I think I’ve mentioned a couple of “retro-local” cookbooks with favorite tastes from my childhood in Hawaii that I always keep nearby. This is one of them:
This was a fundraiser cookbook produced by the women of Hui Manaolana, a service club which my aunt belonged to since she was a student at the University of Hawaii. She is 99 years old now, and the first edition of this cookbook was published in 1951. My own copy is from the 1969 printing. The recipes are those of the club members and their families and friends, very typical Hawaii Japanese home cooking.
I have made the teriyaki meatballs from this cookbook as appetizers for family gatherings and parties. They are quite well-liked, and I never seem to get to eat any of them myself before they are all snarfed down by others. My fault for not putting a couple aside for myself when I make them!
The last time I made them was for a party in December that I was not attending as a persistent winter cold had sapped all my energy and sociability. I went so far as to get out a small container to put my meatballs aside… then forgot to actually put any meatballs in it. By the time I realized my error, the meatballs were several miles down the road on the way to the party. Oh, well!
Following is the recipe, with my own changes noted. You can substitute dried powdered ginger and garlic if you absolutely have to, but using fresh ginger root and garlic, especially in the sauce, will make a very positive difference.
(from Hui Manaolana’s Japanese Foods cookbook)
1½ pounds lean ground beef
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper
2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce – imported Japanese soy sauce, please, or if you use domestic soy sauce, please use Kikkoman)
½ teaspoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Mix thoroughly and form into appetizer-sized meatballs. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes on each side.
1 cup shoyu (see above)
2 tablespoons sake (Japanese rice wine – if I don’t have any, I just leave it out rather than substitute any other type of spirits and add a little more shoyu)
6 tablespoons sugar (since I have the brown sugar out for the meatballs, I usually do 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 3 tablespoons white sugar)
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, grated
1½ teaspoons cornstarch mixed with cold water
Bring all ingredients except cornstarch mixture to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture slowly and stir until sauce thickens slightly. Pour over meatballs and enjoy. (EDITED TO ADD: the last time I made this, my grater went missing, so I strained out the not-quite-fine enough fragments of ginger and garlic before adding the cornstarch mixture)
(NaBloPoMo | January ’10: 11 of 31)