8 medium fresh shitake mushrooms, minced (or 8 dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated)
1 medium shallot, minced
¾ cup minced sweet potato
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 pounds ground beef
1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons melted fat of choice (unnecessary if using parchment paper)
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or foil, and preheat the oven to 375°F. In the meantime, finely mince the mushrooms, shallot, sweet potato, and cilantro.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, fish sauce, tomato paste, and the minced veggies and herbs. Sprinkle on kosher salt and pepper. Thoroughly combine the ingredients but don’t overwork the meat.
Scoop out uniform balls (1½ tablespoons) and roll out three dozen meatballs. Each meatball should be about 1½ inches in diameter. (If you’re not using parchment paper, brush the foil or baking sheet with melted fat before you place meatballs on top.)
Divide the meatballs onto the two lined baking sheets. Bake each tray of meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the tray at the midpoint to ensure even cooking.
Plate and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can freeze the cooked meatballs for up to 6 months. Simply freeze them in a single layer and then place the solid orbs in a freezer bar or sealed container.