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A Scrumptious Meatball With Lots of Possibilities

Cooking demo: Amy shows us how to make Asian chicken meatballs with spicy peanut dipping sauce.

Now that our feet are firmly planted in September and the ovens are humming along cranking out dinner on a regular basis, it's time to spice up the menu. Before anyone has a chance to say "what's for dinner" in that I'm-not-going-to-like-it-anyway tone, wow them with a new twist on an old favorite.  

Asian chicken meatballs hit the mark on so many levels. Healthier mild ground chicken is combined with assertive Asian flavors like soy sauce and sesame oil taking the beloved meatball in a completely different direction. Add a spicy peanut dipping sauce and you just might find little fingers mopping up the last bit of sauce once the meatballs are all gone. 

It's a perfect dinner a la spaghetti and meatballs. Toss the peanut sauce with a pound of al dente pasta (whole wheat capellini is ideal) and then toss in the meatballs. It's also a perfect appetizer for company. They freeze well, too, so you can cook up a batch ahead of time and keep them at the ready when you are in a pinch.  

Asian Chicken Meatballs

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Makes about 18 meatballs

1 pound ground chicken

5 oz drained chopped water chestnuts

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 inches fresh peeled ginger, grated

1/2 bunch scallions, chopped (about 4)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 large egg

2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except oil.  

In a large skillet over medium/high heat, add oil until shimmering. Form chicken mixture into golf ball size balls and add to pan making sure the pan is not overcrowded.  Cook about two minutes on every angle until they're browned.  Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all meatballs are cooked.

Spicy peanut dipping sauce

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)

In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients until smooth (thin with a little water if necessary).  Serve as a dipping sauce for the meatballs or toss with cooked pasta.

Eileen Z. Wolter September 22, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Looks delish, Amy. And easy to substitute meat alternatives.

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