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    Szechuan Braised Meatballs

    We braise these spicy beef meatballs and Chinese cabbage in a bit of beef broth. Make it a meal: Ladle over brown rice or noodles with steamed broccoli and carrots on the side.


    • 1 pound 93%-lean ground beef
    • 1 5-6 ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and finely chopped
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
    • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
    • 1/4 cup Szechuan sauce
    • 4 cups shredded napa cabbage
    • 1 15-ounce can straw mushrooms, rinsed
    • 2 scallions, sliced, optional


    Step 1
    Gently mix beef, water chestnuts, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, five-spice powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Shape the mixture into 12 balls (use about 2 tablespoons each to make 1 1/2-inch meatballs). Whisk broth and the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth.
    Step 2
    Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet or nonstick wok over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning once, until brown, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
    Step 3
    Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Add the reserved broth mixture, Szechuan sauce, cabbage and mushrooms; cook, stirring, until the cabbage is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer, return the meatballs to the pan, cover and cook until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with scallions (if using).

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