A very popular food for Japanese bento boxes (lunch boxes), these are fun to make with children since it involves getting your hands ‘dirty’! I cook these with a sweet sauce which makes them very moreish. By the way, Niku Dango means meat balls in English;-)
300g pork mince and/or beef mince
1/2 leek or spring onion
Salt & Pepper
For the sauce
4 tbs mirin
1/2 tbs sugar
4tbs soy sauce
Chop the leek, beat the egg and mix all the other ingredients together. Shape into meat balls with your hands. Then deep fry until brown, and add to another pan for dry frying (no need for oil).
At this stage, you can freeze the meat balls once they’ve cooled for usage another day. If you cook from frozen, add a little oil to a hot pan when then fry to defrost. If you continue the recipe today, add 1tbs sake, 4 tbs mirin, 1/2 tbs sugar, 4tbs soy sauce to the pan with the meat balls and fry gently, ensuring each meat ball is coated well. You can see above how the meat balls can be used in a lunch box.