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Any food that can be eaten with a toothpick gets bonus points, as far as I'm concerned. No one wants to wander around a party trying to keep track of a fork — I have enough trouble keeping track of my wine glass without having to bring utensils into it. So whenever I'm serving big tray appetizers for a crowd, I like to focus on things that can be eaten with toothpicks.
These Mongolian glazed meatballs from Cafe Delites are just the sort of appetizer I head toward first when I get to a party — they're the sort of obviously delicious tiny-sized comfort food that tends to disappear most quickly. On top of that, they're one of those hearty, substantial appetizers that keep people from getting too hungry during a long night.
The meatballs are flavored with ginger, garlic, chopped onions, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine before being mixed with eggs and panko breadcrumbs to give them a great texture and help them hold their shape. (If you don't have Shaoxing wine, I like to use sherry as a substitute in an emergency.) Then they're rolled into tiny, one-inch balls and cooked in the oven until they're browned and cooked through. Then the fun part happens.
The cooked meatballs are rolled in a thick brown glaze of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and a bit of sesame oil. Rolling the meatballs in the glaze sounds tremendously fun, because you can slide them around like marbles. Then just use a slotted spoon to transfer the glazed meatballs to a serving tray, and they're ready to eat.
Get the Recipe: Mongolian Glazed Meatballs from Cafe Delites