Asian Pork Meatballs with Shiitake Mushrooms and Wood Ear Mushrooms/Fungus
1lb Ground Pork (I used 80/20)
1 cup Diced Shiitake Mushrooms (soaked in hot water until soft – squeeze out water before dicing)
1 cup Diced Wood Ear Mushroom/Fungus (“Mu’er” in Chinese – also soaked in hot water until soft)
1/4 cup Minced Green Onions (Scallions)
1 tablespoon 5 Spice Powder
3 tablespoons Soy Sauce (you can use Coconut Aminos if you don’t use Soy Sauce)
1/2 tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and roll meatballs, size of your choice, between your hands to make rounds. Pan fry on medium heat in a little bit of oil, turning the meatballs as they brown on each side. When each side is mostly browned (I usually get about 3 sides browned since I make smaller meatballs – about 1 tablespoon filling each), add 1/4 cup of chicken broth (you can just use plain water too), and put the lid on to let the meatballs steam a bit. When the liquid is mostly reduced, check for done-ness (again, will depend on the size of your meatballs). I used chicken broth to give it a boost of flavor and to have something to keep the meatbals moist since I freeze these as bento staples. When I microwave these for bentos in the morning, I microwave them in a bit of that juice, covered, so that it adds some moisture back in that may have been lost in the freezer.
Note that these also make a great dumpling filling. I used about half the meatball mixture to make dumplings/potstickers, the other half as meatballs; they taste great as a dumpling filling. I used pre-made dumpling skins, and filled them with the raw mixture, froze some for a later date, and pan fried the rest for dinner.