Christmas recipes may be mainly focused on desserts, but everyone knows that you’re also going to need some delicious Christmas appetisers at your Christmas parties.
You know, the one I’m invited to, of course.
Surprise, surprise, you’ll never guess what I used to make these Sriracha-Infused Saucy Asian Meatballs with Szechuan Glaze. Corned Pork! I know, shocker. But, Corned Pork is so versatile that I’m amazed at the variety of meals you can make with it. The truth is that corning pork is just a method of curing the pork, and so any dish that you would use well seasoned pork in is quite suitable to use Corned Pork. The delightful folks over at Caribbean Passion Jamaica sent me a pack of their new Diced Corned Pork to try out and this is what I came up with, much to the pleasure of the pork eaters in my household (“she’s cooking pork!!!”). The fact that it comes already diced is beyond useful since the general combining process of the meatball ingredients goes by much quicker, and the fact that it’s already cooked is such a blessing in disguise because my mother has infused a fear of salmonella poisoning into me. Love you mom. Thank God that’s not a fear here.
I wanted to go for an appetiser would not only be spicy and flavourful, but that would whet your guests’ appetites. Even if “guests” means you, a rerun of Breaking Bad and a very filled plate.
Although the Corned Pork already comes well seasoned, I still added my own seasoning so that I could turn this meat into an asian themed dished. Sriracha was an obvious addition (by the way did you know that you actually do pronounce the “r”?) but I wanted another bold flavour to add a kick not only to these meatballs but also and mainly to the glaze. So I went with Szechuan to end up with Sriracha-Infused Saucy Asian Meatballs with Szechuan Glaze.
Szechuan is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan province in southwestern China (yes I did get that from Wikipedia) that is known for its bold flavours and spiciness since it uses ginger and pepper in its dishes. I found this sauce very flavourful indeed and you can identify the hints of ginger in it, although I did add more ginger (I can’t help myself). I say Sriracha-Infused because I did use quite a bit. I was reassured however, not only with words but also with the fact that they disappeared within minutes after this shot that the infamous hot sauce added only beneficial qualities to the meatballs. With the addition of a variety of other Asian themed sauces I not only got the Mr. Jessiker Bakes nod of spiciness approval but the “this is in the top list of the best things you’ve ever made” comment WHICH of course would brighten anyone’s day, week, rest of year, you get what I’m saying. I can hands down name this one of the best sauces I have ever made, and I will go along with Mr. Jessiker Bakes’ take on the meatballs.
The glaze is a mix of a sweet and spicy combination with sesame seeds to lend not only to the flavour but also to the traditional Asian look. In the ingredients I say you can use honey or corn syrup but I actually split it half and half and it worked just fine for me.
- 1 lb Corned Pork, diced, already cooked (see below if using uncooked)
- 2 slices bread, broken into pieces
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 egg white
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoons ginger
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- 2 tablespoons Szechuan sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons Szechuan Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Honey/corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons Soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sesame seeds
- Chopped scallions
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (Note: if using uncooked pork, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes). Spray a cookie sheet with non stick cooking oil or place a piece of foil over it and spray it.
- Combine the pork and the bread into a food processor and pulse until incorporated, a few pulses.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the sesame seeds and pulse about 10 times to incorporate.
- Use your spatula halfway through to ensure all the ingredients are being mixed.
- Fold in the sesame seeds.
- Shape your meatballs, you can use a melon baller or a small cookie scoop, but your hands work just as fine. You should get about 25.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how big you’ve made the meatballs. Check their doneness but checking that they are no longer mushy but are now firm on the outside and still slightly soft on the inside. Remove from oven.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the glaze together. You can adjust the sugar content depending on how sweet you’d like the glaze.
- Brush the glaze onto the meatballs.
- Place the meatballs back into the oven to broil on HIGH for about 2 minutes. This helps to infuse the glaze into the meatballs and adds a more browner look. (Check carefully here because broil can burn your ingredients very quickly).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with garnish and serve and enjoy!
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