Last week a friend and I were talking about how we actually cook – day in day out, when we’re exhausted-by-life-it’s-a-weeknight-and-we’re-working-late recipes. Namely, our survival recipes. These Japanese Chicken Meatballs are a favorite around here – they aren’t fancy but they are fast, tasty and something that both the 5 year old and the 35 year old will eat. I like them because they are easy to double and easy to freeze (the secret of surviving any work week in my mind) and when I say they are fast, I mean like three minutes prep time and 20 minutes to bake.
Update: A few readers asked what I serve these with and the short answer is: lots of things and whatever I have on hand. I make roast sweet potato fries and sauteed cabbage a few times a month and these meatballs often end up with either of those as side dishes. This week I served with a side of pesto pasta (last night) and on a cheese plate as a finger food (tonight).
Japanese Chicken Meatballs
1 pound ground chicken (or turkey, or lamb)
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, very finely minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce (I like this brand)
2 teaspoons good-quality maple syrup (I sometimes use a tablespoon of maple syrup)
1. Thoroughly mix the chicken with the salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and maple syrup. Roll the mixture into golf ball–sized meatballs. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 2o minutes until the meatballs until they’re cooked through.
Note: Gwyneth and Julia suggest pan frying these – that would probably make them tastier, but, I need that 20 minutes of baking in the oven to do things like drink wine, start the bath running for bedtime and prep lunch for the kiddo. Also, I dislike cleaning the stove and pan after frying, especially during the week.