Korean Meatballs with Quick Pickled Cucumbers

The theme this month for Aspiring Bakers is Reunion Dinner/Chinese New Year. While I technically made these closer to the January 1st New Year while I was at my mom’s, Google leads me to believe that they’d be an acceptable CNY dish… I’ll be making something more traditional for a mini-Chinese New Years party at work on the actual day! (January 23, by the way.)

Pickle Ingredients:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (you can get it from the same company that makes Sriracha, it looks like this)

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • cooking spray

The pickles have to sit for several hours, so start with them first. Slice the cucumber into very thin rounds. We used my mom’s food processor so this only took a few seconds.

Combine the cucumber and garlic in a medium bowl.

Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes or until boiling. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers, then stir in the sambal oelek.

Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. This should give you plenty of time to go see the Muppet movie, or whatever it is you had planned… When you’re ready to serve, do so with a slotted spoon.

To make the meatballs, first preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Get your food processor back out and blend together the brown sugar, oil, and garlic, processing until finely ground.

Add the soy sauce, salt, and chicken, and continue processing until again finely ground.

Appealing!

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Divide the mixture into heaping tablespoon sized balls and shape into meatballs with wet hands. We ignored this and tried scooping with a cookie scoop which meant some of our meatballs weren’t as tightly packed as they should have been, but boy was it less gross! Cook the meatballs in batches in the pan you were preheating, cooking each for 4 minutes and rotating so they brown all over.

Spray a jell-roll pan with cooking spray, then place the browned meatballs on it. Bake at 400 for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

This was a double batch, so it's not actually a particularly large recipe.

We served it with the pickles, kimchi, white rice, and some japchae (sweet potato noodles) that my mom got at the store. It was delicious!

It wouldn't even be this blog without my thumb sticking out somewhere...

The pickles were very strong (I may not have measured the sambal oelek very carefully) and the meatballs were a really nice flavor, and still kind of moist in a good way. I think the sides my mom got made it a pretty ideal meal!

As I half-alluded to above, I’ll be submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #15: Auspicious Dishes for CNY (January 2012) hosted by Wen of Wen’s Delight.

Korean Meatballs and Quick Pickled Cucumbers

From Cooking Light. (meatballs//cucumbers)

Pickles:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek

Meatballs:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • cooking spray

To make the pickles, slice the cucumber into very thin rounds. Combine with garlic in a medium bowl.

Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes or until boiling. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers, then stir in the sambal oelek.

Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

For the meatballs, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the brown sugar, oil, and garlic in food processor and processing until finely ground. Add the soy sauce, salt, and chicken, and continue processing until again finely ground.Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Divide the mixture into heaping tablespoon sized balls and shape into meatballs with wet hands.  Cook the meatballs in batches in the preheated skillet, cooking each for 4 minutes and rotating so they brown all over.

Spray a jell-roll pan with cooking spray, then place the browned meatballs on it. Bake at 400 for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve with pickles and sides as desired.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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5 Responses to Korean Meatballs with Quick Pickled Cucumbers

  1. Love Korean food! The meatballs look yummy with all the side dishes! Looking forward to another CNY entry from you! Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Fresh Cucumber » Korean Meatballs and Quick Pickled Cucumbers | sparecake

  3. Pingback: Fresh Cucumber » Korean Meatballs with Quick Pickled Cucumbers | sparecake

  4. Pingback: 2014 Wrap-Up | sparecake

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