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Turn chicken breasts into Asian glazed chicken meatballs

They’re topped with a hoisin sauce, and can be baked or pan-fried.
Hoisin-glazed chicken meatballs. [LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI | Special to the Times]
Published Sep. 17

What do you cook with three lonely chicken breasts sitting in your fridge? How about Asian chicken meatballs?

Two of my favorite things to eat, Asian food and meatballs, come together to make this dish that’s enhanced by a hoisin sauce. These meatballs are tender, flavorful and very versatile. Use them in Asian soups or add them to a rice or noodle dish.

If you like your sauce spicy, just add ½ teaspoon or more of chili garlic sauce. I like to pan-fry the meatballs to develop a beautiful brown crusty coating, but you can also bake them in the oven. To do so, line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil, coat with 2 tablespoons canola oil and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked through. Turn to brown both sides during cooking.

You can also make these meatballs smaller, as bite-sized appetizers. Serve them individually skewered with toothpicks, drizzled with the hoisin sauce.

Keep these meatballs warm in the oven until ready to serve. Make dinner complete with stir-fried baby bok choy and buckwheat noodles, a delicious Asian meal that rivals any takeout.

Here are some tips for preparing this recipe. Use your food processor or a large sharp knife to finely mince everything separately. If you use your food processor, wipe out the bowl after each ingredient is minced. It is best to cut the larger ingredients into smaller pieces before adding to the bowl of the processor. Set each prepped ingredient aside in separate small bowls.

Here is the order in which I like to prep my ingredients. Mince the carrots, garlic, fresh ginger root, stalks of green onions and basil leaves (no stems), then the boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Asian Hoisin Sauced Chicken Meatballs

Who needs takeout? Whip up Asian Hoisin Sauced Chicken Meatballs at home. [LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI | Special to the Times]

For the hoisin sauce:

½ cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup water

¼ cup finely minced green onions, green and white parts

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic cloves

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger, peeled

1 teaspoon finely minced Thai basil leaves, no stems

½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce, such as Huy Fong, optional if you like a bit of heat

For the meatballs:

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 3, finely minced

1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, preferably homemade

1 cup finely minced carrots, about 2 large carrots, peeled

½ cup finely minced green onions, both green and white parts

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger, peeled

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic cloves

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh Thai basil leaves, no stems

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon each salt and pepper

½ teaspoon ground allspice

1 large egg

¼ cup canola oil, or more if needed

¼ cup minced green onions, green and white parts, for serving

Make the hoisin sauce: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Add the chili garlic sauce only if you like a bit of heat. Set aside while you make the meatballs. This sauce is for both saucing the meatballs and serving at the table.

Make the meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, add all the meatball ingredients, mixing together until well combined. Roll the mixture into 2-inch meatballs, place on a ¼ sheet pan and set by the stovetop.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet on high heat, add the canola oil and heat to a shimmer. Fry the meatballs in an even layer, browning both the top and bottom, until the chicken is fully cooked. Add more oil to the pan if necessary. Place the cooked meatballs on a serving platter or keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Pour half the hoisin sauce mixture over the meatballs on the platter and sprinkle ¼ cup minced green onions on top. Serve the remaining hoisin sauce at the table in a small bowl.

Lorraine Fina Stevenski is a self-taught baker and award-winning recipe contest addict. This column features recipes that have been entered in contests across America and updated for readers who love to bake. Check out what she’s cooking and creating right now on her Facebook page, LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI. Contact her at lorrainestevenski@gmail.com.

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