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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chinese-style pork sesame balls

A mix of pork tenderloin, veggies and herbs, finely ground and generously covered in sesame seeds and then roasted, served with soy sauce and dark rice wine vinegar. Tastes like a crossbreed between Beijing Rice, spring rolls and roast pork strips (all from typical restaurant Chinese cuisine). 
Quite fun to make :)

Ingredients (serves 4):
  • 750 g pork tenderloin
  • 2 medium white onions
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch of rucola (arugula) leaves
  • salt and pepper (not too much on the pepper)
  • 1/3 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon dried lemongrass
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (pre-roasted, preferably)
  • 100 g raw sesame seeds + 3 tablespoons (separate)
  • 10-15 ml soy sauce
  • 10-15 ml dark rice wine vinegar (can be replaced with Worcestershire sauce)
  • a little vegetable oil for frying 

First, chop up the onions (roughly) and fry them in a little oil on medium heat:

Let them on the heat until they become translucent / lightly golden. Meanwhile, put the meat in a food processor and add the washed and cored bell pepper, the peeled garlic and ginger:

Puree into a paste, then add the 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds, cherry tomatoes, lemongrass, fennel, salt and pepper:

Also add the chopped rucola leaves, chili powder and the lightly roasted onions:

Make a paste out of the whole thing:

Using your fingers, form teaspoon-sized balls out of the mixture and dip them through the remaining (100 g) sesame seeds (previously spread on a plate) until fully covered:

Heat a little oil in a frying pan (can be the same one you fried the onions in) and gently place the balls in it on low-medium heat:

Fry on all sides, gently turning them until they're done (about 7-8 minutes to cover all sides of a batch). Then, proceed to form and fry the next batch of sesame balls. Arrange of plates and serve with little dipping containers of soy sauce and dark rice wine vinegar. It's ready, dig in! :)

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