On 23rd of January this year, in Asian culture it is considered a Lunar New Year. This year is a year of Dragon which most Asians believe that it's a good and powerful year. To me, the Lunar New Year is similar to Christmas here. Well, first - it's a time of family gathering. Second, there's lot of good food!. Thrid, red is a symbolic color for this holiday, and lastly, there's a thing called a red envelope with lucky money inside; just like a holiday gift.
Since I live here and not be able to celebrate this holiday with my family, what I miss the most is family time. A tradition of how to do things on this Lunar New Year brings back my good old memory. A certain way to arrange a food table, red color, certained must-have food, fire crackers, food spread, and a red envelope are my childhood memory.
Although, I didn't get a chance to help my mom make food, I got to make these meatballs in an honor of Lunar New Year! When I knew about this month theme, I was thrilled. Meatballs are fun to make and have several variations depending on your taste buds. I'm sure you can see the fun from the round-up of our cooking group on Friday from Natasha at Five Star Foodie and Lazaro at Lazaro Cooks.
|before going into oven|
My meatballs are a combination of ground pork, ground chicken, diced pork belly, cooked brown rice, minced cilantro, minced red basil, minced garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, pepper, sesame oil, and canola oil. I found out that my good friend, Lazaro, also added pork belly to his meat mixture too! As you know, we both love pork belly. There's no surpised we don't forget to include it to our meatballs.
They are filling because of rice in meatballs. You can serve as dinner or small appetizer.
Thai-inspired Meatballs with Vinegar Pickled Cucumbers and Carrots
Yield: 27-30 meatballs
Ingredients for meatballs:
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground chicken breast
1/2 lb sliced pork belly, small diced
3/4 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1/2 cup minced red basil
3 Tbs fish sauce
4 Tbs soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp white pepper
3 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs canola oil
- Mix everything together until they are combined. Let it sit in a fridge for half hour for flavor to develop.
- Pre heat oven to 400 F
- Form the meat mixture into a 2 "ball.
- Bake meatballs for about 30-35 mins until golden brown and cooked through.
- You can keep baked meatballs in a refrigerator. Heat them up in a microwave until hot before serving or under oven at 350 F for 10-15 mins.
|Vinegar pickled cucumber and carrot|
Ingredients for vinegar pickled cucumber and carrots
Yield: 1 quart
- 1 English cucumber, thingly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 cup carrots, cut into sticks
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs garlic chili paste
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mix everything except cucumber and carrotstogether and microwave at high for about 2 mins. Whisk well and until sugar has dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over cucumber and carrots. Keep in a refrigirator for at least 4 hours. This can be kept for a few days.
Serve meatballs with pickled cucumber and carrots or over some salad. Drizzle about 1/2 Tbs or more over meatballs.
|Right off the oven|
|Serve with pickled vegetable|