Venison Meatballs on Vermicelli Salad

, from Issue #70. December, 2016
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Venison Meatballs on Vermicelli Salad

Venison mince makes lovely juicy meatballs and is a firm favourite in my household. It lends itself well to both Asian and European seasonings. 

Serves: 4


1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
¼ cup finely chopped coriander
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
500 grams venison mince
sea salt and ground pepper
olive oil for cooking
100 grams vermicelli noodles
1 cos lettuce, shredded
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
good handful mixed herbs (use any combination of mint, coriander, Thai basil, and Vietnamese mint)
½ cup chopped roasted peanuts, plus extra to serve
¼ cup chilli jam
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
lime wedges, to serve


Meatballs: Combine the breadcrumbs, coriander, garlic and the milk in a large bowl and leave for 5 minutes.

Add the oyster sauce and mince, season generously and mix until well combined. Don’t mix in a food processor. Roll into 24 walnut-sized meatballs and chill until ready to cook. 

Salad: Soak the noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain really well then combine in a large bowl with all the remaining ingredients.

Dressing: Stir the chilli jam, juice and oil together.  

To assemble: Heat a little oil in a large sauté pan and cook the meatballs until cooked through. Drain on paper towels.

Divide the salad between bowls. Top with the meatballs and spoon over the dressing. Serve with extra peanuts and chilli jam, if desired

Cooks note: I buy a loaf of gluten-free bread and turn it into crumbs so I always have them on hand.