Glazed Meatball Bento
- 1/2 pound ground pork or beef
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sake
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
- 1 chopped green onions (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch
- Oil - (abt 2 cups) for deep-frying
- SWEET AND SOUR GLAZE:
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon potato starch or cornstarch
- BASIC RICE:
- 1 cup short-grain rice
- 1 cup water plus
- 2 tablespoons water - (to 3)
For the Meatballs: Combine the ground meat, soy sauce, sake, ginger, onion, salt and starch and mix well. Form into 16 (1-inch) balls. Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 350 degrees. Fry the meatballs until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or Chinese deep-fry ladle. Drain on paper towels. Note: Make the meatballs the night before you plan to fix the bento boxes. Usually most of the meatballs will disappear before they reach the bento box, so you might want to double the recipe and serve them as appetizers before dinner.
For the Sweet And Sour Glaze: Combine the broth, sugar, soy sauce, salt and rice vinegar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Dissolve the starch in 1 teaspoon of water and add to the broth mixture. Continue cooking until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, about 1 minute.
For the Basic Rice: Gently rinse the rice under cold running water 2 or 3 times. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, 20 minutes.
For Assembly: Dip the meatballs in the Sweet and Sour Glaze. Place the meatballs on skewers if you wish. Place some rice in each bento box. Arrange the meatballs next to the rice. Serve with steamed green beans or snow peas alongside. Put a slice of apple or strawberries next to the green vegetables.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
Each serving: 184 calories; 565 mg sodium; 33 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 0.06 gram fiber.