Saucy Asian Meatballs

January 29, 2012 by Ali

Anyone looking for a fun new appetizer (or even main course!) for the big game this week?

These saucy Asian meatballs are some of my favorites!!!

I first made them a few months ago when I was experimenting with multiple meatball recipes to serve for a fundraiser. And when my friends graciously “helped me out” with some taste testing, these little guys were the clear winner! My friend’s 1-yr-old son was even crazy about them as well. ;)

Definitely easy, quick, and bursting with yummy flavor. And everyone commented on how they’re a nice twist from traditional marinara meatballs. Give them a try!

Saucy Asian Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: About 30-35 meatballs


    Meatball Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. ground pork or ground beef
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 cup Panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions
  • optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds, sliced scallions
  • Asian Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger


Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, mix together meatball ingredients until well-combined. Shape into balls (I made mine about 1.5 inches, which yielded about 35 meatballs, but 1 inch is probably standard), and place on a greased baking sheet or in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until meatballs are golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside.

While the meatballs are baking, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until blended. Once meatballs have finished cooking, you can either dip each meatball individually (using a toothpick) in the sauce mixture. Or you can pour the sauce over the meatballs and gently stir them until covered.

Serve warm, and sprinkle with additional garnish if desired. (I served mine on these cocktail forks.)

Ali’s Tip:

You can also keep these warm (after cooking) in the crockpot on a low setting!

This post contains affiliate links.

filed in Appetizers, Pork

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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170 thoughts on “Saucy Asian Meatballs

  1. We just made this for dinner- it was so delicious we couldn’t stop eating the meatballs until the rice was cooked (we put them over rice). So easy my husband made it, and we devoured it!!

    - Caryn

  2. I’m a bit confused by the “Yield: 12-18 meatballs” contrasted with your comment within the recipe that you got 35 1 1/2″ meatballs. Help?

    - Beth N.

  3. I’ve tried making these 3 times now, using beef, and they never fully cook! The meat is always pink on the inside! I tried adjusting the time, temperature, etc… but nothing works

    I’ve made them in 3 different ovens too, so I know it’s not the oven. Haven’t tried it with pork yet, so that might be it, otherwise is there something I’m missing?

    - Diana

  4. Tried your recipe tonight fantastic and easily prepared♡♥ looking forward to many more thank you :) all the best TT.

    - Tina

  5. Hi Ali,
    Family member is allergic to eggs so swapped it out for milk. Tasted fantastic! Added your fried rice to the dinner and it perfect as well.
    Thank you, Sharon

    - Sharon Wylie

  6. A new favorite in our house! It has the seal of approval from 5 kids (2 – 10yrs) and my husband. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It will be made again!!

    - Heather

  7. Very delicious. Now, my wife and my daughter, appreciate my cook’s talents. Thank you and excuse I for the faults. I’m a french canadian and I don’t master English. Good day!

    - Pierre Gravel

  8. I made these for a motorcycle club meeting and put them inside wonton wrappers so it would be easier for them to carry around. THEY LOVED THEM!! And have been requested for the next one!

    - angela

  9. Where can I find the little picks you show with the meatballs?

    - Linda Burton

  10. These are delicious! I made a variation for my husband and he keeps asking for more. I used ground turkey and gluten-free breadcrumbs because that is what I had in the fridge/pantry. Your sauce recipe isn’t that much different than for homemade hoisin sauce, so I just made that. I served it all up with steamed veggies. There were sweet potatoes and a soft head of lettuce in the farm box this week, so I think I will try these as lettuce wraps and serve with a side of mashed sweet/golden potatoes and garlic carrots.

    - Nicole M.

  11. I made these for New Years and everyone loved them! I used extra beef that I had on hand and adjusted some ingredients accordingly (as best as I could without trying the meatballs themselves since I am vegetarian.) However, the sauce was to die for! I reduced the hoisin sauce and ginger, but it worked out perfectly. I used the sauce on my vegetarian meatballs :) Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    - Kacey

  12. Good recipe…definitely need salt in the balls and I added a small amount of brown sugar and chili garlic sauce to bring the sauce around.

    - meg

  13. Hi, I am bringing meatballs to a baby shower on Sunday, do you think I can make them in a crockpot? I have frozen meatballs which I never ever use, but due to a huge lack of time I gave in and bought premade meat balls!! If I add fresh ginger and garlic to the pot and a little brown sugar and the orange juice and lime juice I think it will be alright? What do you think!! I am excited to try this recipe the real way, but for now I have to improvise!!

    - M

    • Hi Martha,

      Sorry for the late reply — I must have missed this comment! The details you suggested sound like they will definitely help flavor the frozen meatballs, and a crock pot has worked well for me in the past. Hope you enjoyed them!


      - Ali

  14. Made these for dinner tonight. . . Amazing! LOVE these!

    - Marlaina

  15. I made these for New Years and they were a big hit! I changed up the meatballs by adding a bit more ground beef (didn’t want to waste my open package.) Added more sesame oil and garlic, but only had 3 green onions which was enough. For the sauce, I reduced the hoisin to 1/3 cup and halved the amount of ginger and it was great! I think fresh ginger would work great here. I paired the sauce with my vegetarian meatballs and it was perfect :) Oh, and 12 minutes was the perfect amount of time for my meatballs (I measured them out by the tablespoonful.) Thanks!

    - Kacey

  16. Sorry to say these were horrible! The hoisin sauce was so overpowering and my guests also agreed this not very good! Lesson learned for me don’t make something new when having people over to watch the game stick to my faithful recipes

    - janet

  17. These meatballs were great. I made them for an appetizer on Christmas. Everyone enjoyed them! :)

    - Nicole

  18. I really didn’t like the way you had to go from Pinterest to your website to get the recipe. I assumed the ingredients on P were right and made the meatballs – I’m not a stellar cook and have a party tomorrow. So when they seemed mushy I thought maybe I should go double check the directions and discovered I had the sauce in the meatballs. NOW I need to go back to the store… Whoever thought that was a spiffy way to get people to your web site didn’t care about the poor stupid people who are not cooks! This is the first time I have checked Pin for recipes and now I feel discouraged. It would have been better if you didn’t show the ingredients… Frustrated and tired. Merry Christmas

    - Marie LYON

    • I know sometimes recipes are hard to follow but I personally thought it was very self explainitary it was written in two sections each one labeled accordingly. In all fairness to Ali I thought it was very easy to understand, I don’t mean this comment in a bad way but I am sure this wasn’t meant to make you have a frustrating Christmas.
      by the way these were delicious

      - Harriet

    • these are really fabulous . I have made them many times and everyone loved them. I am sorry that the other person had to comment on here negatively . when it wasn’t ALi who was at fault for the outcome of their meatballs.

      Bravo Ali and thank you for sharing this great recipe! Happy Holidays to you all !!

      - kara

    • Hi Marie,

      Sorry for the confusion with Pinterest. The ingredient list is an automatic feature with Pinterest that I cannot edit, but I’m sorry that they made the directions confusing. Best wishes if you try the recipe again. It really is one of my favorites!


      - Ali

  19. These were delicious!! I make them with vensison and they are a HUGE hit!

    - Mo

  20. The meatballs are good, but the sauce is overpowering — way too much hoisin sauce and very, very salty. I was very glad I put the sauce on the side because everyone pretty much either ignored it or threw it out.

    - MmmmMmmm

  21. made these with ground pork and chicken, big hit!

    - cheeky

  22. I made these for a party at my son’s house – Smaller, bite sized meatballs and they were a total hit!

    - Amanda Trent

  23. It was really good! Thank you. I hope you don’t mind but I shared your recipe on my site It has of course a link to your site. It’s in Dutch so everybody in Holland can enjoy these too :)

    - Gin

  24. Love this recipe

    - Imene

  25. This looks very good…I have the sesame oil and ginger…I may try them this weekend.
    IN NYC there are so many restaurants. But the smell of home cooking is so good. And cheaper.

    - Marilyn

  26. My family every time say that I am killing my time here at net,
    except I know I am getting experience all the time by reading
    thes fastidious content.

    - Verena

  27. I made these this past weekend for our Euchre card party night. They were a huge hit!! I used my pampered chef small scoop so the meatballs were uniform in size. I cooked them ahead of time in the oven, then at party tim I kept them warm in the crock pot.

    Loved this recipe. Will definitely make them again.

    - Roberta

  28. Thanks these were fast and transportable. So many times the hors d’oeuvres are soggy when they are make ahead of time.

    - carol gile

  29. oh my gosh, these look amazing. now i need to figure out an excuse to make them, do you usually eat them as a side/appetizer? or maybe with rice for dinner? yum!

    - aimee @ like mother like daughter

  30. These sound great. Any idea of the serving size?

    - sherrita

  31. These would make a great dinner with rice and a veggie!

    - Big Mom

  32. To a point, I followed the recipe as it’s posted. However, once the ingredients for the sauce were mixed together, I thought it was lacking something, so I added the juice of one lime and about 1/4-1/3 cup of orange juice. What a huge difference! The citrus really breaks through the heavy taste of the original sauce and adds more dimension. When I cook the sauce and meatballs, I plan on adding pineapple chunks.

    - Samantha C

  33. Made these last night, New Year’s Eve. I think the recipe should include salt in the meatball mixture. The sauce was overpowering. Hoisin sauce has vinegar and think the additional rice vinegar is the reason for the strong taste. Think it needs more sweetness and spice. However, the meatballs were good and will give the recipe another try.

    - Anne Anderson

  34. I made these as a Christmas appetizer and they were incredibly delicious and easy. I served them plain with a choice of sauces including a sweet and zesty bbq and General Tso’s sauce. I plan to try the Asian souce next time though. I just discovered your blog and I am really enjoying it so thank you very much!!!

    - Shawn C.

  35. has anyone made the meatballs ahead of time and frozen them with good results?

    - HollyD

  36. I’m making these tomorrow for a party! Just want I was looking for.

    - Jen @ Savory Simple

  37. Just made these. After reading comments I decided to use less hoisin saue. But the flavor for my taste was still a bit strong and tangy. I decided to add about 1/4 C Kikoman Teriaki glaze. Still a bit strong – not sweet enough- I added about 1/4 C brown sugar. Was very happy with the outcome. Wll definitely make again with a few tweaks :). Thank you for the receipe

    - Veneer son

  38. Ali, you’re the best—thank you!

    - dave

  39. Ali, I made these for dinner tonight. The sauce was pretty strong-tasting and I might use a little less hoisin-sauce next time, but the overall flavour was very lovely . Thank you!!!

    - Pille @ Nami-Nami

  40. I made these for dinner tonight and they were delicious! I made them with ground turkey and ground beef and added a little brown sugar for a touch of sweetness. My family loved them and I think they’ll make great sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. Definitely a winner! I’ll make these again! Thanks for the recipe!

    - Esther

  41. Going to try these soon. They look fabulous. Where can I get the fancy toothpicks?

    - Debbie

  42. Thought I would comment since these were so sooo GOOD. I made these today with ground turkey and they were amazing!!!! The sauce is REALLY REALLY good!!! I made them in little muffin cups though as a meal and poured the sauce over, I’m pressed for time! Thanks for the recipe!! :)

    - Nissa

  43. Did you use fresh ginger, or the kind on the spice aisle at the store? Thanks.

    - Tricia

  44. Made these tonight and I think they were delicious. Great for appetizers for a party or can even create an entire little asian inspired dinner. Extremely easy to prepare too!!!

    - Fran

  45. These were delicious. I subbed the breadcrumbs with gluten free bread crumbs from Ener-G and they still came out awesome. Thanks for posting.

    - Haley

  46. Saucy meatballs are one of my fav apps! I will have to try this :)

    - Kate

  47. I can’t wait to try these ! I noticed that no sodium in meatball recipe, is it because sauce has enough sodium?

    - chiyo

  48. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It’s making me salivate just reading it.

    - Tammy

  49. Making these right now and they are pretty good. I think I would prefer a sweeter sauce though. This is a very savory sauce..

    - Jaimie

  50. These turned out so good!
    Sauce takes a little getting used to, but it is good.
    Will definitely do again.

    - carebear

  51. Can I make these and freeze

    - Chenita Boyce

  52. These are amazing and so easy!

    - Carol

  53. I think they look wonderful but the sesame is a little overpowering and the sauce could use a little sweetness. Good recipe but will tweak a little next time.

    - Suzan Weeks

  54. Wow!! I made these today and everyone loved them! They were so yummy! Can’t wait to have a reason to make them again.

    - Sara

  55. I’ve been looking everywhere for those forks and finally found them at World Market

    - Stephanie

  56. Where can you get hoisin sauce?


  57. Fabulous. Really easy to make and the sauce is really zingy and fresh. Good one!

    - Sadie

  58. DELICIOUS! I cut back on the garlic in the sauce since my husband isn’t a fan, but the hoisin sauce is so flavorful that the extra clove wasn’t missed. I also added an extra egg to the meatballs… makes them a little more forgiving in the “overcooking” department (learned this from my Italian meatballs and sauce). FYI: I made the meatballs with a 1Tbsp. scoop and the meatballs came out 1″ in diameter. They were done and golden after 11 minutes in my oven. I will be making these for my Hawaiian Luau this summer. Thanks for this great recipe!

    - Khara

  59. Those look so yummy! Cant wait to try them..

    - jennileigh

  60. Do you use fresh ginger or powdered?

    - Victoria

  61. OMG…I think I have to try these!!! I can just tell by reading the ingredients that it’s delicious!!!

    - Liilian

  62. Best. Meatballs. Ever!

    - Krista

  63. Looks yummy!

    - Mcostanz

  64. That looks sooooo good! We may have to try this with venison!

    - Food for Hunters

  65. I just made these for my boys & their girlfriends, and everyone raved about them!! They all wanted the recipe….So, thanks for sharing it!!

    - PammyJay

  66. There were wonderful!!! Everyone loved them.

    - Barb

  67. OMGosh!! I made these tonight and they were by FAR the BEST meatballs EVER!! I served it with a 5 Spice Scallion Rice and Broccoli. FYI…10-15 minutes was NOT long enough to cook through to get nice edges–more like 25-30 minutes. I also used a 50% ground beef with 50% bulk pork. At the end of the cooking process, I then poured some of the sauce over the meatballs and let them cook for another 5 minutes, and they got so amazingly caramelized. Then I tossed them in the rest of the sauce when I took them out of the oven. This is now on my “favorites” rotation menu!!

    - Tristine

  68. Made these tonight- very yummy! Rated an A+ from my husband! After reading the other posts I cut the sesame oil to less than half in each of the parts of the recipe.

    - Miriam

  69. I made these today for a birthday party. They were quick, easy and delicious! I used 2lbs of beef and 1lb of pork, mixed. Extra ginger and garlic in the meat mixture and the sauce. I can’t wait to get feedback from the party guests! Thanks for the recipe!!

    - Lisa Gordon

  70. These look delicious! I can’t wait to make them! Where did you find those cute little forks to serve them with?

    - Randi Padot

  71. These look so pretty! I made these for my family tonight. I will have to say it was either the sesame oil or the hoisin sauce that was a bit over powering. I added brown sugar to my sauce and they turned out great! Thank you for this recipe, I would have never thought to put these ingredients in a meat ball! I seem to be always searching for some new way to make meat balls besides the usual, thanks again!

    - CarrieAW

  72. PS……DONT OVERBAKE! They will dry out! At 400 degrees, they will brown quickly on the middle rack. (I got busy & ALMOST left mine in too long)

    - Cathy R

  73. Tried em this evening! LOVVVVE EM!!! I used a large cookie sheet… filled up the cookie sheet with the meatballs….I made my meatballs a bit smaller….about an inch in diameter. Loved the smell of the (fresh) ginger & sesame oil while baking! These were SO EASY & FAST.

    5 STARS!

    - Cathy R

  74. I’m making these right now, I’m super excited to try them they look absolutely delicious! I preheated my oven to 400 and after 15 minutes my meatballs were still completely raw. Hopefully they won’t take longer than another 30 minutes or so to cook. I made mine the same size as the recipe stated.

    - Tina

  75. Hi! I’ve started a section for pinterest recipe reviews on my blog and I wanted you to know that I just included these amazing meatballs! You can check it out if you want:
    I promise I gave all the credit to you. Thanks for such a great dinner!

    - Jessica

  76. Just tried this recipe and it is amazing! Thanks for posting!!

    - Shauna

  77. Going to make these tonight for a party tomorrow!!! They look yummy!!!! Excited to be the hit!!!


    - Monica Beuckman

  78. can you tell me where you got the cute appitizer forks. I guess that is what is sticking in the meatballs. Such a cute way to serve them at a party.

    - Teresa Wilkins

  79. 2/26/12
    I made these this evening,They rocked!WONDERFUL!! Thank you!I cooked mine longer but mine were awesome!
    Next time I am using chicken and veggies with the sauce.

    - Debbie Drum Smith

  80. Making these tonight for my Oscar food!

    - Shiloh

  81. looks so easy and delicious!

    - Linda Baker

  82. I made these tonight for the family. The hubby loved them. I made stir-fried veggies and brown rice on the side. Great Recipe. It’s now going into the rotation!

    - Kalilah

  83. Will try very soon

    - willie douglas

  84. I made these tonight for dinner and really liked them. I added some Agave to the sauce to make it a little sweater. Good recipe.

    - Heather W

  85. These looked so delicious I had to make them for dinner tonight. I cut the recipe in half though. They were pretty good, but I think next time I would use less sesame oil and hoisin sauce and add in some sweet and sour sauce. I also poured the sauce over the meatballs and cooked it together in the oven. I will for sure try them again. Thanks for the idea! OH and PS they were only 1 weight watchers points plus per meatball.

    - Holly B

  86. Saucy is amazing. My family loved them. A keeper :)

    - Christine

  87. These were awesome! I made them today – super yummy. This recipe is definitely a keeper in my entertaining book!

    - Amy

  88. Chicken wings should be delish too!

    - charlene

  89. Made these tonight for the Super Bowl. Oh my goodness they were delicious! I made them with ground turkey and they came out great! Thank you for the inspiration, your measurements were perfect!


    - Jade

  90. Making these right now in the crock pot. My oven is dead, so its my only option. Most meatballs turn out dry in the oven, anyway. These are looking nice and moist, the sauce is getting better the more they cook :) Going to serve over brown rice.

    - jennifer

  91. These look wonderful!

    - Sandy

  92. Yummy!

    - amy

  93. I am gonna try these on Superbowl Sunday…Yum-o. Thanks for sharing.

    - Jennifer Worthy

  94. I sure hope the plate on your pictures is holding a single serving as I would just pop them all into my mouth one after another! So glad I discovered you via Foodgawker! I am such a sucker for hoisin sauce and these just look amazing!


    - Tobias @ T and Tea Cake

  95. Where did you get those cute forks???

    - Tara

  96. These look AMAZING! I made them for lunch today, but my sauce wasn’t as thick as your’s looks, and I found the sesame oil to be a bit overpowering even though I didn’t put the full 2 tsp in my ground beef. Regardless, thank you so much for this recipe! I think that with a little adjustment, this will be a new favorite in the house. Thanks!!

    - Marie

  97. Do you think these could be done with ground turkey or chicken?

    - Jennifer

    • I always substitute anything with ground beef with ground turkey or chicken and never have had a problem :)

      - Shelly

  98. These look so mouthwatering. I love these flavors!

    - Cassie

  99. WOW! Your photos are amazing.

    - Kat at Sensible Lessons

  100. These look amazing! So need to try them out – yum! :)

    - sara

  101. How many meatballs does this recipe make? :)
    Looks yummy!

    - zelunchbox

  102. Beautiful photography!! and I love how delicious these meatballs look!

    - Simply Tia

  103. Oh yum! these look insanely good!

    - Blog is the New Black