This Asian meatballs recipe is about to become a new family favorite. They’re baked for 20 minutes until tender then drenched in a sweet and savory sticky sauce. Enjoy as an appetizer for all your upcoming parties or dinner any night of the week!
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Saucy Asian Meatballs
Asian-style meatballs are a bit like teriyaki meatballs in that they’re juicy seasoned meatballs smothered in a sweet and sticky sauce. Every bite explodes with flavor!
This Asian meatballs recipe uses lean ground beef but you can definitely use a combination of ground pork and beef, or even swap for lighter ground chicken or turkey. You could even use frozen meatballs like I do in this Hawaiian meatball appetizer to save some time! No matter what, they are mouth watering and the kids just devour them.
The dark color comes from the brown sugar, and the Asian-inspired flavors like soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Truth be told, once they’re baked and glazed, I find it hard not to devour them all myself!
Saucy asian meatballs look fancy, but contain simple meatball ingredients! Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Ground beef: I like to use lean ground beef that is 80/20. You could try a mixture of ground beef and ground sausage if preferred.
- Chopped cilantro: Fresh chopped cilantro adds a fresh citrusy taste, you could use parsley instead.
- Egg: One large egg is needed to help bind everything together.
- Minced garlic: Adds the perfect flavor to these meatballs.
- Minced ginger: The perfect warm flavor that compliments Asian dishes.
- Salt and pepper: Enhances the flavor the meatballs.
- Hot sauce: Optional but will add a small zesty kick.
Asian Sauce Ingredients
- Honey – If you don’t have honey on hand, brown sugar will work too.
- Soy sauce – You can substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce as a gluten-free alternative.
- Minced garlic – Fresh is great, but if you need to use jarred or ground garlic you can.
- Ginger – Fresh ginger is the best, but you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger for every teaspoon of freshly minced ginger.
How to Make Asian Meatballs
With the perfect savory taste and texture, these Asian meatballs come together easily in just over 30 minutes.
- Combine meatball mixture: Combine the meat, egg, cilantro, garlic, ginger, salt and black pepper in a bowl then stir until just combined being careful not to over mix. Add a couple dashes of hot sauce if desired.
- Bake: Form mixture into 1 1/2″ balls and place on the pan. I like to use a medium cookie scoop for evenly sized meatballs. Bake at 400 degrees F on a parchment lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through so the bottoms don’t brown. When fully cooked, remove meatballs and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess grease.
- Prepare sauce: In a medium saucepan combine the soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger. Bring to a light simmer over medium heat. Cook until sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cooked meatballs into the sauce and stir until coated.
- Serve: Serve over rice garnished with garnished with scallions, slivered carrots, or sesame seeds!
- Do not overmix the meat. For tender meatballs that aren’t too dense or dry, you want to combine the mixture just enough.
- For a spicy meatball, drop in a few dashes of hot sauce.
- Use a cookie scoop for even-sized meatballs. They need to be uniform sizes to bake evenly.
- Rotate the meatballs halfway through the bake time so they don’t just brown on one side.
- To pan-fry them, cook meatballs in a large skillet on the stovetop in about 2 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. They should take about 7-10 minutes to cook through.
This recipe is for Asian meatballs with ground beef! Chopped cilantro and ginger give the meatballs amazing taste while egg is used for a binder to hold them together. The Asian-inspired sticky sauce is made with honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger
If your meatballs seems to moist you could add a small amount of Panko breadcrumbs. I didn’t find that they needed any, though.
You could, but I would not! The sauce is what really makes the meatballs outstanding.
No, I don’t recommend that as your meatballs will be too dry. I would use 80/20 or 85/15 but I wouldn’t go leaner than that.
How to Serve Asian Meatballs
If I make these as part of my game day appetizer spread I’ll usually include a few varieties of meatballs like chicken meatballs, cranberry meatballs, and turkey meatballs along with a 7 layer dip and jalapeno poppers.
For dinner, serve these with white rice, coconut rice, mashed potatoes, or if we are extra hungry this fried rice or even my ham fried rice recipe. Of course a serving of cream cheese wontons is a must with any Asian cuisine.
Store leftovers of your cooked Asian meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through.
Freeze uncooked meatballs by flash freezing them on a parchment lined baking sheet then transfer to a freezer safe storage bag. Bake from frozen and follow directions for sauce.
Freeze cooked meatballs in sauce in an airtight container or ziploc bag. Reheat in the microwave or a slow cooker on low for a few hours.
More Meatball Recipes
Asian Meatballs Recipe
- 1 pound 80% lean ground beef
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 large egg , beaten
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- hot sauce , optional
- ¼ cup light soy sauce , or coconut aminos
- ¼ cup honey , or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
For serving: rice, green onions, sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Combine the meat, egg, cilantro, garlic, ginger, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Stir just until combined, do not over mix. Add a couple dashes of hot sauce if desired.
- Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat. Then form into 1 1/2" balls and place on the pan. Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle. Turn halfway through if desired, so the bottoms don't brown. When fully cooked, remove meatballs and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess grease.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a medium sauce pan combine the soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger. Bring to a light simmer over medium heat. Cook until is has turned into a thick glaze, about 3-5 minutes. Whisk constantly. Remove from heat. Then add meatballs into the sauce and stir until coated.
- Serve over rice. Top with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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