Friday, January 13, 2012

Foodie Friday: Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce

Asian Meatballs
About a month ago, I had the pleasure of tasting a sample of grass-fed ground beef prepared by the very ranchers that helped raised the cattle that produced that ground beef.  That one bite was one of the most delicious bites of ground beef I've ever had. I had to ask how it was prepared, and the rancher-chef answered,  "Just a little bit of salt and pepper. That's it!"  I was sold instantly.  While I've made a variety of dishes with that ground beef purchase, one of my favorites so far has been these Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce.  I thought that these would be a nice dinner option because my kids tend to like meatballs, and my husband and I love food with an Asian flair.  My family has definitely enjoyed these scrumptious meatballs, and I envision them becoming a regular option on our dinner menu.  If you give them a try, let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce
Adapted from:, January 12, 2010

{Print this recipe}
Ingredients for the Asian Meatballs:
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (If you're going for gluten-free, then there are gluten-free bread crumbs available.)
1 pound grass-fed ground beef or 90% lean ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari (I use San-J Organic Tamari Gluten-Free Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce.)
2 tsp sesame oil

Ingredients for the Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce:
4 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp water
4 sprigs of fresh cilantro, for topping

1.  Preheat oven to 500F.
2.  Combine the bread crumbs, ground beef, egg, ginger, garlic, salt, chopped cilantro, 1 Tbsp tamari, and 2 tsp sesame oil in a bowl.  Mix together with your hands until well combined.  Form the meatballs using about 3 Tbsp of the meat mixture.  Transfer each meatball to a 13" x 9" baking dish, making sure they are about 1/2-inch apart.  Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
3.  While the meatballs are baking, prepare the dipping sauce by combining the remaining 4 Tbsp of tamari, 2 tsp of sesame oil, lime juice, and water. Stir together until well combined.
4.  When the meatballs are done cooking, transfer them to a serving dish.  Stir the sauce and drizzle about 1 Tbsp of the dipping sauce over the meatballs.  Sprinkle with the cilantro sprigs.  Then serve the meatballs with the remaining sauce.
*This dish pairs well with steamed brown rice and steamed, roasted, grilled, or sauteed Asian vegetables, like bok choy or cabbage.

Serves:  4
Nutritional Information for about 3 meatballs:
Calories:  284   Carbohydrate:  4 g   Protein:  27 g   Fat:  17 g   Cholesterol:  127 mg   Fiber: 0.5 g   Sugar: 0 g   Sodium:  1287 mg
Excellent source of: riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6, B12, and A, iron, and zinc
Good source of:  potassium
*This dish is high in sodium due to the tamari.  If you'd like to minimize the sodium level, you can use less of the tamari and a little more water in the sauce and/or use less of the sauce.  My kids actually enjoyed these without any extra sauce.
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