If you make one exotic new recipe this year, make it this one! Everything about this fantastic Chef Avram recipe — the flavors, the aromas, and the combination of sweet and spicy ingredients — will transport you to Southeast Asia, and give you a warm and exotic feeling even if when it’s shiveringly cold outside. This makes a unique appetizer and an exciting main course if served atop rice or buckwheat noodles.
2 pounds ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tsp chili paste
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
12 oz. water chestnuts
1 cup cilantro sprigs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Ginger sauce ingredients:
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. peeled fresh ginger slivered
2 tsp. scallion whites sliced finely
1 tsp. chopped garlic
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. honey
1 and 3/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbps. water
Cilantro sprigs for garnish
Dice onion into small dice. Heat oil in a medium sauté pan and sweat onion until transparent. Add garlic and continue to cook. Add chili paste and brown sugar. When mix is dissolved, remove from heat and set aside.
Drain and mince water chestnuts. Leave pieces about ¼ inch and no finer as to add crunch to the meat balls. Place onion mixture into bowl of food processor and pulse briefly. Add all other ingredients except water chestnuts and pulse a few times until blended.
Remove from processor and place in mixing bowl Fold in water chestnuts and blend well. Form in to little meatballs and bake at 350 for 10- 15 minutes.
Serve with ginger sauce.
Ginger sauce procedure:
In a medium saucepan over high heat place the pineapple juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, ginger and garlic. Bring to a boil.
Dissolve cornstarch in water. While mixing well, pour into boiling sauce, slowly, until thickened consistency is reached. Remove from heat.
Finish with chopped scallions and cilantro sprigs.
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By Arlette Loeser, CKCA