When I came home from school every day, my grandmother would always have food waiting. Usually it consisted of fresh rice, kimchi, and keem (seaweed that you would use for sushi, "nori" in japanese). But on some special days, I would come home to some delicious korean-seasoned meat patties. I know, "meat patty" doesn't sound super appetizing. But they were sweet and salty and delicious!
Recently I noticed that at Noodles and Company they are selling gochujang glazed meatballs, so I thought why not take a crack at combining the two? Here is my attempt!
Secondly, the gochujang is optional. My grandmother didn't use it, but if you want a little kick, go ahead and add it into your glaze mixture. I opted not to use it today.
Making the meatballs:
Step 1: Before mixing everything together, we need to prepare the vegetables and tofu. For the tofu, chop into small pieces.(Read how to store leftover tofu here). Mince onion and garlic, grate carrot, and slice green onion into smaller pieces.
Step 2: Combine all ingredients (save for the cornstarch and vegetable oil) in a bowl. You should have a mixture that looks like this:
Step 3: Form into 1-1 1/2 inch meatballs. This recipe should make about 18 meatballs.
Step 4: Set up a plate with cornstarch on it. This is your coating station! Take each meatball and roll in the cornstarch, lightly coating it.
Step 5: Now we are ready to cook the meatballs! Heat about a quarter cup of vegetable oil in a pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is thoroughly heated, carefully place the meatballs in the oil for 1 minute on each side (even though they are balls, I imagine there are 4 different sides to cook on, so I cook them for a total of 4 minutes each). I was able to cook 6 at a time. Note that for real beef meatballs, the meat will not be cooked through all the way. This is okay! Place the meatballs aside once pan-fried, so that we can continue cooking them in the sauce.
Making the Sauce:
Step 1: Combine all of the ingredients listed for the sauce. I suggest using a whisk to combine thoroughly, particularly in order to dissolve the granulated sugar.
Step 2: Heat your pan up over medium heat. Add the sauce and whisk until it just starts to bubble.
Putting it together:
Final step: Place meatballs in the glaze/sauce and cover. Let cook until meat is completely cooked and sauce is thickened. Top with sesame seeds (or not, it just makes it pretty!).
I ended up eating my meatballs with fresh rice and some kimchi. The meatballs are pretty saucy and sweet, so the spice and tartness of the kimchi pairs perfectly with them!