Wednesday, December 3

Lemongrass Pork Meatball & Quinoa Bowl

Vietnamese-style pork meatballs with quinoa, fresh veggies, and a spicy vinaigrette

Lemongrass Pork Meatball and Quinoa Bowl

This winter is all about bowl foods and this Vietnamese-inspired meatball number is our new favorite. The meatballs are heavily flavored with Asian ingredients like lemongrass, fish sauce, and scallions, and then bake until tender and juicy. They would be great on their own as an appetizer, but the combination of meatballs with quinoa, crunchy raw veggies, and nuoc mam (spicy fish sauce vinaigrette) is a complete and well-balanced meal. I absolutely love the sweet, spicy, salty, and acidic dressing and serve it alongside the bowls so it can be drizzled on each bite and soak into the meatballs and quinoa. If quinoa isn't your thing, you can switch it up and use noodles or rice instead. Same goes with the veggies, which can be customized to whatever you like or need to use up from your fridge. I'm pretty sure you can even swap the ground pork for chicken or beef and it would still taste great. Leftovers held up well (everything packaged separately and then assembled after the meatballs and quinoa were reheated) for two days.

Related Recipes:
- Roasted Winter Vegetable & Quinoa Bowl
- Turkey Ricotta Meatballs
- Vegetable Burrito Bowl

Lemongrass Pork Meatball & Quinoa Bowl with Nuoc Mam Vinaigrette:
For Vinaigrette
- 1 Thai chile*
- 1 clove garlic
- 3/4 c. warm water
- 2 1/2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1/2 lime, juiced

For Meatballs
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 onion, finely minced
- 1/4 c. scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. lemongrass, finely grated or minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1/2 tbsp. sugar
- pinch of pepper

For Bowl
- 2 c. cooked quinoa
- 1 c. carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 2 c. loosely-packed greens, such as mizuna or tatsoi

For Vinaigrette
  • Grind the chile, garlic, and sugar together into a paste in a mortar and pestle or food processor.
  • Whisk in the water, fish sauce, and lime juice until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Store in the fridge until serving, up to three days. Stir before using.
For Meatballs
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Combine the egg, panko, onion, scallions, lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Add in the ground pork and mix until well combined.
  • Form the pork into 1" balls and arrange on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the meatballs for 25 minutes, or until just cooked through.
For Bowl
  • Divide the quinoa among four bowls and top with meatballs, greens, and carrots.
  • Drizzle with nuoc mam and serve extra on the side.

Serves four
*Or you can use a serrano or jalapeƱo for less spice.