Asian Chicken and Cilantro Meatballs from My Master Recipes by Patricia Wells

We’re excited to share a new cookbook that we’ve been looking forward to for months! My Master Recipes by Patricia Wells is a superb collection of recipes drawn from her cooking schools in France—the perfect successor to Julia Child’s classic The Way to Cook. At her cooking schools in Paris and Provence, Patricia Wells’s students leave with more confidence in the kitchen than they ever experienced before. Now, home cooks can learn from the master, known for her collections of delectable, precise, and well-tested, recipes. Cookbook critics are already raving about this excellent collection of recipes:

“Superb . . . spectacular.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Wells’s latest is beautiful and instructive, and her recipes and notes are a pleasure to read. If you’re lamenting the loss of Julia Child and Richard Olney, this is a must.” —Library Journal (starred review)

In My Master Recipes, Patricia Wells codifies the skills she imparts in her classes in this inviting instruction manual and cookbook. Each of the recipes teaches particular techniques—blanching, searing, simmering, sweating, steaming, braising, deep-frying—with additional recipes that take your skills in directions both savory and sweet, simple and profound—giving you the knowledge and assurance to expand your cooking even further.

One of our favorite recipes so far is this one for Asian Chicken and Cilantro Meatballs. They are delicious with zings of flavor, and are perfect for weeknight cooking.

My Master Recipes goes on sale March 7. Pre-order a copy from your favorite retailer today.

Asian Chicken and Cilantro Meatballs

My love for Asian food is never-ending, and this easy, quick chicken meatball creation is a favorite. The secret here is to steam the meatballs so they remain tender and succulent. Searing briefly afterward adds a wonderfully caramelized crust without overcooking.

Makes 25 to 30 meatballs

cilantro-meatballsEQUIPMENT: A baking sheet lined with baking parchment; a food processor; a bamboo steamer.

  • 1 pound (500 g) boneless, skinless free-range chicken breast meat
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, or 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) minced scallions, white and green parts
  • 1 large egg, free-range and organic
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Kaffir Lime Powder
  • Chicken Stock or William’s Thai Vegetable Bouillon, warmed, for serving
  1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Spread the meat in a single layer on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 1 hour. The chicken should be stiff. (Freezing will help the food processor blade cut the meat cleanly rather than tearing or smearing it.)
  1. Place the cubes in the food processor and process for about 15 seconds, until the chicken is coarsely ground. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and the remaining ingredients (except the stock), and use your hands to blend the mixture.
  1. To prevent the mixture from sticking, wet your hands with cold water, then shape the mixture into 1-1/2-inch (3 cm) balls, about the size of golf balls.
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 quart (1 l) water to a boil over high heat.
  1. Arrange the meatballs side by side in the steamer, cover, and place on top of the saucepan. Steam until cooked through, about 5 minutes (see page 15 for best tips on steaming techniques and equipment). In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium-high heat and sear the meatballs for a few minutes to create a crunchy, colorful exterior. Serve in the chicken stock or vegetable stock, and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.


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