2014 MasterChef winner Ping Coombes' lemongrass and ginger meatballs, rice vermicelli salad with sambal belacan

Makes: 10 lollipops or about 20 smaller meatballs
Serves: 4
Cooking level: Easy

"I love meatballs. My favourite meal of all time is spaghetti meatballs. Using mince beef and pork, I usually make two types of meatballs and freeze them. This is an Asian version to the Italian ones. Packed full of flavor and you can eat them on their own or you can serve it with a little salad," says 2014 MasterChef winner Ping Coombes.


For the meatballs
200g mince pork
200g mince beef
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs soya sauce
1tsp sugar
20g ginger, diced finely
2 lemongrass, discard the top 2 inches, chopped finely
1 tbs cornflour
1 tbs vegetable oil

For the spicy rice vermicelli salad
Sambal Belacan Dressing
4 red chillies
Juice of 1 lime + (extra juice of 1 lime to loosen)
1 teaspoon belacan (shrimp paste)
1 tablespoon sugar
100g rice vermicelli (dry or fresh)
½ cucumber, sliced or julienned
10 cherry plum tomatoes, halved
4 sprigs of coriander, roughly torn
100g beansprouts


For the meatballs

1. Mix the pork and beef in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to it and marinade for 2 hours.
2. Take a bit of the mixture and using the palm of your hand, shape the mixture around the skewer. Alternatively roll a mixture between the palm of your hands to shape a ball.
3. Heat some vegetable oil and pan fried the meatballs for 1 minute on each side and then put them in the oven for 10 minutes on 180 degrees.

For the spicy rice vermicelli salad
1. Soak the noodles (if using dry) and beansprouts for 5 minutes in hot boiling water and then drained. Run cold water over the noodles and beansprouts to stop the cooking and cool down. If you use the fresh noodles, immerse them in hot boiling water for 30seconds and drained immediately.
2. Blend ingredients for the sambal belacan dressing until smooth and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together with enough sambal belacan dressing to coat. Loosen with a bit of extra lime juice if too dry or spicy.

See Ping cook this recipe herself in the Chefs Theatre at foodiesfestival.com this summer.

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