Meatballs: the Non-Italian Kind

In many Asian supermarkets, you can find all sorts of “meatballs” – fish balls, beef balls, lobster balls…The Asian type is nothing like an Italian meatball you can find on top of spaghetti or like the Swedish ones with cream sauce. Rather, the meat in these meatballs are pounded so finely that it results in a completely different texture which tends to have a lot of bounce and firmness to it. According to Wikipedia, this texture is created because pounding the meat breaks down the proteins by uncoiling it and stretching it.

In Asia, many street food vendors sell these stewing in an Asian style curry sauce. Several of these balls are skewered onto a stick and served with a napkin. People just pluck one off with their teeth (no utensils required) and eat them while walking around shopping or running to their next errand. Although I don’t make the curry balls at home, we use them for other dishes such as noodle soup dishes, mixed in with vegetables or add them into a hot pot. They’re easy to use and usually relatively cheap to purchase.

Funny memory: even though the brown balls are called beef balls, my friend thought for years that they were actually beef BALLS (as in beef testicles) and avoided eating them. However, I can assure you they aren’t!

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