I love authentic Asian food, but I also have a not-so-secret soft spot for crappy Chinese buffets. I was thinking earlier about how good some meatballs from Super China Buffet would be…but I really didn’t feel like going into town. After digging through my pantry, fridge and freezer, I decided I could just make my own.
I did my best to remember everything, but I don’t have exact amounts for some things because I made it up as I went.
For the balls (snicker, snicker):
1 lb ground beef (ground pork would be good, too)
1 large egg
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
**For the dry spices, I used about a palm full of each. I drizzled the soy sauce directly into the bowl, maybe two laps around?**
Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with a little Pam. Mix all ingredients in a bowl (your hands work best here) until combined, then roll into balls. I used a dinner spoon to scoop the balls and they were about an inch or so. Place balls on greased foil, evenly spaced, and bake for 20-25 minutes. You don’t want to dry them out, but you don’t want to see pink. When they’re done, set them aside on the baking dish or put them directly into your crock pot…just don’t turn it on yet.
For the sauce:
2 cans beef broth
1 small can pineapple chunks
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cans of beef broth and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT corn starch. Blend corn starch with the remaining 1/2 cup of cool or room temp beef broth and set aside. Let sauce come to a simmer, them slowly stir in the corn starch mixture. It should thicken immediately. Pour over meatballs in the crock pot. I put mine on the keep warm setting, but you could probably use low. I think my meatballs were in the crockpot for about three hours.
For something I just made up because I was too lazy to go to the store… these were pretty good! The ginger and creole spice added some nice heat, and the pineapple and brown sugar made it just sweet enough. It definitely went well with my homemade fried rice. I think next time I’ll use ground pork or chicken, though.