It’s been a long time! So much has been happening in my life outside of the blog. We moved. We travelled. We had some amazing time in New York, and now a new venture has started. It seems so hard to keep up with all the events around us, so many things to do, so many friends to catch up…
Yesterday, I opened my google reader. 1000+ unread posts. There was no way I could ever go through them all. ‘Mark all as read’, and I feel better. No guilty feeling and a fresh start.
It’s good to return to the blog world with a fresh start!
I am still getting used to my new kitchen. Gotta say though, this is perhaps the best kitchen I have ever had. Mind the mess, I know several ladies who loved this red kitchen bench top. Chic and cute, isn’t it? :-). That, together with the park at the front, makes me incredibly happy.
But. I need to talk about this scrumptious Vietnamese inspired dish – beef meatballs in tomato sauce. It is my concoction of the ever popular pork meatballs (xíu mại) – the kind you see in Vietnamese baguette (bánh mì).
I know that the Italian has done a fabulous job with their meatballs. I love them. Rest assure though that this recipe is something you need to make if you are big fan of meatballs as much as Mr. B does. The Vietnamese version has crunchier texture, benefiting from the addition of finely chopped water chestnuts and the steaming process. Yes, you read it right. We steam our meatballs and collect all the delicious juices. The juices are then added to the soft tomato mixture, creating a mellow sauce to coat those lovely meatballs. Delicious by itself, or used as a filling for baguette together with other sweet-sour pickles and herbs.
Until next time. Have a great weekend!
Loosely adapted from a recipe on foodforfour.com
1 kg beef mince (lean mince is okay)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 red Asian shallots, finely chopped
3 green onion, white part only, finely chopped
1 small can water chestnut (220g), drained and chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
In a large bowl, combine the mince, garlic, shallots, green onions, water chestnuts, egg, sugar, salt, fish sauce and pepper, and mix well with your hands. Form the mixture into 4cm balls then place them on a plate or tray.
Now steam the meatballs and collect their juices. I used a bamboo steamer and did it in batches. [Edit] Steam until the meatballs are just cooked through and hold their shape well. Set aside.[Edit]
In a large heavy based saucepan, heat a small amount of oil then add the chopped garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add the tomato paste, water, fish sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Then add the meatballs and their juices.
Simmer the meatballs for about 25 minutes or until cooked and sauce is reduced.
Taste test and add more seasoning if required. Remove from heat.
Serve meatballs as fillings in a crusty baguette with coriander, cucumber, red chillies and pickled radish and carrots. Or serve meatballs with white rice.