Meatballs: We adore them, but we’ve been eating them the same way our entire life. And while there’s nothing wrong with red sauce and spaghetti, there’s a whole universe of other possibilities just waiting to be devoured. Like these ginger-scallion chicken meatballs, for example. They’re tender and flavorful on their own, but wait until you try them with the sesame-soy glaze.
Aside from their being delicious, we love these meatballs for their adaptability and versatility. The recipe is easy to double for a crowd, you could make them with ground turkey or pork instead of chicken, they can be pan-fried instead of baked (although baking yields more tender results) and they make an excellent accompaniment for everything from rice bowls to macaroni and cheese. (Yeah, we went there.)
1 large egg, whisked
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
Scant ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
1½ pounds ground chicken
3 ounces soy sauce
1 ounce unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
¼ onion, grated
1 tablespoon corn starch
Steamed white rice, sliced carrots, sliced cucumbers, shredded cabbage, sliced scallions and sesame seeds, to serve
1. Make the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, salt, scallions, garlic, ginger and panko. Add the ground chicken and, using clean hands, mix until combined.
3. Using your hands or a spoon, form the mixture into golf-ball-size meatballs and arrange on the prepared baking sheet, spacing the meatballs about 1 inch apart. (You may need to bake them in batches.) Bake until the meatballs are browned and fully cooked (the internal temperature reads 165°F on an instant-read thermometer), 20 to 25 minutes. At this point, the cooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
4. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and onion and bring to a gentle simmer.
5. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water and whisk to combine. Add the cornstarch slurry to the soy-sesame mixture, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
6. To serve, gentle toss the meatballs in the glaze or serve on the side for dipping. To make a rice bowl, serve with steamed white rice and assorted raw vegetables, such as sliced carrots, sliced cucumbers, shredded cabbage and sliced scallions. Garnish with sesame seeds.