Spicy Pork Meatballs

3 Dec

I have been feeling a little uninspired recently.

As much as I love Christmas, I do find it a little stressful; it’s almost like everyone waits all year until the 1st of December and then tries to cram in all parties at once, making it difficult to celebrate properly with all the friends I desperately want to catch up with. With Uni work taking up so much time, I struggle to find time to fit everything in. The other thing I find quite stressful about the Christmas period is shopping. Food shopping actually becomes quite a traumatic experience for me around the festive season! It’s like everyone is somehow convinced that the world is going to end in a few days and then has been given a really high dose of speed before commencing the ‘trolley dash’. It’s faintly reminiscent of bumper cars, but with temperamental trolleys, many screaming children, very stressed out parents, long queues and grumpy people. Where’s the Christmas spirit?! To top it off, all of the normal food has been replaced with huge boxes of chocolates, mince pies, stollen, cheap booze, etc., etc….which is somehow all horrifically cheaper than the healthy food I try so hard to keep in my basket. I find it very difficult to stick to a healthy diet over the Christmas period, and end up waking up mid January feeling terribly frumpy and wondering what on earth happened over the last few weeks! (“What’s that darling? Another mince pie? Oh, go on then…”)

presents web

So, how to sort out nibbly bits with very little time (and probably very little money after all the parties and presents…I do not want to look at my bank balance…eek!)? The next few posts are going to be about how to put on a load of party nibbles cheaply and quickly, with the majority of them able to be prepped the night before, so that you have maxxxxxxxxxxximum time to spend with your besties!

I noticed a good friend of mine munching away on some rather tasty looking food at lunch one day, and when I dropped a few hints about needing some new, speedy recipes she sent me the recipe for Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s spicy pork meatballs. These are so easy to make, it’s just really a matter of mixing everything together in a bowl and then flashing them in a pan. I would be interested to see how they would turn out if using a grill or oven instead, as it might make them a little healthier. They can be prepared the night before, cooked before guests arrived and then kept warm in the oven. The most expensive ingredient is the pork mince, and even that isn’t much of an expense! They are so delicious, each like a little delicious explosion of flavour!

pork balls WEB VERSION


Recipe (makes around 24, or 30 if you make them slightly smaller)

For the meatballs

  • 500g minced pork
  • 20g white breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Rapeseed oil or olive oil, for frying

For the dipping sauce

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2 spring onions, very finely sliced
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus the zest of one if you wish
  • 5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp sesame oil

1. Toast sesame seeds over a low heat in a dry pan. I like to add a few more sesame seeds, perhaps an extra teaspoon.

2. Mix all ingredients together for the meatballs in a large bowl, cover and leave for an hour in the fridge to enhance the flavours.

3. Shape the mixture into small balls. I use a good heaped teaspoon of the mixture.

4. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. A quick note on knives: it really is worth investing in some good kitchen knives. I take them for granted now and don’t know how I managed to chop herbs and vegetables without them before! We use Wusthof and Global knives at home. They are expensive, but they are such an investment and if you look after them they should last for many, many years.

5. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan, or two small frying pans over a medium heat and fry the meatballs until cooked through and golden. This should take around 10-12 minutes. Place them onto a piece of kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.

6. If serving as canapes, place little cocktail sticks in each one, pile them onto a plate around the little bowl of dipping sauce. Alternatively they would act as a wonderful starter before an Asian inspired meal.


One Response to “Spicy Pork Meatballs”


  1. Quick Prep-ahead Party Nibbles « DrinksAndNibbles - December 10, 2012

    […] Spicy Pork Meatballs […]

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