand. Once everything is evenly mixed, with wet hands, form the meat into balls (think golf ball size) and place on a baking sheet. I made 17 meatballs in total but mine were a bit bigger than golf balls - I also wasn't aiming for an exact amount so 17 worked for me.

Post chilling, ready to bowl into to perfect fluffy meatballs

If you're cooking them that day in soup pop them in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up - in this case I made these Sunday for soup on Monday so I let them sit covered in the fridge for a full 24 hours.

Come Monday night I boiled a pot of chicken stock (I always use Chicken Better then Bouillon) and pulled my meatballs and already chopped veggies out of the fridge. Once the stock came to a boil I added 6 meatballs - gently lowering them in on a large spoon. I let them cook for about 12 minutes at a low boil/semi vigorous simmer. Once they were about 3 minutes away from being fully cooked I added in about 2 handfuls each of my veggies: Napa cabbage and lacinato kale (pre-chopped and ziplocked on Sunday)

Boiling away!

Pre-chopped veggies

Almost ready....

I wanted the soup to feel like I was eating wonton soup so for me cabbage is quintessential, and the dark green of the kale made me feel like I was getting some good vitamins in there. Once everything was nicely cooked I ladled myself a hot bowl and topped it off with a squeeze of lime, additional diced green onion and a few sprinkles of sriracha for heat. It was Dahlicious and filling and satisfied the craving.


The next night I wanted to use up the rest of the meatballs but wasn't in a soup mood, so instead I popped the remaining guys (which were already on a baking sheet) in the oven at 350 for about 35 minutes. While cooking I sauteed my leftover kale and cabbage on the stove and steamed up some TJ's white rice. I served the meatballs and veggies over rice with a  splash of TJ's Soyaki and voila.

Sauteing the rest of the veggies night 2

Meatballs way 2

The last of the meatballs, which had been part of the oven roasting, were cut up into bite sized pieces and added to a container of quinoa to bring for lunch. I also brought some chopped cucumber, soyaki, and an avocado to assemble at work on Wednesday. That also proved to be totally Dahlicious and a great lunch option

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