Honey Ginger and Garlic Asian Pork Meatballs are sticky little balls of flavor the whole family will love. Baked, not fried, they make their own super sticky sauce right there in the baking tray. The sauce is just perfect for pouring over some cooked egg noodles and topping with some green onions when serving up for a super easy meal. Easily frozen, making them perfect for meal prepping.
Self Saucing Honey Ginger and Garlic Pork Meatballs
What is it with kids and meatballs?
If I were the betting kind, I could place money on it that if I asked my kids what they wanted for dinner they would reply with ‘pizza or meatballs’.
And I can literally count the times they have had meatballs on two hands, but it’s still up there on most requested meals.
These pork meatballs are super easy to make with a list of simple ingredients.
They are always well received by everyone in the family.
You are going to need:
- pork mince (ground pork): go for a blend that has some fat still in it. If you get a lean ground pork variety, they are likely going to become very dry when baked;
- panko bread crumbs: these can be found in the Asian or international section of most well stocked grocery stores. These are preferred over nrmal breadcrumbs as they do not become soggy when baked, giving the meatballs a better cocnsistency and texture;
- crushed garlic: I use 3 cloves in this recipe, however if you are a big fan of garlic go on ahead and add some more. You can also use the prepared garlic paste if preferred;
- fresh ginger: in a pinch you can sub in some ground ginger, but fresh is best here for a real pop of flavor;
- sesame seeds;
- sesame oil;
- green onions;
- avocado oil: or cooking oil of choice. I have used ghee and olive oil with good results;
- tamari: you can sub in plain soy sauce if prefered, however be sure to check the salt content as not all soy sauces are created equally;
- mirin: this can be found in the Asian or international section of most well stocked grocery stores. If you cannot locate mirin, you can make a substitute by using rice vinegar and sugar (you will need ½ teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon of rice vinegar);
- raw honey: you can use agave syrup or maple syrup if prefered;
- rice wine vinegar: another one found in the Asian or international section;
- cornstarch: this thickens up the sauce and gives it a great consistency that will coat the meatballs. You can leave it out if prefered, but you won't get that classic silky consistency;
- and of course salt and black pepper.
You may also want some soba noodles, black sesame seeds, and chopped green onions to serve.
These pork meatballs are baked, not fried, and the sauce they are baked in makes a great sauce for pouring over some noodles and veg when you are ready to serve up.
The meatballs themselves are super easy to make.
In a large mixing bowl (or a food processor if you prefer) simply combine the pork, breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil, green onion, egg, and salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
Using a tablespoon or a cookie scoop, roll the meat mixture into balls, and set aside.
Heat a roasting tray in the oven.
Once the roasting tin is hot, pour in the avocado oil, add the meatballs, and pop back into the oven for 5 minutes.
This stops the meatballs from sticking to the tray.
TIP: use a deep-sided roasting tray, like the kind you would bake a roast in. This makes it easier to toss the meatballs in the sauce when they are ready.
Make The Sauce
Place the tamari, mirin, sesame oil, vinegar, and honey into a small bowl and mix to combine.
Add in the cornstarch and whisk to combine.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs and toss carefully to coat (this is where using a deep-sided roasting tray comes in handy).
Pop the whole thing back into the oven for 15 mins until you have juicy meatballs that are cooked through.
Serving The Meatballs
Once the meatballs have cooked through it is time to serve.
I love to serve my pork meatballs as a main dish with some soba noodles, a sprinkle of black sesame seeds, and some thinly sliced green onions.
You could also serve:
- with some Lemon and Garlic Air Fryer Broccoli;
- with a side of zucchini noodles (zoodles);
- with some lettuce leaves, slices of cucumber and sliced chilies;
- with some fried cabbage;
- with an Asian style slaw salad;
- with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes;
- with a side of Garlic Pepper Skillet Green Beans.
Can Ground Pork Meatballs Be Frozen?
To freeze you are simply going to:
- prepare the pork mixture as detailed in the instructions,
- roll into balls and place on a piece of parchment paper or a baking tray,
- pop the baking tray into the freezer until the meatballs are completely frozen,
- once frozen, transfer the meatballs to a ziplock bag, frrezer bags, or other freezer-safe container, and pop back into the freezer until ready to use.
To reheat the frozen meatballs you can either:
- Oven: To reheat, place the frozen meatballs in an ovenproof pan or baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 150°C/300°F for approx. 30 minutes, or until hot all the way through.
- Airfryer: Place a single layer of frozen meatballs in an air fryer basket and fry for 10 minutes or until heated through (165 degrees), shaking the basket halfway through frying.
This makes these pork meatballs perfect for meal prepping or preparing for a busy week coming up.
Leftover pork meatballs should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days if they are stored correctly.
To further extend the life of the meatballs, you can also freeze them in the sauce.
Simply pop into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3-4 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Technically yes, however Panko breadcrumbs will give the meatballs a better texture as they do not become soggy as regular breadcrumbs would.
However, check the salt content as different brands of soy sauce can vary greatly.
They can, however, the sauce will not have that classic silkiness that coats the meatballs and instead will be more of a watery consistency.
You can freeze them before cooking, or after cooking depending on preference. Please see detailed instructions above under the heading 'can ground pork meatballs be frozen' for more information.
I have used ground turkey, ground chicken, and ground beef mince in this recipe before and it has worked just as well.
Please be mindful that chicken and turkey mince is a lot leaner, and tends to become a bit dry when not watched carefully when cooking.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
Honey Ginger and Garlic Pork Meatballs
For The Meatballs
- 1.5 lbs (600g) pork mince
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoons ginger finely grated
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or cooking oil of choice)
- salt and pepper to taste
- soba noodles, black sesame seeds and chopped green onions to serve
For The Sauce
- ½ cup tamari
- ½ cup mirin
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C)
- Pop the pork, breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil, green onion, egg, and salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix well to combine.
- Place a large deep-sided roasting tray (like the kind you would bake a roast in) in the oven for 5 minutes or until very hot.
- Using a tablespoon, roll the pork mixture into balls and set aside. Once the roasting tin is hot, pour in the avocado oil, and add the meatballs. Pop into the preheated oven and cook for 5 minutes.
- For the sauce, place the soy tamari, mirin, sesame oil, vinegar and honey into a small bowl and mix to combine. Add in the cornstarch and whisk to combine.
- Remove the meatball tray from the oven. Pour the honey mixture over the meatballs and toss carefully to coat. Pop back into the oven for 15 mins.
- Serve the meatballs with the noodles and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and green onions.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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