vietnamesemeatballs

Summer may be over, but in this country with its crazy weather, Summer is never quite over until the first frost hits. And even then the heat waves come back.  If you live up North, you’re sweating all year round!

This is quick and tasty dish to knock together, and has the benefit of tasting good both hot and cold. It makes a tasty leftover lunch also. These meatballs would also be delicious in an Asian style slider between two halves of a soft white roll, topped with shredded cabbage, carrot and some mayonnaise and chilli sauce. This recipe makes enough for a family of four plus a couple of lunches, but feel free to multiply the meatball recipe and freeze them.

Ingredients

400g chicken mince
1 stalk of lemon grass
2 garlic cloves
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup basil leaves (Asian basil or regular basil are both fine)
3 spring onions
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce

To Serve

1 quantity of quick pickles made from carrot and/or daikon radish
1 bundle of thin rice vermicelli noodles per person
Soy sauce and fish sauce to serve

Method

  1. Finely shred the mint, basil and spring onion. Reserve a handful of herbs for combining with the noodles. Finely chop the garlic. Add to a large bowl with the chicken mince.
  2. Remove the top and tough outer layers of the lemon grass and discard; use only the pale, tender inner section near the bottom. Bruise this section with the blunt side of the knife and then finely chop and add to meat and herb mixture.
  3. Add the fish and soy sauce to the mixture and mix to combine. Form into meatballs of your preferred size.
  4. Meanwhile, set a pot of water on to boil for the vermicelli noodles. They need only a minute to cook in boiling water. Drain.
  5. In a large frying pan, add a couple of tablespoons of your usual cooking oil and bring to high heat. Cook meatballs on each side for about 3 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Toss noodles with reserved herbs and a little soy sauce if you prefer.
  7. Serve meatballs and noodles together, with quick pickles and fresh greens.
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