Round and Cute Hatcho Miso Quail Egg Meatballs For Bento
These small meatballs use regional specialities from Aichi Prefecture: hatcho miso, lotus root, and quail eggs. Since the meatballs are well flavored with miso, they are moist and delicious even when cold.
Grate 2/3 of the lotus root, and finely mince the remaining portion.
In a bowl, combine the ingredients marked with a ◆. Add lotus root (both the grated and the minced), and the ground meat. Then mix in the ◇ ingredients and knead well.
Divide the mixture from step 2 into 10 portions, and wrap each portion around the quail eggs to form balls.
Line up the meatballs on a baking sheet and place in an oven. Broil for about 10 to 15 minutes until browned on both sides.
Story Behind this Recipe
I just love the distinct richness and fragrance of hatcho miso! We use hatcho miso for Japanese dishes of course, but for us it's also an indispensable ingredient for demiglace sauce. I devised this bento to feature meatballs made using Aichi Prefecture locally-produced foods. The meatballs are made with Okazaki hatcho miso and quail eggs produced in Toyohashi. I included side dishes made with locally produced vegetables and seafood in the bento.
In step 2, if you mix the sugar, hatcho miso and ketchup into a paste beforehand, the miso won't stiffen and the paste will be easier to knead. By both grating and mincing the lotus root, you can enjoy two different textures. The meatballs are well flavored, so they're delicious without sauce or other additions.