I have had the pleasure of working in a few Asian restaurants, and at each one, I learned a new aromatic, spice, or cooking technique. While helping at a friend's Korean BBQ joint, I fell in love with gochugaru, aka Korean chili flake (now a staple in our home). In this dish, I combine Korean flavors with a Mao Pao Tofu cooking technique, making for a quick, easy and comforting weeknight meal.
Vietnamese Inspired Pork Meatballs
My very first job in the hospitality industry was at a Vietnamese and Thai restaurant in my hometown. I remember the aromas coming out of the kitchen and the Vietnamese women, cooking at the stove. Nicole, the owner inspired so much in me. I had grown up in the kitchen but once I got a taste of the restaurant business, I was hooked. Though I mostly worked in the front of the house, I was the first to volunteer for prep, or to help out on the line when some called in sick. The moments I got to step into the kitchen and learn were truly some of the best times in my hospitality career.
These meatballs are inspired by the amazing cooks at The Lemon Grass Restaurant in the ’90s. They inspired me in ways I didn’t even understand back then, but now I see all those moments they took to teach me or answer questions come together as I build this blog. I will be forever grateful.
I hope you enjoy these easy Vietnamese Inspired Pork Meatballs as much as my wife does. We eat them as an appetizer, in a bun, wrapped in a piece of crisp lettuce or with rice. You can absolutely sub out fresh ingredients, but I wanted this recipe to be easy and approachable for anyone. We don’t always have fresh ginger or garlic in our kitchens, but we can’t let that stop us so we use the spice powders and granules to make these meatballs come together quickly and easily.
10 to 15 minutes
12 to 14 Meatballs (Depending on Size)
Quick Pickled Vietnamese Carrots and Daikon
Make a jar of these and leave them in the fridge to put on tacos, salads, sandwiches, lettuce wraps, a burger, or just eat them with a fork.
12 oz jar
Canna Infused Avocado Oil
One of the best ways to cook with cannabis is with infused oils or butter. This is a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to make your own infused cooking oil. If you are in a state where cannabis is legal, check your local dispensary for FSO or RSO.
Garlic Chuck Roast (Instant Pot)
This simple roast is a great meal prep option to start your week off right. Eat as is, or use the beef to make a variety of quick weeknight meals.
Teriyaki Chicken (Paleo, No Refined Sugar, Gluten-Free and Soy Free)
Growing up in the Seattle area Teriyaki Chicken was a staple, and it is still one of my favorites. This recipe is a "healthier" update to the original version, which is very high in sugar. For the best results, marinate the chicken overnight, but it can be a quick marinade as well.
I typically break out my grill pan when we have Teriyaki, but sometimes I don't have the energy, so into the air fryer the chicken goes, both cooking methods are included.
For the perfect sweet and heat combo, pair the chicken with my Spicy Broccolini.