It’s Secret Recipe Club time, and this month my partner is Claire of ClaireKCreations. Her blog homepage features a rotating selection of her recipes at the top. When I first opened it, her Thai Sesame Meatball Noodle Salad caught my eye. Just like Claire, these sesame-crusted meatballs are delightful. They make a savory-yet-slightly-sweet appetizer, side dish, or “small plate” for dinner that is sure to please your family and friends.
I made two changes to Claire’s recipe, using ground turkey instead of beef and mixing black sesame seeds in with the white ones. (As you may recall, I discovered black sesame seeds recently, toasting them for a light, fragrant dessert with watermelon. In this recipe, they again lend an exotic undertone to what is already a flavorful meatball.) The recipe makes about 50 tiny meatballs, plenty for an appetizer for a crowd or enough to freeze for another meal if you serve them as a side or main course.
Do check out Claire’s blog for other lovely recipes. I’m thoroughly in love with her desserts and plan to go on a culinary tour of New Zealand and Australia – the latter being her home – with Claire’s Afghanand Anzac biscuits. After that her many lemon recipes will be on my “make this” list, especially herlemon cheesecake cupcakes with lemon curd.
But most of all, check out Claire’s smile and impish sense of humor. She’s got a ton of energy, a sunny disposition and incredible enthusiasm for food adventures and lots else. With her young son Ollie, Claire participates in a mom-and-toddlers group, and this particular recipe for easy meatballs comes from a friend in that group.
The meatballs are quick to throw together and cook in under half an hour. Claire used a convection oven (one with a fan); in the 90+ degree heat in Washington DC this past week, a toaster oven set to turbo (with a fan) worked well.
Just for an experiment, I cooked a few of the meatballs on the stovetop in a cast iron pan with a bit of oil but found that the finished product wasn’t nearly as nice looking as the baked version. Besides, who needs to stand over a hot stove when you can bake without fuss in a toaster oven?
Servings – about 50 teaspoon-sized meatballs
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ pound ground turkey
- 2-3 shallots, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- ½ cup or more of sesame seeds (I used black and white mixed 50/50)
- LIne a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the toaster or regular oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C), preferably on a convection setting (with fan running.) If you don’t have a convection setting, your meatballs may take slightly longer to cook.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until they are completely combined.
- Pour the sesame seeds into a second, shallower bowl. Put slightly heaping teaspoonfuls of the mixture into the sesame seeds, gently rolling them into a ball shape. Once coated lightly with seeds, place them on the lined baking tray.
- Bake them for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
As Claire suggests, a sweet chili dipping sauce would be delicious accompanying them as an appetizer. Or follow her lead, with a sesame oil and soy sauce dressed noodle salad, or mine with rice and broccoli for a quick weeknight dinner. Any way you have them, these little gems are winners.
Thanks for stopping by.