Satisfy your meat cravings with a batch of these easy-to-make ankake meatballs. Bite-size pieces of juicy, seasoned pork mince, topped with a thick, luscious sweet and sour ankake sauce, these meatballs are guaranteed to be a winner whether they are added to a bento lunch or eaten as a snack during a movie night in. Why not also try this delicious ankake sauce with tofu, in a yaki udon stir fry, or mixed into fried rice?
In a large bowl, break up the pork mince. Next, add the salt and mix in well. Then mix in the soy sauce, ginger and cooking sake, followed by the egg.
Keep mixing until the pork starts to become a thick paste, but don’t worry if your meatballs are a little bit gloopy at this point. Next, quickly stir in the katakuriko starch.
Lightly oil your hands to prevent the pork from sticking when you mould your meatballs. Using a spoon scoop out roughly tbsp sized portions of the pork mixture and form into meatball shapes.
In a sturdy pan heat some oil until it reaches about 170°C. Fry the meatballs in the oil, rotating them after approx. 20-30 seconds to make sure they are evenly cooked. Fry until the oil reaches 185°C and the meatballs have turned golden brown.
In a wok add all the ingredients for the sweet and sour ankake sauce, except the katakuriko starch powder. Mix the katakuriko with 1/2 tbsp of water, then add to the wok.
While mixing the sauce, heat the wok over a medium flame until it has started to thicken. Next, add the meatballs and a splash of sesame oil, making sure the meatballs are evenly covered with sauce.
Serve your meatballs and garnish with the shredded spring onion, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a few sprigs of coriander.
• If you are watching your weight, you could try pan frying, roasting or boiling the meatballs instead of frying. However they may not keep as well, so if you are making them for a bento keep the sauce separately until you want to eat them.