Porcupine Meatballs

Total Time:
50 min
20 min
20 min
10 min

18 meatballs

  • 1 scallion, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (preferably pork butt)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry or vermouth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot Asian chili sauce (Sriracha)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3 -ounce package Oriental-flavor ramen noodles, with seasoning packet
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Salt
  • Sweet chili sauce, for dipping
  • Pulse the scallion, ginger and cilantro in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the pork, sherry, sesame oil, hot chili sauce, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the egg and half (1 1/4 teaspoons) of the ramen seasoning; process until smooth. Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes.

  • Heat 4 inches of vegetable oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees.

  • Soak the ramen noodles in a bowl of hot tap water for 5 minutes, flipping once; they should be pliable enough to pull apart without breaking. Drain well and pat dry. Carefully pull the strands apart; cover with plastic wrap.

  • With dampened hands, shape 1 scant tablespoon of the pork mixture into a ball. Wrap and press some noodles around the ball, letting a bit of meat show through. Repeat with the remaining meat and noodles.

  • Fry the meatballs in the hot oil in batches, adjusting the heat as needed, until the noodles are crisp and golden brown and the meat is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain; season with salt. Serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.

  • Photograph by Yunhee Kim

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