Mabelle's Meatballs


Otherwise known as Ma-balls (May-balls). This recipe is dedicated to my best friend’s Chinese grandmother. I’ve never met her, but Perry’s stories about me make me wish I have. She sounds like one of those incredible women who speaks her mind, carries on traditions, and is a true matriarch. Perry’s stories of her grandmother remind me a lot of my grandmother. I love hearing about strong women who lead their families through so many different decades. And, who by about age 80 or so, no longer give a shit what anyone else thinks (#goals).

Meatballs in general are one of my favorite things to meal prep. There are infinite variations and flavor combinations. There are easy ways to hide veggies in them and boost the nutritional content. They also freeze really well, so we always make a double batch and save some for later.

Mabelle is Chinese, and in her honor, these balls are full of traditional Asian flavors. I hope you enjoy them, and I hope that one day she sees this and gets a giggle out of saying Maballs.

You can also make these in a cast iron skillet!

You can also make these in a cast iron skillet!

What You’ll Need;

  • 1 lb ground pork

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1 medium shallot

  • 2 TBSP fish sauce

  • 2 TBSP coconut aminos

  • 2 TBSP minced cilantro

  • 4 TBSP tomato paste

  • 2 cups spinach, shredded and wilted

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 2 TBSP melted cooking fat of choice

  • salt and pepper

What I Did:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375.

  2. Mince your shallot, garlic, cilantro and spinach.

  3. Combine the ground pork and beef, fish sauce, coconut aminos, tomato paste, and the minced veggies and herbs in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to your own taste.

  4. Thoroughly combine ingredients with your hands, but do your best not to overmix.

  5. Scoop out uniform balls using your hands, or a scooper and put on baking sheet, leaving space between each.

  6. Bake the meatballs for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through the time.

  7. Serve over rice, with cauliflower fried rice, on a salad, in a sammie, or eat ‘em with your hands like the savage you are.

Anna GlennonComment