These Asian honey and ginger meatballs the perfect midweek dinner. Made with ground pork and served over soba noodles, this meatball dish will be your new favorite Asian-style recipe.
Is there anything more satisfying to eat than meatballs? I haven’t seen many meatball recipes out there that are Asian-inspired, but this recipe perfectly fits the bill. They’re cooked in a beautiful coating of soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey to give a sweet yet deep flavor to its pork base.
Unlike a lot of other meatball recipes, these little beauties are baked. They’re cooked in the sauce, which means the soy and honey infuse the meat with a delicate sweetness that manages to stays just on the right side of syrupy.
Another great thing about these is that you can batch cook them, freeze whatever you’re not going to have immediately, and reheat them later.
If you’re a BBQ fan like me, then you can make smoked meatballs. They take a little longer, but the results are completely worth it. And if you need a good rub to match the ground pork, you can try this BBQ pork dry rub recipe.
One thing to bear in mind is that, because we want the meatballs to cook in the sauce, it’s essential to use a deep-sided roasting tray. You can see from the photos that mine is quite deep, so try to aim for something similar.
Also, bear in mind that meatball size can vary according to preference, so while I recommend a total of 20 minutes of cooking time, your might need more or less time depending on the size of your meatballs. I recommend checking them on the inside to check before serving up.
Like many Asian recipes, this dish needs a number of special herbs, spices, and sauces. You should have most of them in your kitchen already, but there are some things to keep in mind.
- Soba Noodles. Soba noodles are found in many Japanese hot dishes (although they can be enjoyed cold) and are a great accompaniment to these meatballs. They have a nutty and earthy taste that complements the sweet sauce and pork. If you use 100% buckwheat soba noodles they will also be gluten-free.
- Ground Pork. This dish is practically made for pork, and so it makes sense that it’s one of our favorite ground pork recipes. It’s the perfect meat to pair with the soy sauce and honey found in the sauce.
- Sesame Oil. Found in many East Asian dishes, sesame oil provides a deep and nutty flavor that can help to offset tart and sweet flavors. If you don’t have any to hand, our recommended sesame oil substitute is olive oil or canola oil.
Asian Honey Ginger Meatballs
- 2 packs soba noodles
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- scallions finely chopped
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 ½ lbs ground pork
- 1 egg beaten
- 3 green onions finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic crushed and minced
- 2 tbsp ginger grated
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup mirin
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.
- In a large bowl, mix the pork, egg, onion, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Combine thoroughly.
- Roll the mix into large balls, each about the same size as a golf ball.
- Pour the cooking oil into a deep-sided roasting tray. Place the balls in the tray, making sure to leave space between each one so that they’re not touching.
- Put the tray in the preheated oven and cook for 5 minutes.
- While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, mirin, and honey.
- Take the meatball tray out of the oven. Pour the sauce mix over the meatballs, coating them as evenly and thickly as possible.
- Put the tray back in the oven and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, until cooked thoroughly on the inside.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve the meatballs over soba noodles. Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.