These easy homemade baked meatballs are simmered in a flavor forward Korean inspired sauce, then garnished with sesame seeds and fresh cilantro.
Serve with brown rice for dinner or with toothpicks as a tasty appetizer at your next party!
What are Korean beef meatballs?
These Korean beef meatballs are hand rolled, homemade, beef meatballs loaded with Korean flavors and cooked in a Korean inspired sauce. Ingredients that are typically used in Korean cooking include soy sauce, ginger, garlic and green onion.
This recipe incorporates the ingredients mentioned above as well as brown sugar, rice vinegar, jalapenos, honey and hoisin sauce. The result is a hearty dish packed with forward flavors that will leave your taste buds singing!
Don’t be scared off by the wide range of ingredients or some flavors you perhaps haven’t tried before. The combination of ingredients works so well together and it’s nice to have another meatball recipe in your arsenal!
How do you make Korean meatballs?
You’ll start by combining the ground beef with milk soaked breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, green onion, hoisin sauce, an egg, salt and pepper. Then you’ll use a cookie scoop to make uniform balls.
Give them a quick roll to make the meatballs perfectly round and bake them on a sheet pan topped with a cooling rack.
While the meatballs are cooking you’ll saute onion, jalapeno and garlic in olive oil and then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, honey, hoisin saucee, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
Then the meatballs gets a quick simmer in that flavorful sauce and can go right from skillet to table! I like to serve my Korean meatballs with brown rice and fresh chopped parsley, but they’d be a great appetizer by themselves; just serve with toothpicks!
Can I use a different protein other than beef?
Of course! Ground beef really stands up to the rich, strong Korean flavors well, but chicken or turkey would be a great option too! Use whatever you’ve got in the fridge; just make sure it’s ground meat.
Can I make Korean beef meatballs ahead of time?
Yes! These Korean meatballs are super easy to make ahead of time! As with most of my recipes, I like to make a big batch over the weekend and then enjoy them all week for lunch or dinner. If you’re planning to make them ahead for a party or family dinner, follow the suggestions below.
Make ahead and refrigerate: You can mix the meatball ingredients ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Then when you’re ready to cook, roll the meatballs and bake, then get working on the sauce.
Make ahead, cook and refrigerate: Follow the directions in the recipe below and store cooked meatballs and sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. When you’re ready to eat, transfer meatballs and sauce to a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally until meatballs are heated through. You could also heat the meatballs and sauce on high in a slow cooker for 20 minutes or until heated through.
Make ahead and freeze: Follow the instructions in the recipe below for cooking the meatballs, but wait to cook the sauce until the day you plan to eat. Let meatballs cool, then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge the day before cooking. Make sauce according to recipe directions and simmer thawed meatballs in the sauce until they are heated through.
What should I serve with Korean beef meatballs?
This one is totally up to you! When I’m making this meal for dinner I like to serve it with brown rice and plenty of fresh chopped cilantro. But it’s also the perfect party appetizer! For the appetizer option, I’d serve the meatballs on a rimmed serving platter and drizzle them with sauce before serving, then garnish with sesame seeds and fresh chopped cilantro. I like to serve my meatballs with toothpicks also!
Tips for making Baked Korean Meatballs:
- Use a cookie scoop to get uniform meatballs. A cookie scoop is the quickest way to get equal sized meatballs. They’re inexpensive and extremely useful.
- Bake meatballs on a cooling rack on top of baking sheet. This will allow the heat to evenly circulate around the meatball. It will also allow any excess fat to drip off.
- Use a high quality, grass fed beef for better flavor. The better the beef, the better the flavor, so opt for a (preferably local) grass fed, high quality ground beef. The extra money you’re spending is going to translate into a more flavorful dish.
Other meatball recipes your family will love:
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Quick and easy hand rolled, homemade baked meatballs simmered in a flavor forward Korean inspired sauce. Serve with brown rice for dinner or with toothpicks as a tasty appetizer at your next party!
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2” knob ginger, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, ribs & seeds removed, minced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 egg
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- sesame seeds
- sliced green onion
- Heat oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, then place a cooling rack on top of the liner.
- In a small bowl combine breadcrumbs and milk. Set aside while you get everything else ready.
- To a large bowl add ground beef, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, green onion, hoisin, egg and a moderate pinch of salt and pepper. Add milk soaked breadcrumbs and use hands to combine the meat mixture. Mix just until well combined and do not over mix.
- Use a tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop about 28 meatballs. Coat your hands in a thin layer of olive oil and roll the meatballs between your palms to make them uniformly round. The oil will keep the meatballs from sticking to your hands. Place them on the cooking rack (on the baking sheet) about an inch apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion along with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes. Add jalapeno and garlic and cook for another minute or so. Turn heat to low and stir in soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, honey, hoisin, mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add baked meatballs to the pan and simmer over medium low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and sesame seeds if desired.
Use a cookie scoop to get uniform meatballs. A cookie scoop is the quickest way to get equal sized meatballs. They’re inexpensive and extremely useful.
Bake meatballs on a cooling rack on top of baking sheet. This will allow the heat to evenly circulate around the meatball. It will also allow any excess fat to drip off.
Use a high quality, grass fed beef for better flavor. The better the beef, the better the flavor, so opt for a (preferably local) grass fed, high quality ground beef. The extra money you’re spending is going to translate into a more flavorful dish.
Keywords: Korean meatballs, baked meatballs, Korean beef, Korean appetizer