Soy ginger meatballs are the perfect appetizer! Delicious and tender meatballs, simmered in a sweet soy ginger sauce, with just a touch of heat.
Eating dinner together every evening is a priority in our family. We use that time around the table to share stories from the day, dream up new adventures, and generally reconnect as a family. I think it’s through those stories shared around the table that warm memories are made. The bonding time spent eating together is important, so we do our best to find the time to make it happen. Quite often, the conversations shared around the table become the inspiration for future recipes.
I write the stories behind the recipes shared here with the hope that all of the feelings and memories that contribute to a dish being so enjoyable are communicated through the text. I want you to feel the same emotional connection when reading about the food as I feel when eating the food. Food shouldn’t just nourish the body but also the soul. Every dish and recipe has a story to tell.
The story behind soy ginger meatballs is wrought with hunger and desperation.
Read: I was sitting in a gym well past dinner time awaiting the end of the second sports practice of the day when I realized that I’d skipped lunch and was quickly meandering from hungry to hangry territory. I was desperately scrambling for dinner inspiration so that we didn’t end up eating a carry out pizza…again. My friend Renee came over to tell me about a great soy ginger sauce that she made and serve over salmon the night before.
Yes, people randomly approach me to talk about food. Weird, eh?
As she was listing the ingredients in the sauce, I took a mental inventory of the contents of my refrigerator. Earlier in the day, I’d pulled out a couple of pounds of ground meat, with no real plan for how to use it. I could always fall back on Bacon Slayer’s favorite meatloaf, but my friendship with loaves of meat is tenuous. The Sons are always up for spaghetti and meatballs or meatball sliders, but I wasn’t feeling all that pasta-ish or especially in the mood for sliders. Besides…that soy ginger sauce that Renee was talking about sounded fantastic. I knew that I needed to try to recreate that sauce at home and pour it over something. Maybe even everything.
Soy Ginger Meatballs are incredibly tender, simmering in a sweet and tangy soy ginger sauce. They have just enough heat on the finish to keep them from feeling syrupy. Serve a spoonful of meatballs and sauce over hot brown rice and with a simple caesar salad for a complete meal. They may not have an exciting back-story or invoke much emotion beyond the victory of happily satisfying hunger while avoiding the take out trap, but for a meal that was thrown together on the fly? Soy Ginger Meatballs are delicious enough to have earned a spot in our regular menu rotation.
My Impression: The combination of sweet-meat-heat was just what I was craving at the moment. The meatballs have the flavor and ease of take out, but taste better because they’re homemade.
Family Impression: The men in my house practically inhaled these meatballs. The disappeared as quickly as I could put them on their plates. The recipe made 70 meatballs and we had zero leftovers. I’m pretty sure that Son #4 alone ate his weight in meatballs. It happens.
Soy Ginger Meatballs Recipe
Deliciously tender meatballs simmered in a sweet soy ginger sauce, with just a touch of heat.
40 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- ½ C. plain breadcrumbs
- ½ C. freshly grated onion (½ of one small onion)
- ¼ C. fresh Italian parsley, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 egg
- ¼ C. low sodium soy sauce
- ¾ tsp. ground ginger (or 1 Tbs. fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated)
- ¼ C. honey
- ¼ C. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 5 C. cooked brown rice, hot (or egg noodles)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed half sheet pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Combine the ground meats, breadcrumbs, grated onion, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl, kneading with clean hands, until well blended. Use a small cookie scoop to portion meat mixture into rounded tablespoons. Roll meat into balls between your palms, and set them on the prepared baking sheet. (About 60-70 meatballs in total.)
- Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until only slightly pink in the middle. While the meatballs are baking, prepare the soy ginger sauce.
- In a medium skillet, stir the soy sauce, ginger, honey, Dijon mustard, and butter over medium-low heat until all is melted and blends into a sauce. Reduce heat to low. Add the partially baked meatballs to the sauce, turning to coat. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Cover the skillet and simmer the meatballs for 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens and meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve meatballs over hot cooked brown rice or egg noodles.
Once the meatballs have partially cooked in the oven, they may be placed in a slow cooker with the sauce to finish for 3 to 4 hours on the lowest heat setting. For extra saucy meatballs, doubling the sauce is suggested. After cooling, meatballs may be placed into an airtight freezer container and frozen for future use. To serve, place frozen meatballs into a slow cooker along with the blended sauce ingredients, and cook for 6 to 8 hours on the lowest setting. When prepared in a slow cooker, the sauce may need to be thickened with a slurry of 1 Tbls. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 C. cold water. Soy Ginger Meatballs also make a fine appetizer.
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