© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: The Foods of Vietnam by Nicole Rauthier. Stewart, Tabori, 1989.
Servings: 60 meatballs
Serve as an appetizer with chili sauce. These beef balls can also be added to a well-seasoned beef broth, sprinkled with chopped scallions and black pepper and served as a soup (noodles may be added).
¼ cup plus one tablespoon nước mắm (fish sauce)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds trimmed boneless beef hind shank
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
vegetable oil, for shaping meatballs
In a shallow dish, mix the fish sauce, potato starch, baking powder, sugar and black pepper.
Slice the meat into ⅛ inch thick pieces. Add to the marinade and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Before proceeding, transfer the meat to the freezer for 30 minutes. Work with half of the beef at a time; do not overload the work bowl.
In a food processor, combine half of the beef with half of the garlic and sesame oil. Process to a completely smooth but stiff paste, about 3 minutes. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. The completed paste should spring back to the touch. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Process the remaining beef, garlic and sesame oil the same way.
Rub some vegetable oil on one hand. Grab a handful of the meat paste and close your hand into a fist, squeezing out a small portion of the mixture, about 1 teaspoon, between your thumb and index finger. Keep rolling and squeezing the same portion between your thumb and index finger until you obtain a smooth rounded ball. Scoop out the meatball with an oiled spoon. Repeat until all of the paste is used.
Pour 1 inch of water into a wok or wide pot. Place a steamer rack or bamboo steamer over the water. Arrange the meatballs without crowding in a single layer on the rack. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.
These meatballs may be frozen. Thaw them thoroughly, then steam or simmer in boiling water until just heated through.