Monday, 14 April 2014

Meatballs with Tomato Sauce


A certain someone in NZ tells me she is tired of the sweet stuff and pleaded for something savory. Pretty please. So cousin LC, these meatballs are for you. 




I made these meatballs last weekend when I had hardly anything left in my fridge. I missed my weekend grocery shopping and all I had were onions, garlic, eggs and a blob of frozen minced meat. At least these were the basic building blocks for something meatbally. Upon further inspection of the inner recess of my fridge I also found some tomatoes and zucchini. But no spring onions. Would chives do? I have a pot growing in my garden. 



There's a lot of stuff in my fridge and freezer. I really have to clear them out. I have a bad habit of buying too much and sometimes, I end up with wilted vegetables and UFOs (Unidentified Frozen Objects). So this was a good time to start using up whatever that is available. I started off by defrosting the minced meat early in the morning. Once the meat was defrosted, I minced one big onion and 3 cloves of garlic. I also went out to the garden and harvested a handful of chives. These were washed and cut into small pieces. I put the minced meat into a mixing bowl and to that I added the onions, garlic and chives. Next was 3 tablespoons of light soya sauce, one egg and lots of freshly ground pepper. All these were mixed with a tablespoon of potato flour to bind everything together.



I put the meatball mixture into the fridge to firm up and meanwhile, I sliced one big brown onion, tomatoes, zucchini and red chillies. Originally I wanted this to be Meatballs with Plum Sauce but after turning my kitchen, fridge and pantry upside down, I realized that I don't have any plum sauce. I swore I saw a bottle not too long ago. Hmmmph! Change of plans. For the sauce, I mixed tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, soya sauce, maple syrup, water and some cornflour. Maple syrup? That was just part of my clean up plan because I happen to have a bottle of maple syrup in the fridge which I used here.



Then it was time to fry the meatballs. I actually dread deep frying because (1) it makes my kitchen oily and (2) it is very boring standing at the stove. So I did what I am not supposed to do. I switched on the TV. My Grandmother's Ravioli was on and while waiting for my meatballs to brown, I watched the show. Which explain why some of my meatballs are extra brown. If Law & Order was on, I swear there would be a few burnt meatballs :D



After the meatballs were done, all I had to do was to quickly stir fry the onions, zucchini, tomatoes and chillies and pour the sauce into the wok and bring it to a boil. Then I returned the meatballs to the wok and briskly tossed them with the vegetables to coat evenly with the sauce. Done! Serve! Eat!











Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Recipe source : Phong Hong

Ingredients :

For meatballs :
- 380g minced meat
- 1 big onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- a handful of chives, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons of light soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch
- lots of freshly ground pepper

Vegetables :
- 1 large Bombay onion
- half a small zucchini, thinly sliced
- 2 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 2 red chilies, sliced

Sauce :
- 4 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light soya sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sugar to taste)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon cornflour

Note : For the sauce, please adjust to taste. I like my sauce to be robust and thick. The amount I used above is just enough to coat the meatballs and vegetables.

Method :

For meatballs :
1. Mixed all the ingredients together evenly and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
2. Take the minced meat out from the fridge and form them into balls, as big or as small as you like.
2. Heat up enough oil in a wok and deep fry the meatballs until cooked and brown. Drain on paper towels.

For sauce :
1. In a clean wok, heat up enough oil to saute the onions until translucent.
2. Add zucchini and stir fry for a minute.
3. Add tomatoes and chilies and stir fry for 30 seconds.
4. Pour the sauce into the wok and increase heat to boil and thicken the sauce.
5. Add meatballs and stir fry briskly to coat all the ingredients evenly with the sauce.
6. Dish out and serve.

42 comments:

  1. Ahhh, a savory post.. Your cousin LC is right, hehe. Thanks cousin LC for your suggestion .. I agree a savory post (once in a while) make us feel lagi sum yok yok.. Dup dup… dup dup… Haha, what am I talking? Nonsense ahh? Monday blue, must start with some nonsense la, else, very stress..

    Oohh, I love meatballs.. Can never go wrong.. Can eat with rice, or if me, I will cut the balls into halves, arrange a few pieces onto my bread and “kiap” together and eat.. Haha, I’m laughing at your UFO (frozen objects).. What, you swore you saw a bottle of plum sauce and now it’s gone? Siapa big rat at home curi-ed and swallowed the whole bottle? Aiikkkss…
    I
    wish I can have a few of your balls.. It would be nice if I could bring a few balls to put inside my lunch box with rice, and then I get to eat for lunch today..

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    1. Hi Louiz! You are always early :) I am glad that I cooked these meatballs because they were really good. Two sittings moe chor. What is sum yok yok? Heart beating dup dup...dup dup...is it? Excited? hee..hee....I think the plum sauce I saw it long ago but feel like recently only. Old liao. Memory not so good. Yah, meatballs also nice to make sandwich. I am gonna make some more meatballs soon. I really enjoyed them yesterday for lunch and dinner.

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  2. Oh your post have reminded me I have so long I have not cook meatballs. Yours sound really simple yet so delicious.

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    1. Hi Mel! I always love meatballs. They are also very nice in soups.

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  3. oh, today no baking post but a cooking post!! hmmm, this one looks very nice and appetizing, sweet and sour meatballs (though you name it meatballs with tomato sauce)?? i love meatballs, well, basically anything meaty without bones is something i love, haha, i admit i am more a "carnivore" than a "herbivore".. and this dish surely can make me down two bowls of rice~~ :p

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    1. SK, I really enjoyed this dish. So glad I made meatballs because want to finish up the frozen minced meat. So I see that you are a meat eater! I am half and half. Must have my meat and must have my veggies :)

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  4. I am LOVING the look of these meatballs! I haven't made meatballs..ever. I need to try it out sometime!

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    1. Cathleen, you should make meatballs! They are really good and versatile.

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  5. emmm............delicious!
    and the story about the plum sauce left me alot of ? mark,he..............ke pop right?

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    1. Hi Aunty Young! I must have remembered wrongly. I got too many things hah...hah...

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  6. Hi Phong Hong, sometimes the best thing to keep in the freezer is minced meat. You can come up with many dishes using it. A very appetising dish especially the fried meatballs and sauce.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! I agree. Minced meat is very versatile - can steam, put into soup or fry. And it tastes good whatever you do with it!

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  7. Your meatballs with vegetables look simply delicious!

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    1. Thank you, Mich! I do agree because I finished all of it hah..hah...

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  8. Oh, I read abt that comment & so that was from ur cousin, haha. Meatballs with tomato sauce is my children favourite!

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    1. Jessie, I am sure you love meatballs too! I am glad my cousin asked for a savoury dish :)

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  9. Ooooo...sweet & sour meat balls!!! My favourite ever since my growing-up days! I super-duper love these. Hmmm...must try and cook my own one of these days. Slurpsssss!!!!!!

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    1. You do that, Arthur. These meatballs were really good :)

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  10. Oh cuz.....they look soooooo good....you are just the best! (even better if you send some over :p)

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    1. You like, huh? If I could fly them to you, I would :)

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  11. This meatball dish looks appetizing. Dishes taste even better when making full use of everything that's in the fridge don't they? I have an equally bad habit of buying too much and end up feeling guilty when i have to throw them away!

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    1. That's what I'm trying to do - major clean-up LOL!

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  12. :))) from time to time I also discover such UFOs in my fridge:)
    ps. meatballs are always a good idea!

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    1. Ola, I am trying to change my bad habit. I over-stock and sometimes I end up wasting.

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  13. I havent try to make my own meatball yet, but yours with tomato sauce and vegetable looks yummy! and the special tomato sauce with apple cider vinegar and maple syrup...I bought a bottle of apple cider vinegar ages ago but don't know how to use it, maybe it is time to give it a try. Thanks!
    Be a working mum, I used to store frozen minced meat too..Sometimes I just stir fried and batches them before I put into freezer and defrost in the microwave whenever I want to use, it is quick and easy!

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    1. Hi Stephanie! I hope that you try making your own meatballs because you can add whatever ingredients that you like. I find that chives is quite fantastic and it really gives the meatballs a lot of oomph! Your kids will love your home made meatballs. You can also make the meatballs and then freeze for future use.

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  14. Yummy ! my saliva drooling. I haven't been making this dish for quite some time cos I will scoop more rice to go with it ... I like to squeeze some lime juice instead of vinegar to the tomato sauce.

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    1. Hi Karen! Oh, I must try lime juice the next time I cook this :)

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  15. i just bought some minced meat and it's sitting in the freezer where it'll live until I take it out to thaw….this meatballs dish of yours sounds like a delicious clean up plan kind of dish that I would like to try too!:D

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    1. Jeannie, please try my recipe hee..hee,,,I liked it a lot. Angkat bakul sendiri LOL!

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  16. You've made me VERY hungry for meatballs...in fact, they just may be our dinner tomorrow. Great impromptu meal, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Lizzy! If only we could do an exchange - your brownies for my meatballs!

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  17. PH, my mum so long never cook such dish liao, now bcos of you, I am going to get her to cook for me this wkend hahahah...

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  18. Hi Phong Hong,
    Your meatballs are looking so mouth-watering! We love meatballs, done in any way. And I sure am liking your way of cooking it!

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    1. Thanks, Joyce! My favourite meatballs are always fried. They are nice just dipped in chilli sauce too. Yums!

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  19. Haha I've been slacking on my blog lately cos I watch too much CSI and Law & Order too :P

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  20. I would have never guess that you made this with only extras -- they look like a well planned meal and delicious too!:)

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! I was fortunate that the ingredients were suitable ones to make these :)

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  21. Phong Hong, I love the different twist you took on these yummy meatballs with the sauce, and not just the same old...same old Italian tomato sauce. Love the addition of the chilli peppers, and the chunks of onions, and the zucchini pieces. Yumm...I'm simply craving these, my dear friend! xo

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    1. Hi Elisabeth! I hope you try this oriental version. It's not bad you know, if you like Chinese food, which I am sure you do!

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