Asian meatballs! Golden on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Cook in an air fryer, oven, or shallow fry in a pan. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and your weeknight dinner is complete!
Why you'll love these Asian Meatballs
- Simple and easy to make. It's one of those dishes you wouldn't mind making every week for the whole family to enjoy. Even your kids will love it!
- 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?
Here's what you need to make the meatballs:
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:
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 them with some cooking oil.
How to Roll Meatballs
Scoop one heaping tablespoon of the mixture to make medium size 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 palm of your oiled hands to form a smooth ball.
Cooking Meatballs in an Air-Fryer or Oven
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.
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 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 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.
Tip: To brown the outside of the meatballs, switch the oven to BROIL mode in the last 5 minutes of baking.
How to Pan-fry
Here are my tips on how to pan-fry meatballs:
Roll the meat mixture into small to medium size balls for quick and easy cooking. Large size meatballs can take a long time to cook when pan-frying and can end up undercooked in the middle and burnt on the outside.
Use medium heat and slowly pan fry the meatballs until brown all over and cooked through. Do not use high heat as it could burn the outside of the balls.
What to Serve with Asian Meatballs
Serve these 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!
Try these next...
- Ground Beef Japanese Curry (30 mins only!)
- Quick and Easy Korean Beef Bulgogi
- Ground Pork and Green Bean Stir fry
- Pork and Shrimp Shumai (Siomai)
Shelf-life and Storage
Cooked meatballs can last in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days stored in an air-tight container. Reheat in the oven or air-fryer for a few minutes before serving.
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
More Asian recipes...
Easy Asian Meatballs (Air Fryer, Oven or Pan Fry)
Choose your dipping sauce
- sweet chili sauce
- teriyaki dipping sauce
- Combine all meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well using a wooden spoon or clean hands.500 grams ground pork, ½ cup onion leaves, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoon oyster sauce, ½ 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.
- 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.
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Add meatballs to the pan and fry until brown all over, about 15 minutes. Don't use high heat to prevent the meatballs from burning.
Recipe Notes and 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.
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