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Grilled Meatballs With Peanut Sauce

These meatballs are equally good grilled over charcoal or broiled under an oven grill.

- 500g (1lb) lean pork or beef, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon rice wine, sherry or sake
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Roasted Rice Powder (*)
- 120g (1/2 cup) crunchy peanut butter

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended

Yields375ml (1,5 cups)
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

- 120g (4 oz) dried rice vermicelli, blanched for 1 to 2 minutes until soft, than rinsed with cold water and drained
- 1 to 2 heads butter lettuce, leaves wash and separated
- 40g (1 cup) mint leaves
- 1 brunch coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 medium cucumber, deseeded and cut into thin strips
- ½ small ripe pineapple, cubed to yields 2 cups

  • Make the meatballs first by combining the pork or beef, garlic, rice wine, sugar and salt in a large bowl, and mixing until well blended. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • While the meat is marinating, make the Peanut Dipping Sauce.
  • Grind the marinated mixture in a food processor, than combine in a bowl with the Roasted Rice Powder, fish sauce and oil, and mix well. Wet your hands, spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture and shape it into a ball. Repeat until all the meat mixture is used up.
  • Thread the meatballs onto the bamboo skewers and grill, a few skewers at a time, on a pan grill or under a preheated broiler using medium heat for about 5 minutes each, turning frequently, until evenly browned and cooked through.
  • Arrange the meatballs with the Accompaniments on a serving platter and serve with bowl of  Peanut Dipping Sauce on the side.

    Invite your guests to wrap the meatballs in a lettuce leaf together with small amounts of all the other Accompaniments before eating it.

    Makes 36 maetballs
    Preparation time: 30 mins + 30 mins to marinate
    Cooking time: 20 mins.

    * Roasted Rice Powder
    - 100g (1/2 cup) uncooked rice grains
    Preheat the oven to 1200C (2500F). Bake the rice in the oven, stirring from time to time, until the rice turns light brown. Do not overcook. Alternatively, dry-fry the rice in a skillet over low heat for 10 mintues, stirring continuously, until fragrant and light brown. Grind the roasted rice grains to a powder in a blender. Stone in a tightly sealed container for up to several months.
    - 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    - 1 tablespoon oil
    - 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour before using
    - 1 portion Peanut Dipping Sauce (**)

    ** Peanut Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Leo)
    - 185 ml (3/4 cup) water
    - 60ml (1/4 cup) hoisin sauce
    - 1 tablespoon tamarind juice (***)
    - 120g (1/2 cup) crunchy peanut butter

    *** Tamarind is a large, brown tree pod with a soft, sour pulp and hard, black seeds inside. Tamarind pulp is rich in vitamin C and has a tangy, acidic tatte. It is used as a souring agent throughout the world. It can be bouht fresh, dried, or in pulp form, and the pulp is commonly sold in compressed blocks, with the seeds removed. To make tamarind juice, mx 1 tablespoon of warm water, then mash well and strain to remove the seeds and fibres.

  • (Source: homestyle vietnamese cooking)

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