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Szechuan Braised Meatballs

January/February 2008

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (54 votes)

We braise these spicy beef meatballs and Chinese cabbage in a bit of beef broth. Make it a meal: Ladle over brown rice or noodles with steamed broccoli and carrots on the side.



READER'S COMMENT:
"I really like this recipe. I have made them with both ground beef and ground turkey. I like them better with turkey because the beef seems to overshadow the flavors of the seasonings, cabbage, and mushrooms. The Szechuan sauce and...
Szechuan Braised Meatballs

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground beef
  • 1 5- to 6-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup Szechuan sauce, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 4 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage
  • 1 15-ounce can straw mushrooms, rinsed
  • 2 scallions, sliced (optional)

Preparation

  1. Gently mix beef, water chestnuts, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, five-spice powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Shape the mixture into 12 balls (use about 2 tablespoons each to make 1 1/2-inch meatballs). Whisk broth and the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet or nonstick wok over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning once, until brown, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Add the reserved broth mixture, Szechuan sauce, cabbage and mushrooms; cook, stirring, until the cabbage is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer, return the meatballs to the pan, cover and cook until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with scallions (if using).

Tips & Notes

  • Shopping Tip: Find five-spice powder in the spice section and Szechuan sauce near other Asian condiments in most supermarkets.

Nutrition

Per serving: 295 calories; 13 g fat (3 g sat, 6 g mono); 64 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 4 g fiber; 760 mg sodium; 310 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (40% daily value), Zinc (37% dv), Vitamin A (20% dv), Iron (16% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat


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Recipe Categories

Ethnic/Regional
Chinese
Ease of Preparation
Moderate
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Servings
4
Main Ingredient
Beef
Preparation/ Technique
Braise/Stew
Saute
Meal/Course
Dinner

Season
Spring
Fall
Winter
Publication
January/February 2008
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