Sticky, a touch spicy, juicy and so tasty! These Asian Pork Meatballs make the perfect party appetizer, or quick family dinner ready in only 30 minutes!
Fall is among us, which means game days, tailgating and the holiday season is near. Time to break out all the yummy appetizer recipes! This Asian Pork Meatballs recipe is simple to make, ready in only 30 minutes and features a sticky and spicy sauce. Of course, the heat can be toned down for all you spice haters out there.
This party meatball recipe is great for holiday gathering, game days and tailgates and can be kept warm in a slow cooker for hours. Alternatively, these meatballs work great for a quick family dinner paired with rice, can be frozen or used for meal prep lunches.
- Ground Pork: I used plain ground pork for my meatballs. If you really want them to be spicy you can use a spicy ground pork instead. I do not recommend using Italian sausage, or country sausage for these meatballs.
- Spices: I used a simple combination of salt, pepper, minced garlic, ground ginger, minced onion and a touch of cayenne pepper in the meatballs. If you are wanting to cut back on the spiciness, I recommend you leave out the cayenne pepper.
Why You'll LOVE Them!
Ready Fast: These Meatballs are complete in just 30 minutes!
Bold Flavor: The pork plus Asian style sauce makes these far from boring.
Versatile: These make a great appetizer, main dish or even a meal prep lunch.
Step by Step
Prepare the Meatballs
Begin by adding all of the pork meatball ingredients to a large prep bowl and used your hands or a spoon to combine everything evenly. Once combined use your hands or a cookie scoop to roll 16 1 inch balls.
Cook the Pork Meatballs
Add the rolled meatballs to a large skillet with a touch of oil or cooking spray (helps them not stick) and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until cooked though. Rotate the meatballs so all of the side can get browned. Once the meatballs are cooked through remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Drain any excess grease from the pan and wipe it out.
Make the Sauce
Add all of the sauce ingredients to the same skillet the meatballs were cooked in and heat over low to medium heat. Stir the cornstarch into the water until it is completely dissolved and add to the sauce. Whisk continuously until thickened and sticky. You should be able to drag the whisk along the bottom and a streak will appear.
Sauce Toss and Finishing Touches
Once the sauce is finished, remove from heat and add the meatballs into the sauce and toss to combined. Once combined serve warm as and appetizer, main dish or add to a crockpot to stay warm. Top with sesame seeds and chopped green onions and enjoy!
How to Store Meatballs
Store leftover spicy meatballs in an airtight storage container in the fridge for up to four days. Re-heat before servings.
An alternate cooking method for the meatballs would be to bake them instead of cooking in a skillet. To do this preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Follow the recipe instructions for mixing and rolling the meatballs, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake on the center rack for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through fully.
This method is great because you do not have to turn or watch the meatballs like you do on the stove top. Be careful not to over bake them, because they can dry out faster than the other cooking method. While the meatballs are in the oven prepare your sauce in a saucepan then toss once finished for juicy meatballs.
If baking the meatballs broil them for 3-5 minutes once they are cooked through. This will give them a crispy outer texture just like pan frying them, minus the oil.
The meatballs can be combined, rolled then stored covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, follow the recipe instructions and toss in the Asian style sauce. The sauce can also be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and heated when ready to use.
I think it depends on your preference of meatball. Frying meatballs will give them a crispy texture on the outside, plus the oil will add additional flavor. The crispy outside will also help the sauce stick better. Baking meatballs will add flavor as well, healthier than frying but they are easier to dry out.
Yes, to freeze the meatballs follow the recipe instructions for prepping, rolling and cooking. Once cooked through allow the meatballs to cool then store in a freezer container or bag for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy re-warm then toss in the sauce.
Yes, once the meatballs are tossing in the sauce and left in a pan simmering in or a crockpot on low they will cook more. I recommend doubling the sauce recipe if you plan to let your meatballs simmer to help them to not dry out.
Extras: Some yummy extras to put over the top of your party meatballs include sliced green onion, sesame seeds, fresh cilantro, or some additional hot sauce like Sriracha.
As a Main: If serving these meatballs as a main I suggest pairing theme with a starch like cooked rive, noodles or quinoa. Also, serving with some roasted veggies like peppers or broccoli makes the perfect complete meal.
As an Appetizer: If serving as an appetizer, I find it helpful to spear each meatball with a toothpick. This makes it easy for guests to serve themselves and make the meatballs more of a finger food.
Keep Them Warm: Game days are big in our house, meaning we need this Asian Pork meatball recipe to stay toasty and warm for hours. To do this I like to put them in a small crockpot on WARM. This is perfect for large holiday parties and tailgating. If doing this I suggest doubling the sauce and adding that to the bottom of the crockpot, so the meatballs do not get dried out.
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Toothpicks: These are perfect when serving at parties!
Small Crockpot: This is great for keeping meatballs warm for several hours.
Sauté Pan: This is a must in my kitchen, and works great for these Asian style meatballs.
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Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs Recipe
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- ½ Cup Panko
- 1 Egg
- 2 teaspoon Minced Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- ½ teaspoon Dried Minced Onion
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Begin by adding all of the pork meatball ingredients to a large prep bowl and used your hands or a spoon to mash/stir to combine everything evenly. Once combined use your hand or a cookie scoop to roll 16 1 inch balls.
- Add the rolled meatballs to a large deep skillet with a touch of oil or cooking spray (helps them not stick) and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until cooked though. Rotate the meatballs so all of the sides get browned. Once the meatballs are cooked through remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Drain any excess grease from the pan and wipe it out.
- Add all of the sauce ingredients to the same skillet the meatballs were cooked in and heat over low to medium heat. Stir the cornstarch into the water until it is completely dissolved and add to the sauce. Whisk continuously until thickened and sticky, about 3 minutes. You should be able to drag the whisk along the bottom and a streak will appear.
- Once the sauce is finished, remove from heat and add the meatballs into the sauce and toss to combined. Once combined serve warm as and appetizer, main dish or add to a crockpot to stay warm. Top with sesame seeds and chopped green onions and enjoy!
A family favorite! I double the sauce and put it over noodles with steamed brocoli for dinner.
Love the double sauce idea! Sounds wonderful!
Can these be made with beef instead of pork?
Yes, you can. I recommend using with some fat in it so the meatballs wont dry out.
These are fantastic!
I usually always end up with dry meatballs when I make them but not with this recipe.
I also substituted hoison sauce with oyster since I had no hoison on hand and I used gluten free panko.
I will definitely be making these again.
Sounds like a great swap and I am happy to hear you liked them!
Beck and Bulow
No way this recipe can be good. Guess what it’s great! Perfect flavor, perfect texture. Not to hard or soft. I’m picky with meatballs so I’m thrilled! Followed the recipe exactly. I’ll never try another recipe.
Glad you enjoyed!
These are a family favorite! Double the sauce recipe and serve over spaghetti noodles!
Glad your family enjoys them and love the pasta pairing!