Vietnamese Meatballs with Sweet Potato Noodles & Daikon Radish
10 Ounces Ground Beef
4 Ounces Sweet Potato Noodles
1 Daikon Radish
1 Stalk Celery
1 Stalk Lemongrass
2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Flour
1 1-Inch Piece Ginger
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut off and discard the ends of the lemongrass; peel away and discard the fibrous outer layers until you reach the pliable white core. Mince the lemongrass core. Peel and mince the ginger. Cut off and discard the scallion root; thinly slice on an angle, separating the white bottom and green top. Peel and small dice the radish. Thinly slice the celery on an angle. Quarter the lime.
In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the lemongrass, ginger and white bottom of the scallion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool slightly. Wipe out the pan.
Place the ground beef, flour, half the hoisin sauce and half the cooled aromatics in a large bowl. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 14 to 16 equal-sized meatballs. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place.
While the meatballs brown, add the noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and rinse under warm water for 30 seconds to 1 minute to prevent sticking.
Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. Add the radish and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned and softened. Add the remaining cooled aromatics and the juice of 2 lime wedges; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant and heated through.
Add the browned meatballs, remaining hoisin sauce and 1 cup of water to the pan. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume and the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Rinse the cooked noodles under warm water to loosen them; divide between 2 bowls. Top with the finished meatballs, vegetables and sauce. Garnish with the green top of the scallion and remaining lime wedges. Enjoy!