We've gotten into quite a routine with the Vietnamese noodle bowls this spring--almost summer! With lettuce and fresh herbs from the garden, it's hard to resist making this once a week (and nobody's complaining about that!). Only problem is, I've run out of the chunk venison and pork tenderloin that were perfect for marinating and pan-frying for the top of the salad. What I still have tons of in the freezer is ground venison.
Enter: Asian Meatballs! I thought just seasoning and frying ground meat would be a little weird for this dish, but a nicely defined meatball? Could work. I found a recipe and dove in.
I modified the recipe a bit, but not enough to really post a new recipe. I used green onion instead of regular onion. I added a dash of sesame oil. I used pepper paste instead of pepper flakes. That sort of thing. The smell was heavenly. And the meatballs worked out pretty well with the noodle bowl too.
Our only complaint: they were a bit too big to maneuver easily with the chopsticks. Remedy? I made the rest of the batch into mini-meatballs which were frozen raw on a baking sheet then put into a container for future use. Whenever I make noodle bowls, I'll just bake the meatballs at about 375F for 10-15 minutes and be ready to go!
Aren't they adorable?