This recipe was inspired by Jean Kwok’s novel, Searching for Sylvie Lee.
When I was making the mixture for the Chicken Dumplings, it dawned on me that this would also make a great meatball. And as a meatball, this appetizer is gluten free. If you don’t want to use chicken, substitute turkey, beef, or pork for equally good results. You could also let this mixture do double duty by doubling the recipe and using half for dumplings, and half for meatballs! As you can see, it’s a versatile combination of ingredients that lends itself into a variety of dishes.
I like the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce that accompanies the Chicken Satay recipe, and I have included it here as well. I think you’ll find it makes a delicious complement!
Ingredients for the Chicken Meatballs
- 500g ground chicken (just over 1 lb) *can substitute turkey, beef, or pork
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 thumbs of ginger, finely grated (5cm, or 2 inches)
- 1 small carrot, finely grated
- ½ of a hot red pepper, finely chopped (seeds removed if you want to lower the heat)
- fresh black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 50 g (½ cup) gluten free oat flour (or ½ cup oats that you’ve blended into flour)
Ingredients for the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
- ½ Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 thumb of ginger, minced (double this if you want a more intense ginger flavour)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small red chili pepper, finely chopped; (for lower heat, seeds and membrane removed)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce (or kecap manis – a sweet soy sauce)
- 80ml (⅓ cup) chunky peanut butter
- one – 400ml (13.5 oz) can full fat coconut milk
Directions for the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Throughout the process, keep tasting the sauce. You may want to add more garlic or ginger, or more peanut butter. Heat the coconut oil over a medium-low heat. Add the chopped shallot and ginger, and sautée for two minutes, until they start to soften. Next, add in the garlic and chili pepper and cook for another minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, and allow the peanut butter to melt. Finally, stir in the coconut milk and heat the mixture through. Your sauce is ready to serve!
Directions for the Chicken Meatballs
Place the ground chicken in a large mixing bowl. Prepare the rest of the ingredients by chopping, grating, and measuring. As you are doing the prep, add each ingredient to the bowl and when all ingredients are there, mix together with a large spoon, even better, get in there with your hands to make sure all is combined. Have a plate ready and begin to roll the meatballs. About a tablespoon or so per meatball, and this recipe should yield about 24 meatballs. If you find the mixture too sticky, add in a bit more of your oat flour. Not too much, or the meatballs will be dry.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, and add a tablespoon or so of light olive oil or coconut oil and place the meatballs in the pan. Try to avoid having the balls touch each other as this will prevent them from browning on all sides. Depending on your heat, and the size of your pan, the meatballs will need turning every 2-3 minutes until they are browned and cooked. As this recipe calls for chicken, you want to make sure they are thoroughly cooked.
When all sides are evenly browned, remove the meatballs from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb some of the fat. You can serve these immediately with the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, or set aside in the fridge and reheat them when needed by tipping them back into the frying pan and gently heating for a few minutes over a low flame.