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Asian Style Chicken Meatballs

Feb 23, 2023 | 2 comments

These ultra-juicy, sweet and spicy glazed chicken meatballs are the most delicious meal, perfect for busy weeknights. Full of Asian-style flavours and easy to prep ahead, you’ll want to add these to your menu rotation!

Glazed Asian chicken meatballs with rice and broccoli in a small blue bowl.

There’s just something about a juicy meatball, am I right? These are super moist, packed with flavour and incredibly easy, making them perfect for busy weeknights. Plus, they only take 30 minutes to pull together.

These ones are stuffed with loads of my favourite Asian-style flavours (think soy, sesame and ginger) and then tossed with the MOST deliciously lip-smacking sweet, spicy gochujang glaze. All you have to do is mix, form little balls, pop them in the oven and make the glaze while they’re cooking. Easy peasy, and so much flavour. To keep things simple, we’re adding some chopped broccolini to the same tray with the meatballs, cutting down those dishes.

I’m serving the meatballs over rice, but you can equally enjoy them by themselves. They also make a wonderful party bite!

Ingredients

There are really only a handful of ingredients that go into this meatball dish!

Ingredients for Asian style chicken meatballs laid out on a white marble background and labelled.
  • Chicken mince. Also called ground chicken, and I always use free-range, good quality chicken for the best, juicy flavour.
  • Seasoning. I’m using ginger paste for ease, but you can use fresh ginger too. I always like to grate my ginger because then you don’t have to peel it! If you’re not a coriander fan, swap it for flat-leaf parsley. Fish sauce is my secret ingredient in lots of recipes – it brings a lovely depth of salty flavour you don’t get from salt alone and I promise it doesn’t taste fishy in the meatballs.
  • Glaze. Gochujang paste is a fermented Korean chilli paste with a deeply savoury, umami kick and it pairs wonderfully with these meatballs. It’s becoming more readily available at supermarkets, and you’ll find it at any Asian supermarket. You can also pick it up from Amazon. If you can’t find it, use another hot sauce, like sriracha. I love using sweet chilli jam (try my easy sweet chilli jam recipe) in the glaze too but if you don’t have any, just use more honey.
  • Broccolini. This just brings another element of green to the recipe, but you could swap it out for regular broccoli, green beans, bok choi or asparagus.

How to make it

Add all the ingredients for the meatballs into a large mixing bowl, then mix well to combine. The best way to do this is to get your hands in there, but you can mix it with a spoon too. Wet your hands (this will help to stop the mixture from sticking to them) then spoon a heaped tablespoon into your hands. Roll it into a ball, then pop it onto a lined oven tray and repeat with the rest of the mixture.

After 10 minutes, add the broccolini to your oven tray (or a separate tray) and pop back in for another 5 minutes. While that’s cooking, make the gochujang glaze.

Remove the meatballs and broccolini from the oven and drizzle the gochujang glaze all over the meatballs, tossing to coat well. Pile the grilled broccolini and the meatballs on top of rice to serve and you’re done!

Got a question?

Why are my chicken meatballs tough?

Ground chicken can be tricky to work with, but there are a couple of tricks that will make sure you never have dry, tough meatballs. First, you want to (ideally) mix the meatball mixture with your hands. Doing it this way means you’ll be able to combine the ingredients quicker (and more effectively) than with a regular spoon. The key to a juicy meatball is not overworking the meat. Overworking = tough.

You also need to add enough liquid to ensure they don’t try out. Ground meat can take more moisture than you’d think, and it all works to help it stop drying out.

Can I make this in advance?

You can! You can form the meatballs, then place them on a plate covered with cling film (or in a covered container) and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them. They’ll be fine for a day in this way. You can also freeze the formed meatballs – place them on a lined oven tray in the freezer for 20 minutes, then store them in zip-lock bags. You can then cook them straight from frozen (add 5 minutes to the first cooking time). The cooked meatballs will keep well for 5 days, making this a great recipe for meal prep.

How spicy are the meatballs?

The meatballs themselves aren’t spicy – but the gochujang glaze does have a little bit of a kick. If you’re worried, reduce the amount of gochujang to 1 tablespoon (or 1/2). You can also enjoy these without the glaze if you like.

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Glazed Asian chicken meatballs with rice and broccoli in a small blue bowl.

Asian Style Chicken Meatballs


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  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These ultra-juicy, sweet and spicy glazed chicken meatballs are the most delicious meal, perfect for busy weeknights. Full of Asian-style flavours and easy to prep ahead, you’ll want to add these to your menu rotation!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the meatballs – 

  • 1lb/500g chicken mince
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed (or 1 tablespoon garlic paste)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (coriander), finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the sticky gochujang glaze –

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli jam (or use sweet chilli sauce)

For the bowls –

  • 7oz/200g broccolini, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 scallions (spring onions), finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups rice

Instructions

  1. Make your rice. Add 1 1/2 cups rice, 2 cups cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a small pot you have a lid for. Set over medium heat, and when the top of the water starts to look foamy, turn the heat right down and pop the lid on. Leave it there, undisturbed, for 12 minutes while you get on with the meatballs. After 12 minutes, remove the pot from the heat but leave the lid on until you’re ready to serve. PRO TIP: If your pot doesn’t have a lid, you can use a large plate or wooden chopping board.
  2. Mix the meatballs. Heat your oven to 220C/430F and line an oven tray with baking paper. Add the chicken mince, ginger, crushed garlic, 1/4 cup chopped coriander, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon salt to a mixing bowl. The best way to avoid tough meatballs is to mix this with your hands, but I like to use a fork as well so go for that if you don’t want to get messy. 
  3. Cook the meatballs and broccolini. Wet your hands to stop the meatball mix from sticking, then take a heaped tablespoon into your hands and form it into a ball. Place on the prepared oven tray, then repeat with the rest of the mixture. Pop into the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, then add the sliced broccolini, then put it back into the oven for another 5 minutes. After this, the broccolini should be looking lovely and charred and the chicken should be golden.
  4. Make the gochujang glaze. While the meatballs are cooking, make the gochujang glaze. Add 2 tablespoons gochujang paste, 2 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 1 tablespoon sweet chilli jam to a small pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring, as the sauce starts to bubble up and thin out in consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Arrange and serve. Remove the meatballs and broccolini from the oven, then drizzle the gochujang glaze all over the meatballs and toss to coat well. Divide the rice between bowls, then top with the meatballs and broccolini. Finish with the sesame seeds and sliced spring onions and dig in.

Notes

INGREDIENT NOTES: Gochujang is a spicy, sweet, intensely savoury Korean fermented chilli paste. You’ll find it in the international aisle of larger supermarkets, or at an Asian supermarket. You’ll also find it on Amazon. If you’re worried the glaze might be too spicy for you, reduce the amount of gochujang (use 1 or 1/2 tablespoon). If you taste it and it’s still too spicy, you can add a little more honey to balance the spiciness out. 

SUBSTITUTIONS: Swap the broccolini for regular broccoli, or you could use cauliflower, green beans or asparagus. If you can’t find gochujang paste, use another hot sauce, like sriracha. You could also add more veggies – edamame beans, bok choy, spinach, bean sprouts and shaved carrots would be great options.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: The meatballs will keep really well for 5 days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, making this a great recipe for meal prep. Reheat in the microwave at 1-minute intervals until heated through. You can store the meatballs by themselves, or with the rice and broccolini. You can also form the meatballs and store them in the fridge, either on a tray covered with cling film or in a covered container for up to a day.

HOW TO FREEZE: You can freeze the meatballs either raw or cooked. Either way, place them on a lined oven tray in the freezer until they’re solid, then transfer them to a zip lock bag. You can cook them straight from frozen (add an extra 5 minutes if cooking frozen raw meatballs).

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: asian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 meatballs

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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2 Comments

  1. Brigette Summers

    How long do you cook the meatballs for after you add the broccolini?

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      Another five minutes – have updated the instructions 🙂

      Reply

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