These are wonderful little bites full of intense flavor.
VIETNAMESE MEATBALLS IN LETTUCE WRAPS
1 pound ground turkey
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus 1/3 cup leaves for serving
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sugar
1 head lettuce, leaves separated
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
Asian chili sauce, for serving
Heat oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey, fish sauce, shallots, garlic, ginger, chopped cilantro and mint, cornstarch, salt and pepper and mix with your hands.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprread the sugar on a plate. Using slightly moistened hands, roll the turkey mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll the meatballs in the sugar until they are evenly coated. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and bake them for 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned and cooked through.
Serve on lettuce leaves, garnished with cilantro leaves, cucumber and chili sauce.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, June 2006