March 28, 2011

Sriracha Meatballs

Sriracha is a Thai hot chili sauce. It’s made of chilies, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. When you taste it, it hits your tongue in a quick succession of sweet and sour, followed by a spiciness that lingers.

Sriracha is also called Rooster Sauce because of the big rooster on the bottle.

For the past several years, Sriracha has been one of my family’s favorite condiments. The flavor works well with Thai food, of course, but also Chinese and Indian. We’ve also been known to mix it with a little mayonnaise and put it on our burgers. Last week I combined it with some mayo and condensed milk (of all things) to make a sauce for some roasted salmon. 

But while we use it all the time for dipping, spreading and saucing, I’d never used it as an ingredient until I came across a recipe for Sriracha turkey meatballs posted by Life's Ambrosia.

These meatballs have a really nice Asian flavor. Along with the Sriracha, they contain scallions, ginger, garlic and sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are another ingredient I usually use as a garnish. But in this dish they add a subtle nuttiness to the meatballs.

The meatballs are fantastic. You can really taste the ginger, scallion and Sriracha. But a word of warning – they are spicy! You can cut down on the Sriracha in the recipe if you want the flavor without all of the heat.

In my house, I was the only one who couldn't handle the heat. Here’s how we ate the meatballs:

Me: with naan and tzaziki to tame the heat
My 7 year old son: straight up
My husband: with extra Sriracha 

This is a basic meatball recipe, but with Asian ingredients.

First, you combine ground turkey with the Sriracha, ginger, garlic, onion, scallions, bread crumbs, egg, sesame seeds and salt.

Then roll the mixture into balls. You should get about 20 meatballs out of one pound of meat.

Brown the meatballs on all sides in a skillet.

Finish cooking them on a baking sheet in the oven.

I served the meatballs with naan and tzaziki. I’ve also served the meatballs as an appetizer with (what else?) more Sriracha for dipping.

Sriracha Meatballs

recipe by Life's Ambrosia

Makes about 20 meatballs

1 pound ground turkey
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup dry plain bread crumbs
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp Sriracha (or less)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp canola oil

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.      Combine all ingredients except canola oil in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Roll into 20 meatballs.
3.      Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides. (I do this in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.) Transfer meatballs to a baking dish.
4.      Bake in the preheated oven for 20 more minutes or until cooked through.
5.      Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds and chopped scallions if desired.

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