Moist and tender Asian chicken meatballs that are flavored with sesame oil and Chinese five spice. These meatballs are baked and then dipped in a hoisin glaze. They take 25 minutes to make and are the perfect appetizers for football parties!
On top of spaggghetti, alll covered with cheeeeese. I looost my poooor meatball when somebody sneeeeezed. <– this was one of my most favorite nursery rhymes growing up. It’s sad that i’m actually putting this out onto the internet, my 5-year-old self sometimes comes out and occasionally (more like once a week, at least) I still sing this to my husband. Feel bad for him? I do too.
Clearly these aren’t those type of meatballs. These are topped with a hoisin glaze that stays all nice and shiny because we bake it for just an extra to minutes to get it nice and stuck on there. Moist and tender little nuggets. These Asian chicken meatballs are the perfect appetizer to serve your guests for The Big Game.
Okay, so maybe ‘moist’ isn’t a good word but they’re just so delicious and tender not dry one bit. I feel really awkward using the word because sometimes, moist can be a really bad thing.
This is my recipe for easy breezy baked asian chicken meatballs. They take 25 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Since the flavors are so nice and bold, I like to make these with ground chicken. Ground turkey would work well too. Or use a pound of each. That cuts back on the calories (because beef usually contains more fat) and because not everyone loves beef, chicken and turkey are better alternatives.
I like making a big batch not just for parties, but for the two of us as well. They last us a few days and are great for lunch and dinner. For dinner I serve them up with some fried rice and additional hoisin sauce to drizzle on my rice. For lunch the next day they become meatball subs topped with additional hoisin glaze, a little wasabi mayo and perhaps some mozzarella or provolone. And of course, eating them right out of the container in front of an open refrigerator is always the best option. Meatballs are made for eating that way.
The key to making really tender, melt-in-your mouth meatballs is adding just enough binding to keep these babies together without turning your meatballs into breadcrumb balls. I hate it when you have tough meatballs. It’s just punishment when you need a beverage to help swallow homemade meatballs.
These asian chicken meatballs take just 25 minutes to make. Combine all the meatballs ingredients in a bowl and use an ice cream scooper to help you form uniform sized meatballs. I used about 3 tablespoons of ground chicken mixture per ball. You want to make sure that all your meatballs are more or less the same size. This helps ensure all of them bake evenly in the oven without any of them getting tough.
In terms of flavor we’ve got scallions, garlic, ginger, and my personal favorite sesame oil. A big tablespoon of Chinese five spice really helps pack a flavor punch to these meatballs. No one is going to call these sesame asian chicken meatballs bland, that’s for sure!
To save time, prepare your sauce while the meatballs are baking. Hoisin sauce, a little soy sauce, sambal oelek, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and a big pinch of powdered ginger is all you need. Sambal Oelek is a available in the ethnic food aisle in most grocery stores. It’s made from spicy red chillies, vinegar and salt. If spice is really not your thing, feel free to omit it from the recipe. If you don’t have powdered ginger, just replace it with 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger.
To make the glaze, simply combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, allow the mixture to reduce by 1/4. It takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.Dip each individual meatball into the hoisin glaze once baked. I use 2 tablespoons to help glaze them. Place them back on the same baking sheet and allow them to bake for an additional 2 minutes. This helps set the glaze so that they get that nice glossy finish.
I usually serve my asian sesame meatballs with the remaining sauce after they’ve been glazed and rebaked. If you’re serving this to a crowd and want extra sauce to dip these meatballs in, I highly recommend doubling the sauce. We had just enough sauce for a couple meatballs to be dipped. If you’re serving it to guests, you’ll definitely need to double the sauce batch.
Top these with a few sprinkles of sesame seeds and a handful of chopped scallions.
Now that i’ve told you about these asian chicken meatballs, let me tell you my favorite part. You can make the meatball mixture and keep it in the fridge the night before. That way, all you have to do the day of the game is bake them and dunk them in the glaze.
These chicken meatballs are going to get you all the complements. Whether you’re hosting The Big Game party this year or bringing these to a party, you’re going to be the real MVP.
Now how about these for a little make-ahead dessert? Make the batter the night before and press it into the pan, bake it off the day of.
- 1 3/4 – 2 lbs. ground chicken (or turkey)
- 6 scallions, chopped (whites + greens)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced (or grated)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 large egg, room temperature
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- For the hoisin glaze:
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (optional)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (see note)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Position 2 racks near the center of the oven and preheat to 475ºF. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, scallions, garlic, ginger, five spice, salt, eggs, panko, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. It’s easier to tell when the ingredients are combined when using hands. Do not overmix, it will result is drier meatballs.
- Shape the meat mixture into balls, about 3 tablespoons of meat per ball. You could also do this with an ice cream scoop. Place shaped meatballs on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked.
- While meatballs are baking prepare the sauce. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the sauce by 1/4, about 3-4 minutes once the sauce boil. When the sauce has thicken remove from heat.
- Using 2 tablespoons, dip each individual meatball into the sauce. Alternately, you can brush each meatball with the sauce. Place back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle with additional scallions and sesame seeds. Serve warm.