Thursday, September 9, 2010

Liz's Asian Balls o' Meat

Or Low-Carb Steamed Dumplings... or Naked Steamed Dumplings... or Chinese Meatballs.  I think I like "Liz's Asian Balls o' Meat" the best.  Any way you slice it, here's my first original recipe!

I've mentioned I've gone low-carb.  I've told you about my love of steamed dumplings.  I'm feeling like having some Chinese tonight, but the wrappers and dipping sauce for my beloved steamed dumplings have carbs.  What's a girl to do?  Revamp the recipe, that's what!  So I ditched the wrappers and added more eggs and some crushed pork rinds to bind the meatballs and help them keep their shape.  I also reduced the amount of veggies in them since veggies seem to generate alot of moisture when they're cooking... I didn't want that to turn my meatballs into Chinese Crumble.  As far as the dipping sauce, I said goodbye to Mirin, a sweet cooking sake, and used my stepmother's dipping sauce instead: half soy sauce, half cider vinegar.  Seriously, seriously good stuff!

Balls o' Meat Ingredients

1/3 head of cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 bunch scallions (5 or 6), finely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
3 large button mushrooms, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or run through a garlic press
1 inch nub of fresh ginger, grated
3 eggs
1 lb ground turkey (or pork)
5 cups crushed plain pork rinds
2 swirls of toasted sesame oil
3 swirls of soy sauce

And by "swirl" I mean draw a circle in the mixing bowl as you pour. 

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Makes 40 meatballs, serves four
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 25 minutes

Mix all the meatball ingredients together really well.  I use my hands.  Nasty, I know, but nothing else works as thoroughly or as quickly as just rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty. 

Roll the mixture into meatballs.  It might be worth your time to put the whole mess in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to rest first, to give the pork rinds a chance to absorb some of the moisture.  I noticed that the last meatballs I rolled were much easier to make than the first few.

I knew I was going to freeze whatever I didn't end up cooking for dinner, so I put the finished meatballs on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.  Once the meatballs I didn't cook are frozen solid, I'll toss them in a plastic tub where they'll take up less freezer space.

Steam the dumplings for 25 minutes and serve with dipping sauce.  We had salad with them to round out the meal.  I used the toasted sesame oil and some vinegar as salad dressing; that was a great match for the dumplings.  And wow, the dumplings were so good!

Honestly, I didn't miss the dumpling wrappers one bit, and you couldn't tell there were pork rinds in the dish at all.  Make sure to use the plain ones, though.  I'm not sure how Mesquite BBQ or Hot 'n Spicy pork rinds would work out...

These were awesome!  They were time-consuming to make but not as much so as the actual dumplings-in-wrappers are.  And it made almost 40 meatballs, enough for two dinners for the two of us.  So the next time we want Chinese I can cut out the hour of prep time and get straight to steaming them.  Easy peasy.  And totally Low Carb!


Mishe@EatingJourney said...


Agnes said...

I don't eat meat but your post makes me want to have Chinese :-)

Dream_Puppy said...

Pork rinds are so helpful! Great recipe!

Corletta said...

Well...looks like I will be giving these meatballs a try! Yum...thanks!

SuziStorm said...

1st off...any recipe with the word 'balls' in it, I have to love. But then you add the word meat and I'm smitten! These look delicious girl! And what a ballsy (hee hee) attempt at your first original recipe. Major kudos girl. xoxo- suzi

liz said...

mishe, suzistorm and corletta, thanks! and if you're a better veggie chopper than i am, or if you use a food processor, the end result will be a little more presentable.

agnes, no offense intended to vegetarians of course! what's your fave chinese food?

dream puppy, this was my first attempt at using the pork rinds in a recipe and i was pleasantly surprised. can't even tell they're in there.

mishe and suzistorm, welcome!