Thit bo vien (beef balls)

Yield: 60 Servings

Measure Ingredient
5 tablespoons Nuoc mam (vietnamese fish sa uce)
4 teaspoons Potato starch
1 teaspoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Sugar, granulated
1 teaspoon Pepper, black, ground
2 pounds Trimmed boneless beef hind s hank
4 Garlic cloves; crushed
1 teaspoon Oriental sesame oil
Vegetable oil, for shaping m eatballs
In a shallow dish, mix the fish sauce, potato starch, baking

powder, sugar and black pepper. Slice the meat into ⅛-inch-thick pieces. Add to the mari- nade and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Before proceeding, transfer the meat to the freezer for 30 minutes.

Work with half of the beef at a time; do not overload the work bowl. In a food processor, combine half of the beef with half of the garlic and sesame oil. Process to a completely smooth but stiff paste, about 3 minutes. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. The completed paste should spring back to the touch. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Process the remaining beef, garlic and sesame oil the same way.

Rub some vegetable oil on one hand. Grab a handful of the meat paste and close your hand into a fist, squeezing out a small portion of the mixture, about 1 teaspoon, between your thumb and index finger. Keep rolling and resqueezing the same portion between your thumb and index finger until you obtain a smooth rounded ball. Scoop out the meatball with an oiled spoon. Repeat until all of the paste is used.

Pour 1 inch of water into a wok or wide pot. Place a steamer rack or bamboo steamer over the water. Arrange the meatballs without crowding in a single layer on the rack. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.

Serve as an appetizer with chili sauce. These beef balls can also be added to a well-seasoned beef broth, sprinkled with chopped scallions and black pepper and served as a soup (noodles may be added).

Note: These meatballs may be frozen. Thaw them thoroughly, then steam or simmer in boiling water until just heated through.

Yield: about 60 meatballs.

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