I was paired with Angry Asian Creations for this round of Taste & Create. Her blog is casual and funny, and we definitely share a love of baked goods, but given my love of Vietnamese food, it was the chance to pick her Vietnamese grandmother’s brain via her blog that really caught my attention. I was torn between the Homemade Shumai sans wrapper, Grandma Style and her mother’s nem nướng, another pork meatball dish. However, it was the “sans wrapper” that decided it–in my experience, working with rice paper wrappers can be a pain in the butt, and I preferred the simplicity of the Shumai for a weeknight.
It seems like no matter how organized I am, I always end up sliding in at the last possible minute with my Taste & Create post. I actually tried to get ground pork from the farmers’ market twice in the last 2 weeks, once via John and once myself. Somehow it did not get purchased either time. Then I gave up on that recipe and decided I would try her granola bars, only Finnegan ate them before I finished (stay tuned for an upcoming post on THAT problem). Anyway, it was a blessing in disguise, because I decided to just settle for supermarket pork and made the meatballs tonight.
They are SO GOOD and SO EASY. I originally intended to serve them with rice vermicelli, but I had a doctor’s appointment, and John is definitely trustworthy with rice, so I served them with jasmine rice, carrot and cucumber matchsticks, grape tomatoes, and nuoc cham. It was an incredibly easy meal–I have never steamed meat before, it was simple and easy to ignore (i.e., it did not need to be babysat, I did not need to worry about it burning or anything). The house smelled great!
Lan said she purposefully made her meatballs a little bland, which I knew we would not want, so I made the following changes: I increased the fish sauce, I grated some lemongrass in (maybe 1 teaspoon) and I added 2 teaspoons of sugar and 4 cloves of minced garlic. I left out the salt given the extra fish sauce.