Porcupine Meatballs

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 18 meatballs
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Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. 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. 
  2. Heat 4 inches of vegetable oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
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