Sticky Asian Meatballs

You’re going to love these tender, flavorful sticky Asian meatballs. They’re easy to make and ready to serve in just 30 minutes!

These tasty morsels make an amazing appetizer or a perfect main dish served over rice or noodles. They are sure to hit the spot! For more meatball magic try Instant Pot Meatballs, Swedish Meatballs, and Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs

Sticky Asian Meatballs served over rice

A Great Main Dish or Appetizer!

I always appreciate a quick & delicious meal, especially one that I know my kids will love, and that will (if we’re not all starving) potentially lead to leftovers for lunch the next day! Who’s with me?

The base of this recipe comes from my orange chicken meatballs, I just swapped out the chicken for pork and added a bit of grated carrot… because I’m always sneaking in extra veggies here and there. #momlife

Serve these hot on their own OR serve over a bed of rice and stir-fried veggies. Since we wanted these to be a main dish instead of an appetizer, we chose the second option. They were flavorful and so was the sauce.

I really loved that the sauce wasn’t overly sweet (these are not teriyaki meatballs or sesame meatballs, although I may have to make those ASAP), but more garlicky and with a tiny kick from the red pepper flakes. They will definitely be a regular around here!

Ingredient Tips

Meat: We like using pork, but you can always use beef or chicken, or even a mix of different types of meat. Whatever you think will taste the best to you and your family will work well. 

If you are worried about the meatballs being too dry then I recommend using a fattier meat, such as pork or beef. Ground chicken and turkey are a leaner meat and so are typically less fatty. 

Breadcrumbs: We recommend using panko breadcrumbs because it gives a crisp texture as opposed to a cakey or heavy texture from normal breadcrumbs.

Can you use fresh ginger? Yes, you can use freshly ground ginger, it will provide such a fresh and potent flavor.

White vs rice vinegar? Rice vinegar has a sweet and delicate flavor whereas white vinegar is harsh and sour. We suggest using rice vinegar because it’s an important Asian flavor to incorporate. White vinegar might overpower all of the other flavors, so if you need to substitute white vinegar, use slightly less than the recipe calls for.

Chinese meatballs with toothpicks in the center

How to Make Asian Meatballs

PREP. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard size baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat, set aside.

COMBINE. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk and panko breadcrumbs. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Add the pork, egg, garlic, green onion, carrot, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix together just until combined (overworking it will cause the meatballs to be dense).

SHAPE & BAKE. Shape into meatballs and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked throughout (internal temperature of 165).

The Sauce

COMBINE. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the hoisin, vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, ground ginger, and red pepper flakes.

SIMMER. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes.

TOSS & SERVE. Place the meatballs in a large bowl and cover with sauce. Toss to coat, serve hot. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onion, if desired.

Asian style meatballs garnished with sesame seeds and green onion

Serving and Storing

What to serve Asian Meatballs with? Try any of these other Asian dishes!

Storing: Keep the meatballs in an airtight container or ziploc bag for 3-4 days in the fridge. Then reheat them in the microwave or oven.

Freeze Uncooked: You can choose to freeze the uncooked meatballs with or without the sauce. After you form them, let them set up on a baking sheet until solid and then place them in a ziploc bag for 3-4 months. 

Freeze Cooked: If you want to freeze cooked meatballs follow the same process but note that they will only last 2-3 months.

Some people prefer not to store their meatballs in sauce so that they can use the meatballs in whatever recipe they feel like. If you do store the meatballs in the sauce, you can reheat the meatballs in the crockpot on low for 3-4 hours (if they’re already cooked).

For more meatball recipes, try:

 

Sticky Asian Meatballs | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Sticky Asian Meatballs Recipe

You're going to love these tender, flavorful sticky Asian meatballs. They're easy to make and ready to serve in just 30 minutes!
4.63 from 35 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 410kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the Meatballs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork - or chicken
  • 1 egg - lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 tbsp green onion - minced
  • 3 tbsp carrot - finely grated
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
For the Sauce
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Optional Garnishes
  • sesame seeds
  • sliced green onions

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard size baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat, set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk and panko breadcrumbs. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Add the pork, egg, garlic, green onion, carrot, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix together just until combined (overworking it will cause the meatballs to be dense).
  • Shape into meatballs and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked throughout (internal temperature of 165).
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the hoisin, vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, ground ginger, and red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Place the meatballs in a large bowl and cover with sauce. Toss to coat, serve hot. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onion, if desired.

Video

Notes

-You can serve these on their own as appetizers (just make them slightly smaller) and insert toothpicks in them before serving, or serve them as a meal over a bed of rice and stir-fried veggies.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1034mg | Potassium: 446mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1354IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. I was looking for an Asian pork meatball to use in place of Ree Drummond’s beef meatballs for Sweet and Sour Meatballs. These are great!! The pork at my grocery store was super fatty, so I asked them to grind a pork loin roast for me to use. Because pork loin has almost no fat, I ended up adding 1T of canola oil per pound. Other than that I used fresh ginger and followed the rest of the recipe and they are super. I have plenty for Ree’s recipe and for your sauce and I can’t wait to try these meatballs with both.

  2. Hi. I make these every other week and the whole family loves them. I’m thinking about doing them for a super bowl party too. Do you think I can make now and freeze? Then thaw and bake 5 days from now? Thanks!

    1. Yes, I’d make them and freeze just the meatballs, and maybe just refrigerate the sauce? Then you can warm them together in a crockpot or Instant Pot.

  3. Hi

    If i make thrm in advance to freeze, do i have to pop them in the oven to cook them first or freeze the balls uncooked?

    Thanks
    Susan

    1. Either way. It just depends on how much time you have when you’re initially prepping them versus when you actually want to eat them. Does that make sense?

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous!!!!
    I did make a slight  variation in the sauce by adding a little honey and pineapple juice. 
    I will definitely keep this as a favorite recipe! 
    The carrots in the meat are perfect and add so much!

  5. 5 stars
    The flavor combination in these are SO GOOD! I could just eat these for dinner alone. Making them again SOON!

  6. 5 stars
    Made these and they were so good! I tried using regular breadcrumbs but panko would have been better. I’ll definitely be making these again.

      1. Here are some substitutes for hoisin sauce..Bean paste, Garlic teriyaki, Garlic and prunes, Chili and plums, Barbecue molasses, Soy peanut butter, Miso and mustard, & Ginger plum.

  7. 5 stars
    Yum!! I baked the meatballs in the airfryer and they came out juicy and crispy. I served mine in a bowl with jasmine rice and a veggie stirfry. This was excellent. 

  8. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times in my air fryer and have done the sauce with whatever I have on hand. Usually General Tso’s sauce honey soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. I did it with beef only and I have done with beef and pork. This is an excellent dish and in my repertoire! Thank you!!!

  9. 5 stars
    We absolutely loved these! Such great flavor and they were super easy to make. Definitely going to be making these again.

  10. 5 stars
    Are you an Asian chef? Why can you create a really Asian dish, enough all steamed rice, cucumber, broccoli, and meat together? This Meatball is not only delicious meatball but also depth taste sauce. This meatball and sauce are quite suitable for serving with rice.

  11. 3 stars
    I tweaked the sauce recipe as it was too acidly and tangy.  I added sugar to reduce the acid and honey to reduce the tang.  Also added five spice for a depth of flavor.  Brought 35 of them to a game night (8 People)  last night and they instantly disappeared- everybody loved them!

    1. You can make the meatballs any size you would like but most are golf ball sized (about 1 1/2 inch diameter). With this size of meatball you can get about 25-30 meatballs from this recipe. Hope this helps!

  12. 5 stars
    I had a pound of ground pork and a pound of ground beef. Came to Pinterest looking for Asian meatballs and found these. They were delicious, and the sauce was divine! I’ll be making these again.