Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup shallots, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
1 pound ground pork
Canola oil for brushing
8 (9-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1. Whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the shallots, garlic, and mint. Add the pork and combine very gently by hand.
2. Form the mixture into 48 meatballs, each about an inch in diameter. Thread 6 meatballs onto each skewer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm them slightly.
3. Prepare an electric grill or heat a grill pan to medium-high (the meatballs could fall through the grates of an outdoor grill). Lightly brush the meatballs with oil and grill them 6 to 8 minutes, turning often, until they're browned on all sides and just cooked through. Serve with Nuoc Cham sauce. Serves 4.
Nuoc Cham Sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup hot tap water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1. Mash the garlic, sugar, and red pepper flakes into a grainy paste on a small plate with the back of a fork. Scrape the paste into a small, heat-proof serving bowl. Pour the hot water over the mixture to dissolve the sugar. Let it cool slightly, then stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Makes 2/3 cup.