Are you in need of a major umami + spicy + sticky sweet flavor EXPLOSION??? Hold onto your seat, because Asian BBQ Chicken Meatballs are coming at ya' in 5...4...3...2...1!
Ohhhh boy were my taste buds partying like it was 1999 when I made these last week. Ryan and I polished off a batch over the course of three meals and were still left wanting more by the very last meatball. These little nuggets are PERFECT for Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, a Grammy or Oscar-watching party, or your next chill and watch Netflix day. So just do yourself a favor and restrain from ordering takeout for once and MAKE THESE. Preferably with a side of roasted edamame. And if you really want to get crazy, serve the meatballs like little sliders on some Hawaiian Rolls. You'll really get to dancing then.
I had a lot of fun concocting this sauce recipe - it could have definitely been a "little dash of this" and a "little dash of that" type of situation but of course I measured because, you know, #foodblogger. If you've ever made homemade BBQ sauce before, you know that there has to be sweet, tangy, smokey, and spicy components to make a well-balanced, finger-licking good sauce. Here was the formula I started with to give this an Asian twist:
- Sweet: Hoisin sauce - this is a savory-sweet sauce made from soybeans and spices
- Tangy: Rice wine vinegar
- Smokey: Toasted sesame oil
- Spicy: Sriracha sauce
Inside the meatball, things are kept fresh and flavorful with scallions, ginger, and garlic. I used a combination of ground chicken breast and chicken thigh because I wanted to ensure these did not dry out - you'll likely hot-hold them if you serve them at a party so using this white meat-dark meat combo will help out with that. Panko bread crumbs and egg work well to hold everything together. And that's it! The meatballs could totally be made, baked, and frozen ahead of time if needed. Simply reheat them on low in a crockpot and double the recipe for the sauce so things stay nice and moist.
What are your plans for the Super Bowl? I personally am just interested in watching Coldplay perform at halftime....and maybe the food commercials. Have fun!
If you decide to give this one a try, I'd love to hear how it turned out for you - leave a comment below or post a pic of your dish to Twitter or Instagram with the tag @sweetcayenne5 - and more recipes can be found here.
Asian BBQ Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- 1 pound ground chicken thigh
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger mince on a box grater or microplane
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic mince on a box grater or microplane
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
For the sauce:
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- Toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges for garnish
- Disposable gloves for mixing the meatballs or use very good handwashing practices!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the ground chicken breast and thigh, the scallions, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, sesame oil, panko crumbs, and egg. Use your hands to gently work the ingredients through the ground chicken, mixing just until combined (be careful not to overmix the ingredients or you will get a tough meatball!). Shape the mixture into 1 ½ inch balls and place on the baking sheet. You should have 20 meatballs.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the meatballs are lightly browned and cooked through.
For the sauce:
- In a large skillet, combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha sauce sesame oil, and soy sauce. Bring to a low boil over medium heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 8 minutes and keep warm over low heat.
- Once the meatballs are cooked, transfer them to the warm sauce in the skillet and toss gently to coat (I’d use a heat-proof rubber spatula for this). Transfer the meatballs to a serving platter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.