If you don’t know it yet, or if you are new to my blog, you must know that I adore Asian cuisine. When I had to cut out dairy…it was an easy cuisine to count on for no dairy as most of the fare inherently dairy free. What it is definitely NOT though is inherently gluten free! So when I read about The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen being released, I pre-ordered a copy…which I never do….I mean I knew NOTHING about the book and it’s merits, and I am usually more than willing to wait for the cookbook to show up on my library’s shelf before I purchase it. But obviously, I was excited about this one, as it is completely unique and not duplicated anywhere that I have found. It was an added bonus that the author was local to Portland, so I was supporting a local ‘business’…yeah!
All that besides, I have tried several recipes, and have been very happy with all of them. What I was most longing for was some recipes for dumplings and stuffed buns sans gluten. Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Dumplings is one of my favorite cookbooks, and I am so sad not to enjoy half of the recipes contained within anymore! More recipes to come…but here is my first post from this book.
My daughter loved these meatballs and they promptly went into her lunchbox the next day (wohoo..another interesting possibility!) Don’t be put off by the ingredient list: these come together in a snap.
Just note that the meat needs to marinate, the longer the better! I chose to serve mine as a Vietnamese salad for a main course, but you could serve them as is like an appetizer if you wanted. The flavors and textures blend perfectly here….it is truly a party for your taste buds!! Thank you Laura Russell!!
TIP: The meatballs by themselves would make a good appetizer served with any variety of Asian dipping sauces! Our favorite is mayonnaise mixed with some Sriacha!
PLAN FOR MARINATE TIME!!
- 1½ pounds ground pork or dark chicken (no lean meats for these)
- 8 green onions,minced
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 fat stalks lemongrass, bottom 4 inches only (where it is more tender), peeled, minced OR grated zest of 2 lemons
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1½ tablespoons honey or granulated sugar of choice
- 1½ tablespoons fish sauce (my favorite is Three Crabs brand or Red Boat)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 6 ounces rice vermicelli noodles or Miracle Noodles like I did! Kelp noodles would also work well here!
- Vegetables to taste:
- chopped fresh cilantro
- chopped romaine or butter lettuce
- grated carrots
- bean spouts
- ½ cup roasted, chopped peanuts
- Nuoc Cham Sauce (can be made in advance):
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, honey, or liquid stevia equivalent
- ⅔ cup warm water
- 5 tablespoons fish sauce
- Optional: thinly sliced Serrano chiles, minced garlic
- MARINATE TIME!! Combine all meatball ingredients together except the starch. Marinate at least 2 up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Stir the starch into the meat mixture. Form the mixture into 24 golf-ball sized meatballs.
- Cook for 20 minutes or longer until golden brown.
- While the meatballs cook, prepare your vegetables and rice noodles. If you choose to use Miracle noodles, drain and rinse them.
- Prepare your sauce/dressing by stirring all ingredients together until the sugar dissolves. To serve, toss the vegetables of choice, the noodles, and the nuoc chom sauce together in a bowl. Start with about half of the sauce, and add more to taste as needed. Place the meatballs over the top and serve!
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