Happy 2012 everyone! I made these sliders after catching a show of “Easy Chinese: San Francisco” with Ching-He Huang for a friend’s NYE’s potluck dinner. Ms. Huang made it look so easy and in fact, it was. I had tweaked the recipe a bit since I didn’t have some of the ingredients handy, but still turned out fine.


INGREDIENTS

MEATBALLS:
1 pound lean ground pork
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 heaping teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 scallion, finely chopped
Pinch sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
Peanut oil, for frying

SAUCE:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
1 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons honey

SLIDERS:
16 slider buns or Hawaiian-style sweet rolls
Shredded romaine lettuce
Cucumber slices
Cherry tomatoes, halved

For the meatballs: In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the pork, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, sesame oil, garlic, egg, scallion, salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and form 8 meatballs; set aside.

Fill a wok or large pot halfway with peanut oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F over medium-high heat. (Be careful not to heat the oil high because apparently peanut oil splatters quite a bit – you’ve been warned =P) If frying in a wok, make sure that the wok is stable on a burner or wok ring.

Fry the meatballs until golden brown and cooked through (an instant-read thermometer should read 165 degrees F), 5 to 7 minutes. (I didn’t have a thermometer, so I definitely made sure I cooked them thoroughly, flipping few mins on each side, before removing) Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.

For the sauce: Carefully transfer the oil to a heat-proof container and wipe out the wok. Heat the wok over high heat and add the peanut oil. Stir-fry the ginger for 30 seconds, and then stir in the hoisin sauce and honey. Bring to a simmer, and then cook for 1 to 2 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in a little water to thin it out. Return the meatballs to the wok and toss them in the sauce to coat.

For the sliders: Layer the bottom of the buns with shredded lettuce and a couple cucumber slices. (I didn’t shred the romaine lettuce that I bought but instead just tore them into small sizes and place on buns.) Cut the meatballs in half and place half the meatball, cut-side down, on the bottom bun. Add the top bun. Skewer half a cherry tomato with a sandwich pick and insert into the slider to hold it together. (Completely forgot about the sandwich skewers, but used colorful toothpicks to keep all layers in place) Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

Hubby and friends ate up several of these before heading to NYE’s potluck dinner. This was such an easy recipe to make and definitely something that can be whipped together if you ever need to bring a dish. Bon Appetit! =)