invigorate your dinner routine with this simple recipe for tender, juicy, Asian-inspired pork meatballs swimming in a sweet soy dipping sauce. made with just 11 ingredients in less than 30 minutes, it's perfect for even your busiest weeknights.
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Table of contents
- Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
- You'll love these ground pork meatballs because they're:
- Ingredient substitutions:
- How to make Asian pork meatballs
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Storage, freezing, & reheating directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More Asian-Inspired Recipes
- More Pork Recipes
Now that fall is upon us, I'm all about sheet pan meals for getting dinner on the table without much fuss. These Asian pork meatballs are my newest obsession! Simply mix the ingredients together, shape them into balls, and let the oven do all the heavy lifting.
All in, you'll only spend about 10-15 minutes of active prep making your dinner dreams come true. The end result is a steaming tray of super flavorful, fork-tender Asian meatballs that are perfect served over a bowl of steamed rice.
The real kicker here is the sweet and tangy soy dipping sauce. Simply warm all the ingredients to a simmer while your baked pork meatballs are still in the oven to add a whole new layer of bright, slurpable flavor to this easy 30-minute meal!
Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
You'll love these ground pork meatballs because they're:
- Quick & Easy. Mix, shape, bake, simmer, and serve. You'll only need about 10-15 minutes of active time and less than 30 minutes total to get this gorgeous dinner on the table.
- Made With Just 11 Ingredients, about half of which I'd bet you already have on hand.
- Wholesome & Nutritious. This pork meatballs recipe is made with only whole, real food ingredients that are easy to pronounce and are loaded with protein, so you can feel good about feeding them to your family.
- Meal-Prep & Freezer-Friendly. While I designed this Asian meatball recipe to be speedy enough for a weeknight, they're also great for making ahead of time. When hunger strikes, simply warm and serve!
As promised, you don't need anything crazy to make this Asian pork meatballs recipe. Here's what to grab:
- Ground Pork - I recommend reaching for a pack with a fat percentage of 80% lean 20% fat for the tenderest, juiciest meatballs.
- Ginger - I almost always have a knob of ginger floating around my crisper drawer, but feel free to use a tube of ginger paste instead.
- Garlic - Having a jar of minced garlic on hand has really been helping me streamline dinnertime, but fresh is also totally welcome!
- Salt - For a bit of extra seasoning.
- Green Onions - Also known as scallions, these green beauties are ubiquitous in Asian cuisine. Make sure you use both the whites and greens to get the most out of your produce.
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce - For all that umami goodness.
- Toasted Sesame Oil - For rich, toasty flavor.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth - To thin out the soy dipping sauce.
- Rice Vinegar - For a bit of tang.
- Honey - For sweetness.
- Sesame Seeds - For added flavor and a bit of texture.
- Red Pepper Flakes - For heat.
I love this healthy ground pork recipe just the way it is, but I wholeheartedly encourage you to make the customizations you and your family need to make it work for you. Here are a few substitutions to consider:
- Ground Pork - You can also swap in ground chicken or turkey here if pork is off the table, but I recommend sticking with a fat percentage of 80% lean 20% fat. You can also use 80/20 ground beef if you like, but the flavor of the beef will be more pronounced than lighter meat options.
- Ginger - Don't have fresh ginger on hand? Feel free to use about ½ teaspoon of ground ginger in the meatballs and about ⅛ teaspoon of ground ginger in the sauce.
- Garlic & Salt - Also out of minced garlic? Swap in about ½ teaspoon of garlic powder in the meatballs. You can also use about ¾ teaspoon of garlic salt instead, but omit the extra salt if you do.
- Green Onions - If you don't have scallions on hand, chives, finely chopped shallots or finely chopped red onions can act as a stand-in.
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce - You can also use full sodium soy sauce, but be sure to cut back on the added salt.
- Toasted Sesame Oil - Toasted sesame oil is a great way to add tons of flavor to any dish, but if you're fresh out, consider toasting your own sesame seeds in a dry pan until golden, then add a neutral-flavored oil (e.g. avocado or grapeseed oil) to the pan and simmer for a few minutes to make your own.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth - Beef or veggie broth can also be used!
- Rice Vinegar - The light, sweet flavor of rice vinegar makes it one of my favorites. In a pinch, you can swap in apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar instead.
- Honey - Maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup can all be used instead. If you don't have liquid sweeteners on hand, use brown sugar.
- Sesame Seeds - Either black or white sesame seeds can be used here. If you don't have either, simply omit them.
- Red Pepper Flakes - You can use ground spicy red chilis like cayenne instead, but start with a smaller amount since it'll be more potent. You can also swap in hot sauce like sriracha or sambal oelek if you prefer.
How to make Asian pork meatballs
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Getting these pork meatballs baked and on the table is easy enough for even a novice home cook. Here's how it's done:
Step 1: Prep. Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat the oven.
Step 2: Mix all the meatball ingredients together until uniform.
Step 3: Shape the meatballs and place on your prepared baking sheet.
Step 4: Bake until cooked through.
Step 5: Make Sauce by combining all ingredients in a saucepan and warming to a simmer while the meatballs cook.
Step 6: Plate meatballs in a deep serving dish, then pour the sauce over the top and garnish as desired. Enjoy!
- How to keep the meatballs from sticking to your hands as you roll them: I like to spray my hands with a bit of non-stick spray before I start rolling my meatballs. Other ways to keep the meat bits off your hands include pouring about ½ teaspoon of oil in your hands and rubbing them together, or keeping a bowl of water next to you so you can wet your hands as you work.
- How to make evenly sized meatballs: The trick to getting your meatballs to cook evenly is making sure they're all the same size. The easiest way to do it? Use a cookie/ice cream scooper (a.k.a. disher) to help you measure it out. Alternatively, add a piece of parchment paper to the top of your kitchen scale and weigh out the meatballs as you go!
- How to make the meatballs ahead of time: You are welcome to make the meatball mix and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in advance before baking. You can also shape the meatballs first, if you prefer. Baked meatballs can also be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
What to serve with Asian pork meatballs:
I typically serve this meal with steamed rice, plus a sprinkling of fresh cilantro, more green onions & red pepper flakes for garnish.
You can also turn them into a banh mi by stuffing them into a crusty French roll and adding pickled veggies. Try serving them with stir-fried, roasted, or steamed veggies for a bit more color, or add them to a bowl of noodles (rice noodles, ramen, etc.). They're also great in a bowl of soup!
How to make gluten-free Asian pork meatballs: Swap in Tamari or coconut aminos for the soy sauce to make these meatballs celiac-friendly.
How to make soy-free Asian pork meatballs: Instead of using soy sauce or Tamari, swap in coconut aminos (gluten-free) or Bragg's liquid aminos (not gluten-free) instead.
Pork sausage is ground pork that has been seasoned. For this recipe, you'll want the plain, unseasoned ground pork so all of the flavors of our other ingredients will shine through!
While some ground pork meatball recipes will give you a time that they should cook on the stovetop or oven, it really all comes down to temperature. The time will be relative to the strength of the oven or stovetop and the size of your meatballs.
While my recipe also uses time as a gauge to help you decide when to check, you'll still need to measure the temperature. You'll want to stick a thermometer in the middle of at least a few meatballs to ensure that they register 160F, which is the temperature the USDA considers safe for eating.
Storage, freezing, & reheating directions:
- Refrigeration: as mentioned above, baked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: if you prefer longer-term storage, shaped and baked or unbaked meatballs can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Freezing baked meatballs: to freeze unbaked meatballs, place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet and freeze through before moving to a dated zip-top bag or airtight container for storage.
The sauce can also be made in advance and refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cookie scooper (optional, but helpful)
- Baking sheet
- Heat-safe spatula or turner
- Silicone spatula or scraper
More Asian-Inspired Recipes
- Asian Tri-Tip Steak Marinade
- Orange Ground Beef Stir-Fry
- Asian Chicken Marinade Recipe
- Frozen Egg Rolls in the Air Fryer (w/ Sweet Chili Sauce!)
- Thai Salmon Panang Curry
- Healthy Orange Chicken
More Pork Recipes
- Pork Chop Tacos with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa
- Pork Chop Marinade
- Pork Green Chili
- Citrus Dijon Pork Tenderloin
- Bacon Maple Pork Tenderloin
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!