Traditionally, albondigas are meatballs served in broth, resembling a comforting soup. However, the version I grew up with is Albondigas Lampreados, also known as Mexican-style fried meatballs. These irresistible morsels offer a delightful twist on the traditional albondigas recipe, featuring flavorful ground beef encased in a crispy, golden-brown coating that adds irresistible tenderness to each bite.
The journey of Albondigas Lampreados begins with the preparation of the picadillo. Ground beef is browned with aromatic herbs and spices, such as garlic, onion, and pepper, to infuse the meat with an array of enticing flavors. The cooled mixture is then carefully folded into stiffly beaten egg whites, reminiscent of the technique used for preparing chili rellenos.
Once the mixture is perfectly combined, the albondigas are ready to be fried to golden perfection. The frying process creates a tantalizing crust that locks in the juiciness of the meatballs while imparting a delightful crispiness.
The delectable delights, are best paired with a sweet and savory tomato salsa drizzled over a bed of fragrant Mexican rice. Alternatively, tuck them into warm corn tortillas for a delightful taco experience.
The combination of tender meat, aromatic spices, and a crispy coating creates a winning harmony of flavors and textures that will undoubtedly leave your taste buds dancing with delight. Take your dining experience to the next level by serving these albondigas alongside our flavorful Mexican rice, creating the perfect harmony of flavors for a truly memorable meal. So, grab your apron and prepare to savor the irresistible twist on this classic dish that Albondigas Lampreados bring to the table. Enjoy!
- deep skillet, 2” of vegetable oil
- large serving spoon to form and drop the albondigas into the hot oil
- large, slotted spoon or spider to remove the albondigas from the oil
- a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels and a backing rack
1 recipe of our sweet & spicy salsa prepared in advance (see recipe below)
- 5 extra large eggs separated reserve yolks
- 1 T all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground beef mixture:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Prepare the beef:
- In a medium skillet, add oil and bring to just smoking. Add ground beef, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder. Continue to cook over high heat. The beef will release water. Continue to cook until the water has evaporated. Stirring frequently, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Taste for seasonings and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Prepare to fry:
- In a deep skillet, heat oil until 350 degrees. While the oil heats, prepare the egg mixture.
Prepare egg mixture and form:
- In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add flour, salt and continue to blend until stiff peaks form. Add yolks and continue to beat until fully incorporated.
- Working quickly, fold in the cooled ground beef mixture. Using a large mixing spoon, drop spoonful into heated oil.
- Baste the albondigas with hot oil, cook until golden brown, flip and finish cooking. Remove from oil and place on a wire rack. Top with the salsa.
Sweet and Spicy Tomato Salsa
- 1 lb. tomatoes seeded & blended
- 1/2 cup white or yellow onion chopped fine
- 1 chile serrano seeded and chopped fine
- 1 jalapeno (optional for more spice) seeded and chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add jalapeno, serrano, onion, garlic and salt. Cook until onion is translucent. Add blended tomato, sugar, pepper and vinegar.
- Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir, taste and correct seasonings if needed.
- This salsa can be made in advance and freezes beautifully.