Let me start this post with a sad confession, and that is this. It is REALLY hard to make meatloaf look good in a photograph. Sorry.
I mean I tried…..I really did. I tried to make this meatloaf look as good as it tastes, and give you all a shot that would leave you saying….”OMG, that looks awesome, I can’t wait to try this recipe!” Sadly, that was not to be, and I am here to tell you that this meatloaf and my camera have a hate-hate relationship.
So….If you are here looking for a GREAT meatloaf recipe, then by all means, please hang in with me and read on. If on the other hand you are here for a little taste of food porn, you are best advised to avert your eyes and run away.
As much as I loved living in France, cooking and eating all of that country’s most famous and delectable treats, there was the odd occasion when I was hungry for familiar foods from home. On one of those “homesick” days, I was walking past the WH Smith bookstore on the Rue de Rivoli, when I spied a friendly and familiar face staring at me from the cover of a snazzy, newly published cookbook. It was the face of Ming Tsai, the chef of the fabulous Blue Ginger restaurant, and he was gracing the cover of his new cookbook called Simply Ming: Easy Techniques for East-Meets-West Meals . I ran inside to peruse a copy, and was so taken with what I found, that I bought a copy, picked out a recipe to cook that night, shopped for ingredients on my way home, and treated the family to this East meets West twist on an American favorite, meatloaf.
Ming’s Asian Meatloaf became a favorite of ours in a hurry, and when Peyton asked for MEAT for dinner the other night, without being any more specific than that, I felt it time to dust this dish off, and reintroduce it into our rotation. The dish is pretty spectacular as Ming makes it, but we do take a few liberties. The first is that we use about half of the amount of onion he calls for, and saute it before mixing it with the meat, rather than adding it raw per Ming’s instructions. We also use slightly less sambal in the meatloaf mix than he calls for, to tone down the heat a touch. The dish is served with a spicy ketchup (made with sambal), so there is ample opportunity to kick things up if you so desire.
This recipe is all about measuring and mixing, so it can be managed in its entirety by almost any aged child, in fact, have a camera ready to snap a face-shot when your kid gets elbow deep in the mixing bowl, squishing the ground meat and spices through his fingers to blend them together….a Kodak moment if there ever was one.
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Traditional Spicy Sambal or regular sambal (use less than 1/4 cup sambal in the meatloaf mix if you are at all sensitive to spicy foods)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, chuck or round 1 pound ground pork
- 1 medium onion, cut into fine dice
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup Spiced Panko Bread Crumbs (recipe below)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 bacon strips
Spiced Panko Bread Crumbs
- 4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder or regular chile powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Oil a 1 1/2-quart loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and the 1 tablespoon of sambal and set aside.
- Gently saute the onion in a little oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the ground beef and pork. Add the onions, garlic, the remaining 1/4 cup of sambal, the soy sauce, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, and spiced panko. Season with salt and pepper and, using your hand, mix well.
- Fill the pan with the mixture, top with the bacon, and bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes.
- Un-mold, slice, and serve with the sambal ketchup mixture on the side as a condiment.
Spiced Panko Bread Crumbs
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Store extra crumbs in a ziplok in the freezer.