Friday, September 10, 2010

Fresh, fast and fantastic!

I'm all about quick and easy at the moment - Andrew and I are in the process of merging households as well as searching for a new address in the hell that is the cut throat Sydney rental market, so we don't have a whole lot of time. Between work, open house inspections, trips up to Andrew's place on the Central Coast to pack things, work and the endless paperwork of tenancy applications, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for relaxing - or cooking anything too involved.

We decided we needed a break from this crazy schedule we are living at the moment and took time out last Sunday afternoon to hang out with good friends, have a few glasses of wine, share a lazy lunch (and a few rounds of "Beatles Rock Band"!) I had to rustle up something in a hurry to contribute to the buffet table because we had just dashed back from the coast after a bout of packing.

I was going to cop out and just do the cheese platter thing, but instead settled on these quick and easy Asian meatballs that ended up being a hit. They have bucketloads of flavour as well as looking pretty, thanks to lemongrass, mint, ginger and garlic. We ate them warm from the oven, but they are just as good cold. As a dipping sauce, I mixed up some good quality mayo and some black pepper paste (from Asian grocery stores) - it was really beautiful - and a change from that most misused and over represented condiment - sweet chilli sauce. God, I'm over that stuff - must people put it on everything??? Anyway, I digress....

I cooked these meatballs in the oven, so they don't require extra oil for frying and you don't even need to turn them. You can do the prep work in 10 minutes and cook them like I did for 15 minutes, so they are great if you are in a rush - in under 30 minutes you will have 30 meatballs. The result is delightfully moist, sesame crusted meatballs with not a lot of fuss. You can be very free and easy with the ingredients for these - my recipe is just a guide based on what I did on Sunday, but feel free to add or omit things or to experiement with different spices. Just don't be stingy with the flavours. Use whatever is around - although I would stick with the sesame seeds for the coating. They are what make the meatballs a bit more than your standard cocktail meatball. Speaking of which, these would make great finger food.

Have to run -  Hopefully next time you visit me I will have secured that elusive rental property, calmed down a bit and have a new Gourmet Goddess kitchen to relocate to. In the meantime, enjoy these lovely eastern delights....

Fragrant lemongrass, coriander and sesame meatballs

You will need: 1 kilo pork mince, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 1 whole bunch coriander finely chopped, 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, 1 tablespoon very finely minced lemongrass (you can also use lemongrass paste or powder if you like) 1 teaspsoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, 1 cup finely chopped spring onion, 1/2 tablespoon very finely grated ginger, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar if you don't have it), 1 cup sesame seeds.

Method: Mix together everything but the sesame seeds in a big bowl. Use clean hands and make sure you combine everything very, very well. The mixture will be a little bit sticky, but that's fine.

Place the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl. Wet your hands and roll the pork mixture into small balls. Toss the meatballs lightly in the seeds and place them on a baking dish covered with baking paper. If you find the meatballs difficult to shape, it will be because your hands are dry. Keep your hands wet and you will find the process a whole lot easier.

Bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the meatballs you make.
Serve warm or cold.

*Makes around 30 small meatballs. If you don't want to serve them all at once, these freeze well.



  1. Hi Toni, Made the meatballs on Friday - yum. Love your work. Mary.

  2. Glad you enjoyed them Mary - did you stick to the recipe or did you tweak it a bit? Theses meatballs often depend on what I have in the cupboard so tend to change a bit! What did you serve them with?

  3. ok, I stuck to the recipe.......but....this is my it comes......I didn't have any ingredients to make a dipping sauce - like nil, zip, nought - no limes, no chillie...soooooooooooooo, I USED SWEET CHIILI SAUCE - there is my confession right out there for all to see. I know it's a disgrace and I live with that shame, but you know, the people I was feeding loved the balls and there were no complaints about poor condiments. I also made the larb - yum...was larbly. Thanks. Mary