Ok guys. Do you just ever Pinterest so hard and see a picture of something and go “I’m toats making that!”? (Queue my DIY hat b/c I can get a little crazy.) That’s what I said when I saw a pic of these Asian meatballs. We aren’t huge meatball fans in this house, but the photo was just so gorgeous so I had to try it out. I was specifically perusing for some type of dish with an Asian flare since that’s one of Aaron’s favorites and I wanted to make something he would like. He then proceeded to tell me that he doesn’t like meatballs and that of course made me want to make them even more . (Ladies, do ya feel me? Like, EAT MY FOOD OR ELSE.)
Above is the original post/photo from Pinterest along with the original recipe from Donna Hay. I mean, doesn’t this photo just make you want to lay in a bed of soba and meatballs and bask in the sticky sauce ALL FRICKIN’ DAY? Ok, maybe I took that a little too far, but damn, I’m a sucker for pretty food photos.
I decided I would make some Soba noodles as well, because NOODLES. I’m not including a sauce for the soba noodles because we used a sauce that we always keep on hand in the fridge that we call “Tina Sauce”. Our friend Tina is Chinese and makes this special spicy sauce by the jar-full for us. I have yet to weasel the recipe out of her, but let me just say: it’s orgasmic. If you choose to make the noodles with it, you could potentially double the sticky sauce recipe and use the excess to cover your nooders.
I do want to point out that I have converted the measurements from metric for my fellow American hillbillies and changed a few things in the recipe as well.
Also, can I tell you guys that Aaron tried them later that evening and said they were good, without me even prompting him, so I’m blogging this recipe for easy reference next time I want to make them.( My 4 year old nephew even liked these so I will also note that they are kid friendly.)
As a side note, i mixed in a “restaurant blend mushroom mix” and some fresh garlic into the soba noodles in the wok.
- 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
- 1/2 c breadcrumbs (Panko/Japanese breadcrumbs are recommended)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 chopped green onions, 4 for the meatball mixture and 2 for the garnish
- 3 Tbsp grated ginger (I used a microplane, it should almost be the consistency of paste)
- 1/2 Tbsp grated orange zest (1/2 for meatball mixture, 1/2 for garnish)
- 1 Tbsp Sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp Sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 Tbsp Gochugaru (Korean red chili powder, or you can substitute red pepper flakes if you can't find Cochugaru)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil for browning meatballs in skillet
- 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger paste (using the microplane again)
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 1/4 Orange juice
- 1/3 c rice vinegar
- 1/4 c honey
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. (I use my hands to make sure everything is well incorporated.)
- Using your hands, roll together pork mixture into ping-pong sized balls.
- If you like a little crisp/crust on your meatballs, you can brown them in a skillet prior to baking in the oven, although this step is not necessary and can be skipped if you wish.
- Place meatballs on greased baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
- place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Remove meatball tray from the oven (after the first 10 minutes) and baste them in the sticky sauce, pouring all of the sauce over all the meatballs and even leaving the excess on the tray.
- remove from oven after aother 5 minutes and be sure to carefully toss and coat all meatballs.
- Sauce will begin to reduce and get somewhat sticky.
- Cook for another 5 minutes for a total cook time of 20 minutes.
- Garnish with remaining green onions, orange zest and sesame seeds.
- You can find Gochugaru at your local international market, Asian mart, Market District or Whole foods in the loose spice section.
- The original recipe called for teaspoon of Shichimi Togarashi, but I substitited the Gochugaru instead for a little added spice.
Also, I feel like i need to point out (because some troll will inevitably point out that this isn’t “authentic Korean fare”. WELL OBVI. I’m just a midwestern white girl trying to cook up some half ass Korean food. Give me a break, ok? BUT if you have an authentic recipe you’d want to share with me, I would love to test it out!