Asian Pork Meatballs are great for an appetizer or main dish. Serve in bowls over rice or on a tray for a party or game day.
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What Makes These Meatballs So Good?
These Asian-inspired meatballs are different enough to be interesting but not so unusual that the pickiest eater in your house won't be willing to try them. The ginger and fish sauce adds a touch of sweet heat and enough umami flavor to transform these everyday dinner staples into something special.
Why This Recipe Is Perfect for a Crowd
Do you need to feed a crowd? This Asian meatball recipe is perfect for any casual get-together or potluck dinner. Cooking a double or triple batch doesn't take too much extra work, so feeding a large group of people is easy.
Lay out the meatballs family-style, let everyone serve themselves, and start enjoying yourself!
Ingredients For Asian Pork Meatballs
For these meatballs, you'll need:
- Ground pork
- Fish sauce
- Ground black pepper
- Cracker crumbs
- Cilantro, finely chopped
Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in the majority of Southeast Asian cuisines. It adds a unique umami flavor to any dish without creating a 'fishy' taste. You can find it in most Asian sections of larger supermarkets or online.
Most people make this recipe with a Saltine-style cracker, but you can use any crackers you like.
How To Make Asian Meatballs
To prepare this Asian Pork Meatballs recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Peel the ginger and chop it very finely.
- Mince the garlic.
- Place the crackers in a sealed plastic bag and use a rolling pin to roll them into fine powder.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, finely chopped ginger, minced garlic, fish sauce, cracker crumbs, salt, and ground black pepper. Bring everything together gently with your fingertip. Try not to over-mix the meat.
- Wet your hands and roll the meat mixture into loose golf ball-sized meatballs. Don't form the meatballs too tightly, or they will become too dense.
- Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven. Plate the meatballs and sprinkle the finely julienned cilantro on top.
You can swap out a few of the ingredients if you want:
- Garnish with sliced green onions if you don't enjoy the flavor of cilantro.
- Replace the fish sauce with an equal amount of tamari or Worcestershire sauce.
- Make the meatballs with ground chicken, turkey, or beef instead of pork.
- Try using panko bread crumbs instead of cracker crumbs to save a step.
This Asian meatball recipe gives you a lot of freedom to experiment. Here are a few suggestions:
- Add a bit of spice with an Asian-style hot sauce such as sriracha or sambal.
- Form the meatball mixture around a bamboo skewer and cook on the grill to make satay.
- Simmer the meatballs in chicken stock. Once the meatballs are cooked, stir in a bit of rice wine vinegar and a few drops of sesame oil. Serve as a simple soup with sliced green onions.
Equipment You Will Need
This recipe doesn't require any special equipment. As long as you have a few baking trays and an oven, you have everything you have all the cooking gear you need.
What To Serve With These Meatballs
These meatballs are great over rice with Asian vegetables as a main course or served with a few dipping sauces as an appetizer.
How To Store Them
Cool the meatballs and put them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
To keep Asian Pork Meatballs longer than that, try freezing them:
- Cool the meatballs to room temperature.
- Place the cooled meatballs on a baking tray and freeze uncovered.
- Transfer the frozen meatballs to an airtight container. The meatballs will keep for up to two months.
What's the Best Way to Reheat Pork Meatballs
The easiest method of heating meatballs is in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spread the thawed Asian meatballs on a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Heat for 15 minutes or until hot. Shake the tray halfway through the cooking time to prevent the meatballs from sticking.
Asian Pork Meatballs
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup finely crushed cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- 1 pound ground pork
- Heat the oven to 425°F.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands to gently mix until the mixture is uniform.
- Shape the mixture into 12 golf ball–sized rounds and arrange on a greased, rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with cilantro.