These Chinese meatballs are juicy, melt in the mouth and then cooked in a spicy Chinese sauce. Once again a quick 30 minutes meal perfect for a weekday meal. Make amazing meal prep lunch bowl with these meatballs.
A brand new week is ahead. If you are unlike me, you would have already started planning the weekday menu. You know it a very good practice to do a meal plan for the upcoming week. It saves a lot of time and also you don't have to bang your head when its dinner time.
I am very bad when it comes to planning meal a week ahead. I have tried a couple of times but this planning thing just doesn't work for us. Our menu depends on the mood on that day.
Most of the time it happens spontaneously. It is not that difficult because I keep thinking about new recipes at the back of my head.
OK, the reason I am telling you about all these meal prep/meal planning thing is that I made an amazing meal prep lunch box with these meatballs. I made a big batch of these juicy Chinese chicken meatballs and no way we could have finished them on the same day though they were too yum. Then I thought why not make a meal prep lunchbox with the leftovers.
Lately, I am seeing lots of Meal Prep lunch box recipes on Pinterest. To be honest I have never thought of making food in bulk and freezing them for later. I have grown up eating freshly cooked food every day. And with a toddler at home, I always make sure she gets freshly cooked nutritious food every day. Saying that I do understand there are many working women who can not afford cooking every day for various reasons. And for them, these meal prep box is way better than takeouts.
In fact, I had kept a couple of boxes in the freezer and had them later. Actually, it's good to have such meal boxes available in the freezer. When you are really running out of time or in a mood to have something good then just microwave the box and you are good to go.
TIPS TO MAKE JUICY CHICKEN MEATBALLS
OK, so I have told enough about how cool this lunch box idea is. Now let me tell you about these amazing meatballs. They were just perfect. My Hubby who hates meatballs couldn't stop himself from praising it. Here are a few things that I learned about meatballs especially when the protein used is chicken. Chicken tends to dry fast if you cook it for too long. So here are the few things that make the meatballs moist
- Soaking the bread/bread crumbs with little milk helps to make the balls moist.
- Adding raw grated onion to the mixture. When onion gets cooked it releases moisture and help to keep the protein moist.
- Because we are going to cook the meatballs again in a sauce, cook the meatballs little underdone. While resting the meatballs will cook little further. And while cooking in the sauce it will be done.
A couple of other tips while making meatball are
- Drain the minced chicken to get rid of any extra water. Too much water it will make it difficult to shape.
- Shape the meatballs with slightly wet hand. Wet hands prevent the mixture from sticking to hand.
- If you are not sure about the seasoning, make a small ball and cook. Then you can check the seasoning and adjust.
Few more Chinese Inspired recipes you might like
- 500 gms Minced Chicken
- 2 Bread Slices
- 1/4 Cup milk
- 1/2 onion Grated or Finely Minced
- 1 tsp ginger Finely Minced
- 1 tsp garlic Finely Minced
- 1 egg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tspn Red chili flakes (Optional)
- 2 tbspn Sesame Oil or Vegetable Oil
For the Sauce
- 1.5 cup chicken stock
- 1 tspn Dark soy sauce
- 3 tspn light Soy Sauce
- 1 tspn oyster sauce
- 2 tspn Sirach or any hot sauce (adjust as per taste)
- 2 tspn honey
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp garlic Minced
- 1/2 tbsp ginger Minced
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 2-3 dry red chili
- Toasted Seasame seeds
For meal prep lunch bowl
- Cooked white rice
- Blanched broccoli,Beans,carrot,pepper
- Cut bread to small pieces. Soak bread in milk for 10-15 minutes. Then using hand break any bigger pieces and make a smooth mixture.
- Drain excess water from minced chicken.
- Add all the ingredients mentioned under Meatball except Oil. Add bread milk mixture. Mix everything with hand till well incorporated.
- If you feel the mixture is still wet and difficult to make balls then add a couple of teaspoons of bread crumb to the mixture. But the mixture should not be very dry. It should be little high in liquid content.
- With wet hands make small balls of equal size. (Use a tablespoon to measure).
- Add 1 table spoon oil to a pan (Preferably a cast iron pan).
- Working in batches place the meatballs in a single layer. Don't over crowd the pan. Let it cook (on medium-low heat) undisturbed on one side. Then turn and cook further till the ball looks light golden brown in color.
- Repeat the above process till all the meatballs are cooked. (Use extra oil if required). Keep the cooked meatballs aside and let it rest.
For the sauce
- In the same pan add 1 tbsp oil. Add Whole red chilies followed by chopped ginger and garlic. Fry until the raw smell is gone but ginger-garlic is not browned.
- Mix rest of the ingredients mentioned under sauce. Add to the pan.
- Let the sauce comes to a boil. The sauce will start to thicken a little bit.
- Add cooked meatballs. Cook on medium heat till the sauce reached the desired consistency and meatballs are well coated with the sauce. ( Because this will be served with rice I would prefer a bit more sauce in the final dish)
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions while serving.