Did You Know?Originally an Italian dish, meatballs are known as 'polpette' in Italy, 'keftedes' in Greece, and 'frikadellen' or 'bulette' in Germany.
In the Middle East, lamb is most often used to make meatballs. Lean, minced lamb, therefore, makes the tastiest mincemeat balls for exotic Arabian cuisine. No, no, you don't have to travel that far to taste this incredibly authentic food item. You can make them at home and relish its taste. Here are a few recipes from the Middle East, Far East, and Mexico. Most of these recipes use veal or pork, but some cultures also use plain mutton or even beef.
Iranian Sweet and Sour Meatballs
You will need...
- Lamb, 250 gm
- Lentils, 100 gm
- Eggs, 5 ― 4 of these hard-boiled, shelled, and chopped
- Prunes (stoned), 6
- Sliced Onions, 2
- Butter, 1 tbsp.
- Oil, 3 tbsp
- Meat stock, 1 cup
- Ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp
- Ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp.
- Saffron, a pinch
- Raisins, 1 tbsp.
- Flaked almonds, 1 tbsp.
- Wine vinegar, 6 tbsp
- Lemon juice, 3 lemons
- Sugar, 100 gm
- Dice the meat and put it into a pan with the washed lentils.
- Add water, salt, and spices, and simmer for one hour.
- After the meat is tender, drain the meat and keep the stalk aside.
- Mince the meat and the lentils in a mincer.
- Now add the chopped boiled egg, raisins, almonds, and raw egg into the minced meat and knead into a dough.
- Shape it into balls and deep-fry.
- Fry the sliced onions in the butter and add the meat stock, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar.
- Add the liquid from the meat cooked earlier.
- Boil the sauce on low heat, and then season it with salt. Serve with steamed rice.
Chinese Pork Meatballs
You will need...
- Minced pork, 500 gm
- Red pepper, seeded and diced, 1
- Green pepper, seeded and diced, 1
- Courgettes, trimmed and diced, 2
- Baby corn, halved lengthwise, 4
- Fresh coriander, chopped, 500 gm
- Garlic cloves, chopped, 2
- Piece of root ginger, minced, 1 inch
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Light soy sauce, 4 tbsp.
- Sesame oil, 1 tsp.
- Mix the pork mince, coriander, half quantity of chopped garlic, and 1 tbsp. soy sauce together in a bowl.
- Divide into 25 portions and roll into balls.
- Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes.
- Then deep-fry these balls in a wok for about 10 minutes, rolling them over occasionally so that they are evenly browned on all sides.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the balls and drain on a paper.
- In the oil in the wok, add the remaining garlic and ginger, and stir fry for about a minute.
- Add the peppers; stir fry for another five minutes.
- Then add sweet corn and courgettes, and fry for another three minutes.
- Now, put the balls into the wok with the rest of the vegetables.
- Add the sesame oil and stir fry everything together, tossing and mixing it well. Serve on a bed of fresh noodles.
Mexican Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
You will need...
- Shoulder of veal, 750 gm
- Pork, 750 gm
- Onions, finely chopped, 200 gm
- Eggs, half boiled and chopped, 4
- Eggs, raw, beaten, 2
- Olives, cleaned and stoned, 100 gm
- Butter, 2 tbsp.
- Salt and pepper
For Tomato Sauce ...
- Tomatoes, skinned, and finely chopped, 2 kg
- Garlic cloves, 2
- Coriander and chili powder
- Salt to taste
- Mince the meat finely, mixed together.
- In hot oil, cook the onions till they turn transparent.
- Add them to the meat with olives, chopped eggs, salt, pepper, and beaten eggs, working the mixing into smooth dough.
- Let it stand for a while, and then shape into balls. Resting them for sometime is important so that the balls don't break when they are being cooked.
- Poach these balls in bouillon (flavored stock).
- For the sauce, mix the tomatoes with garlic, chili, and salt.
- Now, add the meatballs to this tomato sauce.
- These meatballs can be served with Mexican rice, accompanied with the sauce.
So, these were some amazing recipes for making meatballs in different kind of cuisines. Have a great time experimenting with these dishes and come up with some unique and tasty recipe that everyone would simply love!