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Monday, August 30, 2010
You've probably noticed that I love to work with minced meat. The pack of minced pork is possibly the most versatile ingredient I have in my fridge... after the trusted eggs, of course. After the last successful attempt at braised minced meat sauce, I decided to make more and stock them in the freezer. After the stock up, I was actually left with a balance of some 200g of minced pork which I had to consume before I leave for my week-long business trip.
Taking every cooking opportunity now to experiment with new recipes, I decided to try out a deep fried meat ball recipe I saw in a Japanese cookbook titled ' The Basics Of Chinese Cooking' - as silly and hilarious it may sound but sometimes, I truly think that it could be helpful to refer to a non-native interpretation of the familiar. It is in these interpretations that we sometimes discover important things/steps that could have already been taken too much for granted by the native writers. When I flipped through this cookbook at cafe book store, 25 Degrees Celsius, When I saw this recipe, I knew immediately that the writer behind the recipes is authentic - for one simple reason - this is the first time, I have seen instructions given in a cookbook to add water to minced meat. It is common practice to add water to minced meat/ meat after marination to retain the soft and juicy texture of the meat - this is a practice most of our grandmothers / mothers would have been doing. However, I think it has occured to very few of them to pass this 'trick' down - possibly because it is so insignificant. I have made it a habit to do this when I prepare sliced beef/ pork, burgers and other minced dishes. When I first learnt about this 'trick' many years back, I was elated because it made me realise that one does not need to use fatty pork all the time to get a soft juicy pork dish.
This recipe exceeded my expectation when it went a step further to use ' Spiced Up Water' to 'hydrate' the pork. Below, I have documented my first step by step illustration of the preparation. Quick and easy to prepare, the results are impressive. Goodbye to tough and dry meatballs. These meatballs, as illustrated by the cross section photo of the meat ball above, is 'fine-crumbed' , tender and juicy.
(Edith, I am thinking of making this for the event you are planning.... paired with an onion gravy. What do you think? )
1. Soak Spring Onion and sliced ginger in water and rub with hands to infuse water with the flavours. This is effective in removing 'porky' smell of the minced meat.
2. Add seasonings and egg. Blend well.
3. Slowly add the infused 'spice water'. Stirring well to incorporate water into meat.
4. Mix well with hand until minced meat turns into a gluey paste.
5. Shape mince meat into balls.
6. Heat enough oil in a wok, deep fry meat balls over low heat until golden brown.
Minced Pork 200g
Spring onion 1 stalk
Ginger 3 slices
Salt 1/4 tsp
Soya Sauce 1/3 tsp
Sesame Oil 1/3 tsp
Pepper 1/8 tsp
Corn flour 2 tsp