… with Bean Sprouts and Goji Berries!
It’s starting to really get to me that every time I want to make dinner, I need to visit at least 2 different grocery stores to find the ingredients I need, and even at that, there’s still usually at least one thing I can’t find. Multiple trips to the car lugging out groceries are made even more fun by 113 degree heat. Needless to say, I won’t be sad to leave this one horse hick town. I do not like you, Oklahoma.
Anyways, since I can’t find some of the “specialty” (aka super-popular right now except in OK, which is 10 years behind the times) items I use a lot, I’ve recently resorted to ordering things (like quinoa and chia seeds) from Nuts Online. Now, I will say, I HAVE seen quinoa in Enid. But apparently since no one here buys it (they like their wheat, obviously), it’s 3 times the price it is in any “normal” metropolitan area. But I digress… the point of this whole rant is that last time I ordered from Nuts Online, they sent me a free bag of goji berries.
I’ve seen goji berries in granola and trail mix before, but other than that, I wasn’t really sure what you could do with them. So when I stumbled upon this recipe on another food blog just a couple days later, I figured it was fate.
The original recipe called for leeks, but after coming up empty handed 2 grocery stores later… I decided to get creative and sub in bean sprouts and scallions. (Come on, people, LEEKS! This is not an obscure vegetable!!) Also, my meatballs were actually FOUR-spice meatballs. No surprise that I couldn’t find a bottle of 5-spice. I went to Google and found a recipe to make my own. But Enid doesn’t carry anise either. So I took a deep breath, and decided 4-spice would be fine. Did I mention I had to grind my own fennel because it doesn’t come ground in Oklahoma? Alright, I’ll stop complaining now…
5-Spice Turkey Meatballs
(adapted from Fuss Free Cooking)
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 tsp 5-spice powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp peanut or canola oil
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (packed) bean sprouts
- 2 tbsp goji berries
And if you can’t find 5-spice…
Homemade 5-Spice Powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp crushed anise
- 1/4 tsp crushed fennel seed
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
[This makes more 5-spice than you need for this recipe, so don’t use it all!]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine turkey, 5-spice, s&p, and sesame oil. Mix well.
Roll the meat into 20 smallish meatballs, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake the meatballs 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM! I followed the original recipe (which said 25 min), and they were a bit dry… bummer. So definitely check them often to make sure you don’t do the same.
Meanwhile, mix the water and oyster sauce and set aside.
Heat the peanut oil over medium heat in a pan, and add ginger. Saute a couple minutes to release flavors.
Add the bean sprouts and scallions, and saute until sightly soft, about 5 minutes.
Push the sprout mixture to the side of the pan and add the oyster sauce mix. Add the goji berries and rehydrate in the oyster sauce, about 5 minutes.
Add the meatballs to the pan, and toss everything together.
Serve over rice!
Nick and I both loved the flavors of this dish, but both agreed on a couple things that would make it better: Double the veggies and triple the sauce! The sauce was so good, but there wasn’t enough of it to seep into our rice and make everything delicious.
So if you like sauce, triple that part of it. And if you like veggies, double that part. I don’t know how it would have tasted with the missing leeks, but it was pretty darn good with the bean sprouts and scallions! The meatballs had such an interesting flavor that was a nice change of pace. I’ve still got lots of goji berries, so perhaps I’ll give this one another go!