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Fennel Seed Meatball…and the flurry that is life

Being a fourth year medical student, with graduation closing in, tons of before-graduation weddings to attend, moving out of the apartment, life has been quite a flurry lately. The latest excitement is that this morning at 10AM, everyone across the nation found out if they matched in residency for 2016. I myself included was lucky to receive the congratulation-you-matched email! Though this is a small feat in itself, it really is a foreshadowing of this Friday’s match celebration, where everyone opens an envelope at 11AM and find out where in the country they matched and will spend the next 3-5 years of their lives. My hands are getting sweaty as I’m writing this.

In the past few weeks leading up to Match Week, my evenings have been happily filled with time spent with classmates. Finally after many months of interviews and traveling all over, we were able to gather once more before we go our separate ways. Of course that also means my stomach has been happily filled too with endless restaurant hopping. So this post is dedicated to my lovely “hometown” Houston and the number one thing we are known for- outstanding food. Before I leave for residency, my single most important goal in life is to eat every single restaurant on my bucket list. The following are a few of my personal favorites.

  1. Halal Guys: newest hottest street food trend in Houston, imported straight from NYC. Features chicken and lamb over rice with mysterious but amazing white sauce and hot sauce. All under $7.
  2. Cooking Girl: newest Sichuan restaurant in a hipster area of Houston, boasting all organic ingredients and bringing hole-in-the-wall Sichuan cuisine to an American audience. Avg meal: $15
  3. Taco Truck: no-name taco truck next to Ice House, serving the most authentic Mexican tacos (read: NOT Tex-Mex). You know when it’s real when there’s only 8 items on the menu and half of the menu is peeled off. $2 per taco
  4. United Sisters Restaurant: Nigerian restaurant serving authentic jollof rice, beef stews and meat pies. Eat your dinner while a large TV set plays Nigerian melodramas in the background. Avg meal: $7

Note: This is by no means a comprehensive list, only what I’ve eaten in the past two weeks.

fennel meatball

Today I am introducing to you another hit in the lineup of meatballs: fennel seed meatballs! I tweaked the recipe from Iamafoodblog a year ago, and I made it again recently. The fennel seeds definitely add a burst of fragrance and herbs, and I eat these by themselves or mixed into pasta. With a little chutney for dipping on the side, this could make a great appetizer for a house party too.

fennel meatball2

fennel meatballs

Fennel Seed Meatballs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 1 lb of ground pork or turkey
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cup of panko
  • 3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a skillet, saute onion and fennel seeds in a bit of oil for 5 minutes until onion is translucent and fennel is fragrant. Set aside contents to cool.

In a mixing bowl, mix pork, egg, onion and fennel seeds, panko together until well mixed. Add in parsley at the end and mix roughly. Salt and pepper to taste.

Shape mix into meatballs of 1.5 inch diameter. Coat skillet with 1 Tbsp of canola oil and sear meatballs on all sides. About 5 minutes on each side until completely cooked and golden. Enjoy while hot!

Alternatively, heat oven to 400 F. Bake meatballs in a baking tray on aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Meatballs turn out drier in this method.


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