Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze
Adapted from Canal House Cooking, vol. 3 and Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 24 meatballs
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce, preferably Japanese or reduced sodium
1/2 cup mirin, or 1/2 cup sake with 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup peeled, chopped ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 whole black peppercorns
1 pound ground chicken
5 scallions, finely chopped
Half bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 large egg
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Make sauce: Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar melts completely. Reduce heat to a medium-low and add soy sauce, mirin, ginger, coriander and peppercorns. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. You can keep it on a back burner, stirring it frequently, while browning the meatballs in the next step. Once it has reduced to your satisfaction, strain through a sieve.
Make meatballs: Mix chicken, scallions, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce and several grindings of black pepper in a bowl. I like mixing meatballs with a fork; it seems to work the ingredients into each other well. Roll tablespoon-sized knobs of the mixture into balls.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, generously cover bottom of pan with vegetable oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, place meatballs in pan and cook, turning, until browned all over and cooked inside, about 8 minutes per batch. Arrange on a platter (a heated one will keep them warm longer), spoon a little sauce over each meatball, and serve with toothpicks. Alternatively, you can serve the glaze on the side, to dip the meatballs.
Do ahead: The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until needed. If needed, you can rewarm or keep the meatballs warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve.