I love a little heat in my food, especially when that heat is paired with an amazing depth of flavor. It took a lot of experimenting, but I finally got both the meatballs and the sauce for the whole dish exactly how I like it- full of flavor with a nice, subtle heat that eventually takes you by surprise. I kept that sauce separate and let everyone add what they wanted. This was a fantastic make-ahead meal that was easy to assemble on-the-fly. I kept the slaw in one dish and added the reheated meatballs and sauce to that when I was ready to eat. Since I was reheating the meatballs, I left them slightly undercooked so they wouldn’t dry out, but that was personal preference.
There’s lots of ways to change this up. You can use any ground meat, or a mixture of more than one. I used 93% lean ground beef. You can reduce the heat by reducing the amount of Sriracha and increase the sweetness by adding more molasses or including some honey to the sauce. I used a bed of spinach, but you could certainly serve this with rice or even zoodles!
For the Meatballs:
- 3 lbs lean ground beef
- 1.5 c shredded sweet potato (this is a bread crumb replacement, the starch helps bind the meatballs
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup fresh grated ginger
- 3/4 t salt
- 1 t pepper
- 15 green onions, chopped fine, tops included.
- 3 crushed garlic cloves
For the Sauce
- 1/2 c soy sauce or Tamari
- 1/2 c rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 c Sriracha
- 1/4c fresh grated ginger
- 4 T crushed garlic
- 1T toasted sesame oil
- 1T Molasses
For the Slaw
- 4-6 cups shredded red cabbage
- 4-6 cups shredded napa cabbage
- 2 cups shredded or “matchstick” carrots
Mix all meatball ingredients and shape into balls. I made golf-ball size ones, about 2-3 oz each. I like to cook mine in a frying pan, but you can also bake them. Turn with a fork to cook the outside evenly, turn down to low and cook for 5-7 more minutes. This made 32 meatballs. If not serving immediately, transfer into sealed container.
In a saucepan, mix all ingredients for sauce and heat to a simmer, stirring regularly. After about 10 minutes, it should be noticeably thicker. Pour into sealable container if not serving immediately.
Mix cabbages and carrots. When ready to serve, use about a tablespoon of the sauce for every two cups of slaw.
To plate, I like a bed of spinach, with slaw on one side and meatballs on the other. yOu can dip the meatballs into the sauce or pout a little over the top. Remember, I warned you about the heat!