Meatballs are often a crowd pleaser, and this version tossed in a sweet, sour, and salty sauce will delight both adults and kids alike. Mixing the ground chicken with piquant ginger and herbs adds a fresh twist to this comfort food, but feel free to use other meats such as turkey, pork, or lamb, or a combination. For gluten-free families, substitute brown rice or quinoa noodles; or skip the noodles altogether, make smaller meatballs, and serve them in lettuce cups with a drizzle of hoisin sauce.

Ingredients

½ lb (250 g) dried soba noodles
½ lb (250 g) sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne

Dressing
2-inch (5-cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) fresh lime juice (2 or 3 limes)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Chicken meatballs
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers discarded, bulb finely chopped
1 big clove garlic, minced
1½ lb (750 g) ground chicken, preferably dark meat
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
1½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup (1/3 oz/10 g) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
5 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Spray a heavy-duty baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.