Hainan Meatball Salad on Reunion Day !

We’ve all been a bit hyper this week-end. Soooo much excitement, Izzy! First, dad arrived home from St. Petersburg and London, having spent countless hours on a plane. He got right to work, helping with the unpacking of the house. (By the way, he’s trying to track you down to book your flights home next week!)

Then today, after three whole months apart, the doggies were released from quarantine, and delivered home! Our American girls are now fully fledged Aussies! They bounded up the stairs, and made themselves at home right away. It is so wonderful to have them in the fold again, Izzy, we are now a complete unit again. All family members in the same country. I am a happy mumma.

First dinner at home- yes, they had steak!

In amongst all the commotion, we had a welcome distraction in the form of a lunchtime visit from Wild JC. It was a perfect weather day: still and sunny, and the air was tinged with warmth and scented with wisteria, blooming purple in the courtyard.

I had all the ingredients for Hainan meatballs, so made some up for lunch.  I don’t know if we ever discussed this, but the name Hainan Meatballs is entirely a made up one. I made up this recipe many years ago, and instead of calling them plain old pork balls, I named them after a part of China many of my friends’ ancestors come from. I guess it tastes vaguely Chinese, but I doubt anyone worth their salt in China would be making dumplings quite this simple! Still, no one ever stopped at one of these: they are certainly worth making, whatever the hybrid.

Hainan Meatballs

  • 1/2 kg pork mince
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander/cilantro ( washed, and chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 250 g can water chestnuts (roughly chopped)
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and form into small balls, each about the size of a golf ball. 
  2. Place the meatballs onto a plate ( 1/2 kg should make about 14 to 15 balls).
  3. Put the plate on a steamer which fits into a wide saucepan with a well fitting lid.
  4. Bring to the boil, and then turn heat to low and cook for 20-30 minutes. 

Pork mince and chopped cilantro.

Shape into balls…..

A can of water chestnuts the secret ingredient.

Steam gently……

Serve as an hors d’oeuvre with sweet chilli sauce, or for a casual meal, turn these into a :

Meatball Salad

  • About 15 cooked meatballs
  • 1 packet of rocket or baby spinach or a combination of both
  • 1/2 cup roughly crushed peanuts
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • salt and coarsely cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 packet thin spaghetti
  1. Place the meatballs in a shallow platter with the leaves.
  2. Boil a pan of water and cook the spaghetti until al dente, drain and add to the platter.
  3. Quickly make up the dressing with the lime juice, oils, chilli sauce, salt and pepper, chilli flakes and sesame seeds. Combine these ingredients well. 
  4. Toss all the ingredients in the platter with the dressing. Serve at room temperature, topped with crushed peanuts.

Love this sweet, hot and sour dressing.

Served in a salad!

We ate the meal with chopsticks in the warm sunshine with the doggies at our feet. Next week, you will be here, and we will have many more lazy lunches: a well deserved break for you and your sister after a busy semester. Can’t wait for you to be here in the new house, and be with the lady dogs again! I’ll be so happy to be cooking for you. xoxo

Note: for a Gluten free version of this recipe, simply substitute the spaghetti with rice stick noodles!

3 thoughts on “Hainan Meatball Salad on Reunion Day !

  1. Pingback: Purple Plum Torte and Little People at Easter Time | Izzy have you eaten?

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