I love eating meat balls in tomato sauce. A plate of meat balls in tomato sauce can “carry” a lot of rice. When I first attempted to make this dish, one problem I had was that my meatballs tend to fall apart while cooking, and they have a rather crumbling texture. In my memory, the meatballs I ate back in Vietnam were very tender, and when you bite into them they are smooth, not crumbling and falling apart. After doing some readings on the internet, I found out that the minced meat I bought is rougher-minced than the one I usually have in Vietnam, so they will have a more crumbling texture. Luckily I have a food processor so in went the meat, pulsed once or twice and the meat is much smoother. I also got a small tip from making Meat loaf of adding breadcrumbs into the minced meat to help the meat balls stay together and keep them moist as well.
For the cooking part I kind of follow the cooking process of fried tofu in tomato sauce, so I flash-fried the meat balls and then simmer them in the sauce. Personally I prefer frying to steaming, since it give the meat balls a very tempting golden brown crust and fragrance. I usually make this dish for dinner, eat half of it, reheat them the next day and put them in bread and I’d have a delicious meat ball sandwich for lunch. You can also make a big batch on the weekend, divide them into smaller boxes and freeze them, and when you don’t have time to cook you just have to take some out, thaw, reheat, and serve with rice or bread
Công thức tiếng Việt: Thịt viên (xíu mại) sốt cà chua
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Servings: 2 people
- 200g minced pork
- 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs (panko)
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 big tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- Salt, pepper, sugar (to taste)
1. Making the meat balls:
– Put the minced pork in a food processor or a blender, pulse once or twice so the meat is more finely mince, it doesn’t have to be as finely as the kind of meat you use for pork paste. Mix well with breadcrumbs, egg yolk and the seasonings and form into small balls.
I use a measuring spoon to measure and form the meat balls, each of my meat balls is one tablespoon and I made 12, you can make yours smaller or bigger as you would like to. I personally prefer this size, as they are not too big to serve in a sandwich. You can change the seasoning to your preference, hold back on the salt though since we have the tomato sauce as well. You can cook a small part of the mixture in the microwave or on stove top to taste and adjust.
-Heat a generous amount of oil on high heat, add the meat balls and flash fry. You don’t have to cook them thoroughly since we are going to simmer them in the tomato sauce. Just fry until the meat balls turn golden brown and emit a delicious fragrance. Put the fried meat balls on some paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
200g minced pork; 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs (panko); 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce; 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce; 1/2 teaspoon pepper; 1 egg yolk
2. Making the tomato sauce:
– Make a cross incision on the top and bottom of the tomato. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add the tomatoes in for 30-45 seconds, and then transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Peel the tomatoes, put the juice and seeds aside, and chop the remaining pulp. Finely mince the garlic.
– Heat a tablespoon of oil on high heat, add the garlic and toss until fragranced, then add the tomato pulps, pass the seeds through a sieve to get all the juice and add this to the pan, discard the seeds.
– Sprinkle some salt on top of the tomatoes and stir until the tomatoes are soft and has turned into a paste, add water if the paste is too thick. Add the meat balls and ketchup, season to your taste (the sauce will be more salty after reducing so hold back on the salt), reduce to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stir from times to times so the meat balls can evenly absorb the sauce.
2 big tomatoes; 1 clove of garlic; 1 tablespoon ketchup; salt, pepper, sugar (to taste)
3. When the sauce is thicken enough to your liking, turn off the heat, transfer the meat balls to a serving dish, pour the sauce on top. Serve hot with rice or bread.
Have a fun and delicious Sunday everyone ^^