If your new year's resolutions for 2012 include adding variety to your home cooking without getting too wrapped up in technical and fussy details, you ought to consider Seoultown Kitchen (Kyle Books, Fall 2011) by Debbie Lee as a source.
The book is broken into 12 chapters from Kimchee to Tofu via Noodles and Pork.
To give you a taste of Debbie's recipes I share her Chicken Meatballs with a Magnolia Berry Glaze which looks as tasty as it is short, great on a hurried day.
Chicken Meatballs with a Magnolia
I don’t know any cuisine that does not have some version of a meatball. In fact, it is the one item I always look for on the menu when dining out at ethnic restaurants. I love learning about new flavor
profiles as I savor the juiciness of the ground meat. Not to mention, meatballs make amazing appetizers. My take on the Korean meatball incorporates the fruity and floral flavors of the magnolia
berry tree, which grows in Korea. During the harvest, Koreans have omija, a magnolia tea, at the end
of the meal. The first time I tried the drink I thought what a nice sauce it would make for chicken or
fish. Leftover Magnolia Berry Glaze can be refrigerated for 2 weeks and used on grilled fish or a nice
thick pork chop.
Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cook time: 45 Minutes
1 pound ground chicken
1 small yellow onion, puréed in
a food processor
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
For the Magnolia Berry Glaze:
1 quart Chicken Stock (page 147)
1 cup magnolia berry syrup
(available in Korean markets
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
½ cup mirin
2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon finely ground chile
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bunch chives, chopped, for garnish
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, for garnish
1 tablespoon roasted and salted sesame seeds, for garnish
1 In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients except the breadcrumbs and vegetable oil. Mix to incorporate well. Add the breadcrumbs a little at a time. If the mixture seems too wet, add a little more breadcrumbs to bind it. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all the ingredients for the Magnolia Berry Glaze. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce has reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3 Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the meatball mixture from the fridge and form 18 meatballs. Arrange on a sheet pan and place in the freezer to chill for 10 to 15 minutes.
4 In a large stockpot, pour in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 375F when measured with a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Remove the meatballs from the freezer and deep-fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
5 Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a large mixing bowl and add the glaze. Toss well and arrange the meatballs on a baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the ground chicken is cooked through.
6 Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with the chives and both kinds of sesame seeds, and serve hot.
(* Recipe from Seoultown Kitchen by Debbie Lee- published by Kyle Books, Fall 2011- all rights reserved...Photos by Quentin Bacon)