These Asian Inspired Chicken Meatballs are packed with East Asian flavors like and ginger and scallions, coated in a sweet and sticky soy and sesame sauce! Serve over rice with a veggie on the side, toss with lo mein or fried rice, or serve with toothpicks for an easy bite-sized party appetizer.
These Asian inspired chicken meatballs are the latest in a series of chicken meatballs that my whole family have been absolutely obsessed with. Honestly I never thought chicken meatballs could be so juicy and packed full of flavor but here we are! Buffalo chicken meatballs, chicken zucchini meatballs, and now these Asian Chicken Meatballs.
With fresh green onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil, the meatballs on their own are amazing. Then smother them in a sticky, sweet sauce? Even better!
Best of all? These easy chicken meatballs come together in only 30 minutes. Be sure to check out the video for this meal in the recipe card below!
Disclaimer: Asia is a large continent with many types of cuisine. These meatballs reflect some flavors typical of East Asian cuisine. For simplicity’s sake for a mostly US-based audience, I’ve called these Asian meatballs, but they make no claims of authenticity for any specific East Asian cuisine.
Ingredients and Substitutions
For the meatballs:
- Ground Chicken – ground turkey or pork could also be used.
- Panko breadcrumbs – or unseasoned Italian breadcrumbs (here’s how to make your own breadcrumbs!).
- Green onions
- Fresh ginger – 1/3 of the amount of powdered ginger can be used in a pinch.
- Fresh garlic – 1/3 of the amount of garlic powder can be used in a pinch.
- Soy sauce – low sodium or gluten-free (tamari), or coconut aminos, etc. if needed.
- Toasted sesame oil
For the sauce:
- Soy sauce
- Cornstarch – or arrowroot powder if needed
- Honey – or another sweetener
- Toasted sesame oil
- Rice vinegar
- Sriracha – or chili garlic sauce or your favorite Asian hot sauce. Omit for a mild version.
How to make Asian Chicken Meatballs
- First, mix the meatball mixture. Mix the egg, breadcrumbs, soy sauce, green onion, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, canola oil, and black pepper in a bowl. Then, add the ground chicken and mix well.
- Scoop the meatballs mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (for easy clean-up – grease the baking sheet if not using parchment paper).
- Bake the meatballs.
- Make the sauce. Whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch in a small pot. Add the sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar, and honey. Heat up until thick on the stove – it should only take a few minutes.
- Finally, toss the cooked meatballs with the sauce. Be gentle with them so they don’t fall apart. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions if you like, and serve.
Sure! Use gluten-free soy sauce and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Yes! You can freeze them cooked or uncooked. Cook from frozen and raw at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or from frozen and cooked for 25-30 minutes.
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Asian Inspired Chicken Meatballs
For the Meatballs
- 1 egg
- ½ cup plain Panko breadcrumbs (or regular)
- 4 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (see notes)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (low sodium or gluten-free if preferred)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ tablespoons canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean-up – you can grease it if you prefer).
- In a large bowl, mix together the egg, breadcrumbs (½ cup), sliced green onions (4), minced fresh ginger (1 tablespoon), minced fresh garlic (1 clove), soy sauce (1 tablespoon), black pepper (¼ teaspoon), canola oil (1½ tablespoons), and toasted sesame oil (1 teaspoon).
- Add the ground chicken to the bowl and mix together well (hands work best here, but a spoon can also be used).
- Scoop the meatball mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, forming 1½ inch balls. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reach 165 degrees F (see notes).
- While the meatballs bake, make the sauce. Whisk together the soy sauce (1/4 cup) with the cornstarch (1 teaspoon) in a medium pot. Add the remaining sauce ingredients (2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon sriracha). Heat over medium heat, whisking often, until thickened (2-4 minutes).
- Gently toss the cooked meatballs with the sauce directly in the pot or in another bowl. Serve, garnished with extra green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
- Cooking time note: This recipe yields about 20 1 ½-inch meatballs, give or take. If you make them bigger or smaller, you may need to adjust cooking time to longer or shorter. This is where a meat thermometer comes in handy (I recommend Thermoworks Thermapen One for a super fast, accurate read!).
- You can make these chicken meatballs in advance and freeze them raw or cooked. Cook from frozen and raw at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or from frozen and cooked for 25-30 minutes.
- Make these gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free soy sauce or alternative.
- The added canola oil to the meatballs helps make the meatballs super juicy and moist, but feel free to take it down to 1 tablespoon or omit if you want a lower fat option.
- The mixture will be pretty loose and sticky. This is OK – as it cooks, the meatballs will bind together and be quite firm and hold together well after they bake. A cookie scoop can help you form the meatballs without worrying about using your hands, which may prove challenging. You can also refrigerate the mixture before forming the meatballs for an hour (or prep ahead up to overnight) and it will hold together as you form the meatballs a little better at the colder temperature.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: