Easy Air-fryer Meatballs (Asian style)

These air-fryer meatballs are a delicious and flavorful twist on traditional meatballs. Made of ground pork infused with a blend of Asian seasonings, scallions, and soy sauce. Golden on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Best of all? It’s so easy to make!

pork meatballs with rice

Why you’ll love these Asian Air-fryer Meatballs

  • Simple and easy to make in an air-fryer! It’s one of those dishes you wouldn’t mind making every week for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Packed with so much flavor. This is not one of those bland and tasteless meatballs. The secret? Your favorite Asian seasonings!
  • Tender, juicy, and definitely not dry. These meatballs also hold their shape well. They don’t crumble during the cooking process.
  • Made of inexpensive and budget-friendly ingredients. What more can you ask for?

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make the meatballs:

ground pork, oyster sauce, soy sauce, onion leaves

A few notes about the ingredients:

  • Ground pork – To make the juiciest meatballs, use ground pork with at least 20% fat.
  • Soy Sauce – Use light or all-purpose soy sauce. Do not use dark soy sauce. It’s too strong.
  • Oyster Sauce – for that delicious and deep umami flavor.
  • Garlic Powder – You can also use finely chopped fresh garlic.
  • Green Onion leaves – for a subtle sweet onion flavor.
  • Sugar – you need just a hint to balance the saltiness of the other seasonings.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – also called Japanese breadcrumbs. You can find this in the Asian section of most grocery stores or Asian supermarkets.
  • Egg – binds all the ingredients and keeps the mixture moist and tender.

How to Make It

And here’s how to make it:

steps on how to make asian style meatballs

It’s as easy as combining all the ingredients in a large bowl. Gently mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together.

Recipe Tip: To prevent the mixture from sticking in your hands, lightly wet it with water or rub it with some cooking oil.

Roll the Meatballs

Scoop one heaping tablespoon of the mixture to make medium-sized meatballs or 2 heaping tablespoons to make large-size meatballs. Remember the bigger the size of the ball the longer cooking time is required. Note: You can also use a small ice cream scooper to scoop up the mixture.

Roll the mixture between the palms of your oiled hands to form a smooth ball.

Cooking

Air frying and oven-baking meatballs are one of the easiest ways of cooking meatballs. It’s less messy and needs less tending. The best part? No oil splatters to clean up after.

With the use of the oven, you can cook a large batch of all the meatballs at the same time. With proper timing, there’s no risk of undercooking or burning. By far, cooking the meatballs in the oven and air-fryer are my favorite methods.

pork meatballs cooked in air fryer

How to Cook in an Air Fryer

Here’s how I make them:

First, make the meatballs and roll them into balls. Place them on a large plate while preparing the air fryer.

Grease the air-fryer basket with cooking oil. Canola, avocado oil, and peanut oil are the best oils for air frying due to their high smoke point. Preheat for 3 minutes at 200c/390f.

Place the meatballs in the air fryer in a single layer. Do not overlap the meatballs. Spray or grease the balls with cooking oil to prevent them from drying. Tip: Cook in batches if necessary.

Air-fry for 10 to 11 minutes until cooked through. Shake the basket mid-way, around 6 minutes to brown the other side.

How to Cook meatballs in the oven

How to Cook in an Oven

Start off by pre-heating the oven at 200c/400f. Due to its large size, it takes around 15 to 20 minutes to complete the pre-heating process. You can use this time to make the meatballs.

Grease the baking sheet with cooking oil or line it with parchment paper. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer 1/2 inches apart. Spray or brush the meatballs with oil on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through.

Tip: To brown the outside of the meatballs, switch the oven to BROIL mode in the last 5 minutes of baking.

Meatballs with sweet chili sauce and teriyaki sauce

What to Serve it with

Serve these Asian meatballs as an appetizer and enjoy them with your favorite dipping sauce. My personal favorites are sweet chili sauce, ketchup, and sweet teriyaki sauce.

To serve as a main dish, it is great with plain steamed rice, stir-fried noodles, simple noodle soups, and garlic fried rice.

You can also use these to make meatballs pasta with marinara sauce. Yum!

meatballs with chili sauce

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Shelf-life and Storage

Leftover meatballs can last in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days stored in an airtight container. Reheat in the oven or air-fryer for a few minutes before serving.

Frequently asked questions

Can I freeze raw Asian pork meatballs?

Yes, these meatballs are perfect for freezing. Line them on a wide baking pan or tray with parchment paper. Arrange the meatballs 1 inch apart so they don’t touch. Flash freeze for two hours. This ensures the meatballs don’t stick together once transferred to a freezer bag.

Remove from the baking sheet and transfer to a freezer bag for long-term storage. Store for up to 2 months.

How to cook frozen meatballs?

To cook frozen meatballs, directly place them in a pre-heated air-fryer or oven. No need to thaw. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven or air-fry for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked through.

What’s a good substitute for ground pork?

A good substitute for ground pork is ground chicken and ground turkey. Note that these meats are leaner. To make the meatballs moist, add a teaspoon of oil like vegetable oil or sesame oil.

Pork Meatballs Asian style

Easy Air-fryer Meatballs (Asian style)

5 from 2 votes
Golden and juicy Asian-style meatballs cooked in an air-fryer. So easy to make and is ready in less than 30 minutes.
Servings4 servings
preparation time20 minutes
Total cooking time12 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Meatballs

Choose your dipping sauce

Instructions

  • Combine all meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well using a wooden spoon or clean hands.
    500 grams ground pork, 1/2 cup scallion / green onion leaves, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoon oyster sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, black pepper
  • Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture for medium size balls. Roll into a ball using oiled hands forming about 18-20 meatballs. Place on a plate.

To Air-fry

  • Grease the air-fryer basket with cooking oil (see note 2). Preheat for 3 minutes at 200c/390f.
  • Place the meatballs in the air fryer in a SINGLE LAYER. Do not overlap the meatballs. Spray or grease the balls with cooking oil to prevent them from drying.  Note: cook in batches if necessary.
  • Air-fry for 10 to 11 minutes until cooked through. Shake the basket mid-way, to brown the other side.

To Oven Bake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200c/400f. Grease the baking sheet with cooking oil or line with a parchment paper.
  • Arrange the meatballs in a single layer ½ inches apart. Spray or brush the meatballs with oil on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through.

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  • Panko breadcrumbs can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or Asian supermarkets.
  • Vegetable oil –  canola, avocado oil, and peanut oil are the best oils for air frying due to their high smoke point.
Author : Mella
Course : Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine : Asian, Chinese, Filipino
Keyword : asian meatballs, Filipino bola bola, Filipino meatballs
Nutrition Facts
Easy Air-fryer Meatballs (Asian style)
Amount per Serving
Calories
388
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
28
g
43
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
12
g
Cholesterol
 
137
mg
46
%
Sodium
 
479
mg
21
%
Potassium
 
442
mg
13
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
24
g
48
%
Vitamin A
 
203
IU
4
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
50
mg
5
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag @rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

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3 Comments

    1. Sesame oil and chili oil is a brilliant idea! It’s always fun to put your own twist on recipes. Thanks for sharing your success, Phillip 🙂
      – Mella