The bite-sized round pork morsels were crisp and golden brown as they sizzled in the skillet. Quickly, the citrusy orange flavor mixed with a sweet sour sauce was poured all over this spectacle. The aroma of a gingery-soy sauce filled the air. The meatballs were ready.
This New Year’s eve, I am cooking meatballs for our family. Traditionally in the Philippines, at midnight on December 31st or on New Year’s day, it is considered good luck if we have food that is round-shaped. Round objects, or a circle have similar shapes of coins, thus possibly inviting more prosperity into our homes. At midnight on New Year’s eve, most Filipinos make it a point to grasp grapes in one hand while holding coins with the other. Some families make sure to have a fruit bowl filled with 12 different fruits at the start of the year. Some folks wear clothes with polka dots, supposedly for the round shapes on the garments to invite good luck for the New Year. All that taken into account, I made sure our dinner table had a dish that was appetizing and definitely round.
I welcomed thoughts about the New Year with gratitude from the past and optimism for the months ahead.
Often, an optimistic attitude invites an influx of positive energy in us. I always look to optimism as the “yeast” in the bread of our lives. With optimism, we rise and our spirits soar and bloom. No matter where we are in the world, or how we choose to ring in the New Year, the best tradition we can choose is to revive our spirits and cultivate optimism around us.
Happy New Year, dear friends and family! May 2017 bring you an abundance of good things, new experiences and much happiness.
Orange Flavored Pork Meatballs
- Large Skillet
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 whole onion chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided, use 1 Tablespoon for orange glaze
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce for orange glaze
- 1/3 cup ginger ale
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water to disperse cornstarch
- To prepare and cook meatballs: Mix together in a bowl the ground pork, ginger, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, soy sauce, salt, black pepper, rice wine and sesame oil. Blend well. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes for easier handling.
- Shape the ground pork mixture into 2-inch sized meatballs.
- In a large skillet, over medium high heat, pour the vegetable oil. Pan fry the meatballs in batches. Turn them around for even cooking. This will take 8 to 10 minutes to cook. Drain meatballs on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- To make the orange glaze: While meatballs are draining, mix together in a bowl: the orange juice, ginger ale, soy sauce.
- Separately, in a small sauce pan, over medium heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Saute the garlic. Then quickly add the orange juice-ginger ale mixture.
- Pre-mix the slurry of cornstarch and cold water. When blended pour into the sauce pan and blend well with the orange juice mixture. This will boil in about five minutes, and sauce will have a gravy-like consistency. Lower heat to slow simmer.
- Just before serving, pour the orange glaze over the pork meatballs. Serve warm.