It always amazes me how the Americanization of other cuisines has been so prominent in our culture. You know what I mean. Think of Chinese-American cooking, which is nothing like the cuisine you would encounter in China.  Think of what we did with French cooking. For example, Vichyssoise is not French. It is an American invention. It was invented in 1917 at the Ritz hotel by a French chef. Then there’s Tex-Mex cooking. You will not find chimichangas in upscale restaurants in Mexico City. Again, another America addition. When I was in Italy, pasta was mainly served as side dish. We made it the main course with such things as spaghetti with meatballs. And, thinking of meatballs, that is where I came across this tidbit, Teriyaki Meatballs. Again, another Americanization of another traditional cuisine, this time, Japanese.

I tried this recipe and it was nothing short of marvelous. You may not find teriyaki meatballs in a restaurant in  Japan (unless they’re catering to Americans), but you can make it at home and enjoy the essence of all the diverse flavors in this dish. With plain steamed rice, it makes for a great repast.

The recipe includes sazón accent (Goya makes a good brand) which is, honestly, a substitute for MSG and can be found in any food store these days.  It is optional in the recipe if you have any qualms.

TERIYAKI MEATBALLS

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
¼ cup diced scallions
1 egg
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
Butter or oil for frying

Sauce:
½ cup soy sauce
White pepper to taste
Sugar to taste
1 packet sazón accent (optional)
Pinch of allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions:

  1. Mix ground beef thoroughly with parsley, chives and scallions. Stir in egg and bread crumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Shape into balls about 1½ to 2 inches in diameter.
  2.  Heat butter or oil in a heavy skillet. Add meatballs and fry for about 5 minutes or so or until browned on all sides.
  3.  While meatballs are frying, prepare sauce. In a small saucepan, heat soy sauce over low heat. Season with salt, pepper, sugar, sazón accent, allspice and ground ginger.
  4.  Pour hot sauce over meatballs. Let stand for 5 minutes so flavors can blend.
    Yield: 4 servings.