Hoisin glazed Meatballs with tamarind, ginger and garlic seasoned beef and a simple, sweet hoisin sauce glaze. Those gluten free round bites goes well as an appetizer, on noodles or rice.
Mini beef meatballs with an Asian flair are great and polyvalent. They go well as an appetizer or main meal and simply divine paired with some crunchy carrots, cucumber, scallions and a few peanuts. Also a fast and easy way to make a last minute meal, simply cook a bunch up and keep some frozen for later.
Experimenting with meatballs
I used a chickpea flour this time to replace the “usual breadcrumb” to soak up all the moist from the meatballs and bound them good. This way it make them “gluten free” and gives the meat an extra protein boost. I didn’t use any egg since they were holding great without! I guess eggs are used for bigger sized meatballs, it makes them hold better, but in this case the meatballs are so small and won’t break. The seasoning for the meat is a simple one; ginger, garlic and a bit of tamarind paste. I saw a beef stew recipe, last week, from the Middle East which use tamarind paste. It triggered my curiosity… Knowing that it’s also the main ingredient for the Worcestershire sauce which is often a magic ingredient in meatballs… it turned out wonderful! Of course, the tamarind paste isn’t ketchup… not everyone have it in the fridge. So no worries if you don’t have any, just use a touch of worcestershire sauce instead.
So the meat ball have a spicy element with the ginger, the sour element with the tamarind paste, the salty element with the soy sauce and the umami with all that meat. Just missing one thing to complete the perfect Asian balance: a sweet element. No better sweet sauce than Hoisin which is slightly modified to coat to perfection those small meatballs.
As I’ve pointed out earlier, either use these as an appetizer or main meal. For appetizer you could add them to a “fondue” pot on low heat, add extra water in the hoisin sauce and let people pick the meatballs from the hot pot. Or simply make a “crunchy lettuce leave bite, with some pickles carrots and cucumber, this way your guests won’t have to make their hands dirty. Plus the salad give a nice crunch.
Or for a main meal, I’ve added the meatballs on a simple rice vermicelli with carrot, cucumber, scallions and peanuts. So simple and yummy! Add a little splash of grilled sesame seed oil, lime and soy sauce to the vermicelli and voila!
So let’s make those little bites!
Hoisin glazed Meatballs
Makes 20 small meatballs | Difficulty: easy | Preparation: 20 minutes
- 450g (1 pound) of ground beef
- 2 tbsp of chickpea flour or breadcrumbs
- 15g (1 tbsp) ginger grated
- 20g of garlic finely minced
- 1 tbsp of tamarind paste or worcestershire
- 1 tsp of soy sauce/tamari
- 1/2 tsp of sesame oil
- salt and pepper
The hoisin glaze
- 3 tbsp of hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of water
- 1 tsp of sesame oil
- Start by mixing all the ingredients from the meatballs and make small balls with it
- Add to a baking sheet, spray a little oil on them and cook at 180°C (350F) for 15 minutes
- During that time, add all the ingredients for the glaze in a pan and mix, bring to low heat, just to warm it up
- Add the cooked meatballs directly in the pan with the glaze and serve
Serve as an appetizer or on rice noodles. Enjoy!