If you have every wondered what the red chilli powder on your table at a Japanese restaurant is, it’s called shichimi togarashi and it is delicious. Shichimi togarashi is a spice blend generally made with red chilli pepper, Japanese pepper, black sesame seed, white sesame seed, hemp seed, ground ginger and dried seaweed which you can find in your local Asian supermarket. It is the key ingredient in this recipe for pork meatballs and it contrasts so well with the sticky, sweet gingery sauce which the soba noodles soak up like sand soaks up the sun.
If you don’t eat pork, chicken would work well in this too and once the meatballs are made the rest of the meal comes together really quickly. You can serve it with broccolini as I did, or any other steamed vegetables to make this a complete meal. If there are any left overs (it’s so good, there may not be) they reheat really well for lunch the next day. I’m trying to think about what else I can sprinkle shichimi togarashi on that would be equally good, any ideas?
- 800g pork mince
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbs grated ginger
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp shichimi togarashi (less if you aren’t keen on chilli)
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 tbs dashi powder (if you can’t find it, leave it out)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 270g soba noodles, cooked per packet directions
- steamed vegetables and black sesame seeds
- extra shichimi togarashi
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Pour vegetable oil into a large baking dish and place in oven while it is heating up.
- Using your hands, mix all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into golf balls and place on a plate.
- When the oven is hot, place the meatballs in the baking dish and roast for 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are browned.
- Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients together. When the meatballs are browned, pour over the sauce and place back in the oven for a further 20-25 minutes, until the sauce has thickened over your golden meatballs.
- Remove from the oven and stir through your cooked soba noodles so they soak up the sauce, then serve with your steamed vegetables.
Adapted from Donna Hay.