This recipe is a little fussy, yet it’s worth it. When making the meatballs, it is important to let them sit for the five minutes so the panko can soak up the liquid. The dough will still be slightly loose, yet once you bake them off they come together nicely. You can easily half this recipe if you want, yet they seem to always go fast at my house. Wrapped in a butter lettuce leaf elevates them to a whole, new level.
For the Meatballs
2 T. canola oil
1 14 oz. bag tri-color coleslaw mix
8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
1 t. salt
3 lbs. ground pork
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2″ knub/piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 t. fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 t. sugar
1.5 c. Panko or unseasoned bread crumbs
For the Sauce
1/2 c. hoisin sauce
1 c. barbecue sauce, I use Sweet Baby Rays Sweet Vidalia Onion
Place the mushrooms into a food processor and pulse until all are chopped – you are not going for fine here. Remove the mushrooms and place into a bowl, then repeat with the cole slaw mix. Heat a large skillet with canola oil and place the mushroom and cole slaw mix into the pan, sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool – add the chopped scallions and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the eggs, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, cornstarch and sugar. Mix with a whisk to combine. Add the cabbage mixture to the bowl, followed by the ground pork and panko – mixing well to combine. Let sit for five minutes to settle. Form the meatballs by using an ice cream scoop, or make them roughly 2″ in diameter. Place the meatballs on a cooling rack, placed inside a half sheet pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the meatballs from the oven and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour the sauce all over the meatballs, making sure they’re all coated with some sauce. Set on high for 3 hours, or low for up to 6 hours. Sprinkle the meatballs with sesame seeds and place into a butter lettuce leaf for serving.