Recipe: Turkey and Leek Meatballs


This is from  Smitten Kitchen, and she got it from The Canal House, whose cookery books I covet so badly.  I didn’t have scallions, but I did have leeks (not from 18saughtonmains but one of his neighbours) which worked fine. I will be making these again because they were popular and also the SK quantities make way too much glaze so we have left over in the fridge. I’m suggesting you make half as much.  We had these for dinner with noodles and steamed broccoli rather than as finger food.  Fed 2 adults and 2 kids, though I think we needed another veg for it to be a proper main meal.

Ginger and Soy Glaze
1/4 cup dark sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce
A large-ish chunk of ginger, peeled and chopped (about an inch or so as this piece of ginger was thick, I would have used a longer piece if it was skinnier)
some coriander seeds
a few peppercorns (about a third of the amount of coriander seeds)

Heat up the sugar and water. When the sugar is all dissolved, add the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer until it is the consistency you like – I stopped when it coated the back of a spoon but if I’d kept going it would have been even stickier – it took me about half an hour. I tasted at this stage and it seemed sweet but once it was on the meatballs it was fine.

Turkey Meatballs

500g mince turkey thighs
1 medium leek, cleaned and the white part chopped
handful of flat parsley
An egg
2 tablespoons seasame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Black pepper

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.  Make into meatballs – the mixture is pretty wet so I settled for roundish rather than perfect meatballs and they were fine when cooked.  Put a reasonable amount of oil in a large pan and fry in batches, turning over once the underside is browned.  I cooked them until both sides were very brown and this took about 8 to 10 minutes.  Don’t over fill the pan, just cover each batch with kitchen towel to keep warm and drain off a little of the oil.

I served with noddles and steam sprouting broccoli, pouring the glaze over the top.  They would also be nice with small bowls of the glaze for people to dip their meatballs, which is always popular with my kids.

About Nuala

Geeky feminist Irish woman living in Scotland. Has two daughters and a lot of yarn. Really likes hummus.
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