It’s not very often that I get in the kitchen and totally wing it – I still consider myself a noobie cook, so at the very least, I usually have a general “recipe framework” I’m working off of – and I suppose when you get down to it, I did have that for this recipe.
I knew I wanted to make some meatballs (because I love me some finger–food friendly appetizers!) and for the most part, meatballs all have the same basic ingredients: some eggs, some milk, some breadcrumbs, some veggies, some seasoning, and some meat.
I’ve made meatballs a few times before, so I knew the ratio of the basic ingredients I wanted to work with… and also what I wanted to change.
For example: I knew wanted shrimp (because I always want shrimp) and the whole idea of shrimp meatballs sounded absolutely amazing.
I also knew that I was a little leery of the idea of chopped shrimp being able to hold a meatball shape on its own, so instead of drowning the shrimp in more breading I opted to pair it with another mellow meat, which ended up being ground pork.
And, finally, thanks to Phoenix’s great weather, our little herb garden has taken off with Godzilla-like strength, leaving me with five cilantro plants that are all about three feet high – so I decided I would make use of some of the cilantro before the summer sun comes along and roasts it all.
And that, my friends, is how Shrimp and Pork Meatballs were born:
Because I was craving shrimp and I needed to trim down my cilantro plant before I lost a dachshund or two in our herb jungle.
I tried the meatballs on their own, and they were okay, but they’re also pretty mild.
Like, disappointingly mild.
When I confessed this observation to an old friend of mine, he looked at me as if I had pronounced the “L” in salmon again (which I routinely do – pardon me and my southern roots and accent) and said, “What do you expect? Shrimp and pork are, like, the most bland meats out there.”
And as much as I love shrimp, I suppose he’s right – shrimp (and pork, too) doesn’t really come alive until it’s paired with a good sauce.
So I whipped up some teriyaki glaze to coat the meatballs with, and suddenly my brain-child shrimp and pork meatballs rocketed from mild to amazing.
This was the type of meatball I was craving.
This is the type of party appetizer I can’t wait to whip together the next time we have company.
In fact, these meatballs would probably be great on a bed of soba noodles, like a Japanese version of spaghetti and meatballs.
So many possibilities, so little time before I eat them all!
Pork and Shrimp Meatballs with Teriyaki Glaze
For the Pork and Shrimp Meatballs
In a large bowl, add eggs and quickly whisk to break yolks, the mix in bread crumbs, onion, cilantro, milk, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Add the ground pork and shrimp to bowl and thoroughly mix together (tip: it works best to knead it with your hands).
- Using a scoop or a good eye, shape meatball mixture into 1 inch meatballs. Place formed meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 20-25 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown.
For the Teriyaki Glaze
Putting It All Together
- Reduce heat to medium. Add meatballs to skillet with teriyaki sauce and gently toss to coat. Cook meatballs in the sauce for an additioanl 1-2 minutes or until piping hot.
- Serve immediately with sesame seed and cilantro for garnish.