4largecloves garlicpeeled and minced (about 3 tablespoons)
4green onionswhite and pale green parts, minced
1medium carrotpeeled and finely grated
1jalapeno or serrano pepperminced, do not discard seeds or membranes
1/4cuplow sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
FOR THE SAUCE:
1/2cup low sodium soy sauce
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2cup rice wine vinegar
1/2teaspoon red pepper flakes
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the milk and panko and let sit for 5 minutes so the breadcrumbs absorb the milk.
Drain the water chestnuts and finely grate half of them. Finely chop the other half.
Add the pork, eggs, garlic, ginger, green onions, carrot, jalapeño, soy sauce, sesame oil and hoisin to the panko. With your clean hands, mix very well until ingredients are incorporated evenly.
Fill a small bowl with water. Using a small (2-3 teaspoon ice cream scoop) measure out the meat and roll into balls. Place the meatballs onto the parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the meatballs are firm and set. (my meatballs measured 2 teaspoons each and it took 10 minutes… if your meatballs are larger, you may need to add 3-4 minutes to the cooking time. Test with your finger to see if it’s done — they should be firm to the touch.)
MAKE THE SAUCE:
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
FOR CROCK POT METHOD:
Transfer the meatballs to a crock pot and pour the sauce over. Simmer for 30 minutes on high heat, stirring carefully once or twice to make sure they’re bathed in the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped green onion, cilantro and sesame seeds. Let guests spoon out the meatballs – or offer cocktail forks.
FOR PLATTERS OR PASSED HORS D'OEUVRES:
Coat the meatballs in the marinade and transfer back to the oven for 3-4 minutes or until glazed and sticky. Sprinkle with chopped green onion, cilantro and sesame seeds. Arrange on a platter and serve with cocktail forks or toothpicks.