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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 18, 2010

Soup and dumpling fixings make for fine meatballs


By J.M. HIRSCH
AP Food Editor

Turns out the makings of a good miso soup and Asian-style dumplings also make for fine meatballs.

I started by deconstructing both, then working the best elements together into the meatballs and a peanut dipping sauce. For example, from the soup I borrowed miso paste (which has a salty, sweet taste) and scallions.

From the dumplings, I took the common ingredients for a vinegar dipping sauce rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Then to pull it all together, I blended more of the same into a spicy peanut dipping sauce.

The result is a deliciously savory meatball that is good as finger food for dipping or stuffed into a sub roll and drizzled with the sauce.

I also tried these meatballs several ways as meatballs as well as larger burgers and with a variety of meats, including ground turkey, ground beef and ground buffalo. All variations were terrific.

MISO-GINGER MEATBALLS WITH SPICY PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

For the meatballs:

2 tablespoons sweet white miso

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 pound lean ground beef

3 scallions, finely chopped

For the peanut dipping sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

6 tablespoons water

Heat the oven to 400 F. Spritz a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a blender, combine the miso, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic powder and ginger. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the beef and scallions, then mix well.

Form the mixture into about 12 meatballs, then arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Spritz the meatballs with cooking spray, then bake until cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the blender (no need to rinse it out) combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, garlic powder, ginger and water. Blend until smooth.

Serve the meatballs on toothpicks for easy dipping. Alternatively, use them in a sub and drizzle the peanut sauce over them.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 384 calories; 209 calories from fat; 23 g fat (4 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 60 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 3 g fiber; 1,255 mg sodium.