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Glazed Meatball Bento

Cuisine: Japanese
Type: Meat
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

1/2 lb 227g / 8ozGround pork or beef
1 teaspoon 5mlSoy sauce
1 teaspoon 5mlSake
1 teaspoon 5mlGrated ginger root
1   Chopped green onions - (optional)
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlSalt
1 tablespoon 15mlPotato starch or cornstarch
  Oil - (abt 2 cups) - for deep-frying
  Sweet and Sour Glaze
3/4 cup 177mlChicken broth
2 tablespoons 30mlSugar
1 tablespoon 15mlSoy sauce
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlSalt
3 tablespoons 45mlRice vinegar
1 teaspoon 5mlPotato starch or cornstarch
  Basic Rice
1 cup 160g / 5.6ozShort-grain rice
1 cup 237mlWater - plus
2 tablespoons 30mlWater - (to 3)

Recipe Instructions

For the Meatballs: Combine the ground meat, soy sauce, sake, ginger, onion, salt and starch and mix well. Form into 16 (1-inch) balls. Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 350 degrees. Fry the meatballs until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or Chinese deep-fry ladle. Drain on paper towels. Note: Make the meatballs the night before you plan to fix the bento boxes. Usually most of the meatballs will disappear before they reach the bento box, so you might want to double the recipe and serve them as appetizers before dinner.

For the Sweet And Sour Glaze: Combine the broth, sugar, soy sauce, salt and rice vinegar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Dissolve the starch in 1 teaspoon of water and add to the broth mixture. Continue cooking until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, about 1 minute.

For the Basic Rice: Gently rinse the rice under cold running water 2 or 3 times. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, 20 minutes.

For Assembly: Dip the meatballs in the Sweet and Sour Glaze. Place the meatballs on skewers if you wish. Place some rice in each bento box. Arrange the meatballs next to the rice. Serve with steamed green beans or snow peas alongside. Put a slice of apple or strawberries next to the green vegetables.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Each serving: 184 calories; 565 mg sodium; 33 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 0.06 gram fiber.

The Los Angeles Times, 05-15-2002


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