I had to hide some of these Hoisin Meatballs for my photoshoot. They were that good. I have an eating machine living in my house, so I've learned to hide some stuff for photoshoots. It's always the worst when I make something that turns out really well, and then gets eaten up before I can take photos. Believe me though, whenever possible, I try not to make anyone wait while I do my photos, including me. Hunger beats out photos, so I always try to put some of the yummy food aside for a photoshoot after dinner.
The Many Flavours of Asia
I love the flavours of Asia, whether it's Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Malaysian, or any of the others. Asia has such a diverse and amazing food culture.. Each one is so different and each one is so delicious.
These hoisin meatballs are full of Asian flavours. I fell in love with the tastes of Asia so much, on a trip to Japan and Korea, and from my experience of living in Vancouver's busy cultural melting pot. Dining at authentic Chinese and Indian restaurants there is so easy. So is making friends, and I learned so much from the friends of different Asian cultures that I grew to know and love there.
I've been experimenting ever since in my kitchen. I love trying Indian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese dishes. Hoisin is a very Chinese ingredient (Cantonese, specifically) But it's also an ingredient in Vietnamese dishes like Pho.
Lean Ground Chicken: A Healthy Protein
Because these Hoisin meatballs are made with lean ground chicken and baked, they are a healthy alternative to fried beef meatballs. These ones are deliciously Asian inspired with a homemade dipping sauce of ginger, garlic and sesame. In fact, my favourite part of this meal is the super easy, flavourful dipping sauce. When accompanied by rice and a salad, like this sunomono salad, these hoisin meatballs are a delicious treat as well as a healthy dinner.
Hoisin Meatballs – Asian Style Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground chicken
- 1 egg
- ½ small onion minced
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or basil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts or cashews
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 400° Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients except one tbsp of the cilantro or basil, and the peanuts, using a large fork or your hands
- Shape the mixture into balls, and divide so that you have 12 fairly large meatballs.
- Space meatballs evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. In a small pot, combine soy sauce, honey, vinegar and sesame oil.
- Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat. Toss the meatballs with the sauce until coated.
- Use the remaining sauce for dipping. Serve with rice and garnish with basil or cilantro and peanuts.