scallion-meatballs-with-soy-ginger-glaze Recipes

scallion meatballs with soy-ginger glaze

It’s a fairly accurate indication of how charmed my life is these days that I considered the act of having to choose what I would make to bring to a New Years Party tomorrow difficult. If makes you wonder what I’d consider easy — which spa gift certificate I should use first to get a manicure before the party? Whether I should wear the earrings from this year’s or last year’s little blue box to the party? Which jet to take there? It’s all in a day of the glamorous life of a food blogger. Ahem.

scallions, greens, bottles of stuff
meatball ingredients, ready to mix

In the last year, I’ve made a lot of jabs, mostly in my own direction, about how much various projects that I thought I’d handle like a pro have in fact kicked my ass — in order, those would be: a toddler, a cookbook, trying to have evenings and weekends work-free for Fun Family Things (even if they’re, like, “Let’s go buy mama more conditioner and eat warm pretzels along the way!”) and this weird blend of feeling like I have absolutely no time for myself while also spending too much time by myself. We are definitely not going to discuss how many hours I have spent this year wondering how anyone ever gets dinner on the table/keeps an apartment clean/gets any sleep/takes vacations… all while looking cute. Nope, definitely not that either. But if you could read through the self-deprecation and exhaustion, I always hoped you’d figure out that I was, am, totally blissed out by this life I ended up with. This gig — 4:30 a.m. wake-ups, this beast and all — is pretty sweet and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I hope next year involves more of the same, with a little more travel and a lot more hanging out with people like you.

frying and spattering, ow

Back in the party snacks department, tiny meatballs will always win. No disrespect to spiced nut mixes, pickled things, deviled eggs and rich, fancy things on toast, what tiny meatballs have on all of them is that they feel like a little meal, and not just an additional layer of indulgence. Seeing as I lack the coordination these days to tuck in a wholesome dinner before heading out, it’s always my secret hope that the party will have things that look less like potato chips and more like an adorable replica of something with sustenance. This year, I’m bringing my own. The recipe hails from the Canal House Cookbooks, Volume 3. I went on and on about my love for them last year, and it hasn’t abated. In fact, now I even get a daily dose to make my lunch feel inadequate swoon over. These meatballs are from an early volume and it took me way too long to make them. I imagine they’d be as welcome at a Chinese New Year Party in January. They come together pretty quickly and unlike most meatball recipes, which require browning and then simmering or baking, they only require the one step to cook.

browned and draining

I hope whatever your New Years plans may be that you have a grand one, with lots of little bites, big kisses, and that someone makes you these in the morning.

a minute later

Two years ago: Walnut Pesto and Spicy Caramel Popcorn
Three years ago: Pecan Sandies and Sugar-and-Spice Candied Nuts
Four years ago: Caramel Cake
Five years ago: Russian Tea Cakes and Coq au Vin

Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze
Adapted from Canal House Cooking, vol. 3

I fiddled with the recipe a bit, using less cilantro and ginger than called for and cooking the sauce for much longer than suggested, in hopes to make it a true glaze that would hang onto the sides of a dipped meatball. I almost dialed back the sugar, but once the glaze was all reduced, I ended up liking the sweetness to balance out the salty kickiness of the soy and ginger.

Note: This recipe is gluten-free if you use a soy sauce that is labeled gluten free. There were many options on the shelf at the store.

Yield: The original recipe suggest 24 but I got 34. This pleased me.

Sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce, preferably Japanese or reduced sodium
1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine), or 1/2 cup sake with 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup peeled, chopped ginger (I used half and it tasted like plenty to me; adjust to your preference)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 whole black peppercorns (no, I did not count how many I put in there)

Meatballs
1 pound ground turkey
4 large or 6 small scallions, finely chopped
Half bunch cilantro, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup) (the cilantro-averse can use flat-leaf parsley)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sesame oil, toasted if you can find it
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil

Make sauce: Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar melts completely. Reduce heat to a medium-low and add soy sauce, mirin, ginger, coriander and peppercorns. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes, though this took me a bit longer to reduce it until it was syrupy enough that I thought it would coat, and not just dribble off the meatballs. You can keep it on a back burner, stirring it frequently, while browning the meatballs in the next step. Once it has reduced to your satisfaction, strain through a sieve.

Make meatballs: Mix turkey, scallions, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce and several grindings of black pepper in a bowl. I like mixing meatballs with a fork; it seems to work the ingredients into each other well. Roll tablespoon-sized knobs of the mixture into balls. The mixture is pretty soft; I find it easiest to roll — eh, more like toss the meatballs from palm to palm until they’re roundish — meatballs with damp hands.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, generously cover bottom of pan with vegetable oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, place meatballs in pan and cook, turning, until browned all over and cooked inside, about 8 minutes per batch. Arrange on a platter (a heated one will keep them warm longer), spoon a little sauce over each meatball, and serve with toothpicks. Alternatively, you can serve the glaze on the side, to dip the meatballs.

Do ahead: The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until needed. If needed, you can rewarm or keep the meatballs warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve. I’m storing mine in the fridge overnight and crossing my fingers they’ll taste fresh tomorrow.

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307 comments on scallion meatballs with soy-ginger glaze

  1. Party meatballs are one of my favorite appetizers – the perfect little savory bite (And I’ll fess up to serving leftovers over pasta with sauce.). Happy New 2012 – you know, the Year of the Book. :)

  2. “I have absolutely no time for myself while also spending too much time by myself” I have not read a more true statement in my life!!!!! That pretty much sums up the life as a food blogger.

  3. Jess

    I saw a similar recipe to this in Real Simple last year, except it called for ground chicken. What a ridiculously wet mess that was… These look wonderful! And please promise you’ll come to Seattle on your book tour – I’ll drive 300 miles to see you! :-)

  4. E’owyn

    I LOVE making mini meatball and can not wait to try this new recipe! Thanks so much for what I’m sure will be another hit. Everyone loved your carrot cake cup cakes that I made on my birthday! I can’t wait to add your cook book to my every expanding collection, and I’m excited to see what you’ll give us to drool over in the coming year! Happy New Years to your wonderful self and family!

  5. Nicole

    But wait, should I have made the puffs today to make my kids love me, or on New Year’s morning? And now, add these to the New Year’s fest since I have all the ingredients or wait? Decisions, decisions!!

  6. Stephanie S

    Just texted my NYE party hosts and it is unanimous that these will be coming with me! Thanks for so much inspiration and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  7. Amanda

    Deb, thank you for your never-ending *realism*. I appreciate that somewhere out there (New York City I realize), you live a normal life with normal stresses, etc. It is for these reasons (and your great humor and those adorable pictures of Jacob) that you will always be my favorite blogger. I’m super excited for your book next year, and wish you and your family a very happy, blessed new year!! Oh, and these look divine!

  8. Jackie

    Ooooh I second that! You should certainly come to Seattle on your book tour! Although I live in Portland, that’s a perfect little roadtrip! These meatballs look amazing, can’t wait to make them.

    Also- just fyi, a fair amount of my xmas gifts this year were packages of 3 of your gift-worthy recipes. They were a huge hit and I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated the ideas!

  9. Jen

    Happy New Year to you and your lovely family! I love a meatball appetizer so thanks for sharing this one. (Oh and I love following Canal House lunches too!)

  10. Emily C

    I’m a total sucker for delicious little meatballs…nothing pleases me more than when I arrive at a party and someone has a crockpot simmering away with tender meatballs in some sumptuous sauce. This recipe has just upped the ante on meatball declicious-ness! Thanks Deb, and Happy New Year to you and your family :)

  11. Karol

    Thanks for this meatball variation – will try to make soon. I just had the urge to make meatballs myself yesterday. I have found the easiest way to cook them is in a 400 degree oven. Probably small ones like this would be cooked in 10 minutes.

  12. Here’s to your 2012 quieting down a bit (if that’s what you want!) or at the very least, feeling like you can ahhh…..breathe. Working outside the home, raising a child, blogging, cooking, photography, it all takes time and as moms, we wear so many hats. And you were them well. :)

    Happy New Years!

  13. Danielle

    Deb, as lovely as these meatballs sound, I could not continue reading after seeing Jacob’s picture. I have always been the girl who has happily wary of kids, babies, and really anyone under 20. But, this kid! He’s so cute, he makes my overies hurt. With cheeks like that, you’d better keep him away from older ladies who would happily pinch said cheeks forever. I promise I am not stalking your toddler. I live in Oklahoma and if somehow, I meet you, I promise I’ll restrain myself…somehow. :) Congrats on the book, I can’t wait to read it!

  14. I can’t believe this! I just threw a party for my college graduation and was scouring the web for appetizer meatballs. These would have been perfect, they look s delicious! Can’t wait to try them soon.

  15. Beth

    What a perfect description of motherhood, at least in my apartment. I feel so much better knowing you struggle with getting dinner on the table! As a former chef, I am horrified at the lack of cooperation among my new “brigade”, ages 3 and 1.

  16. Meatballs are the best at parties. As someone who falls very firmly in the cilantro loving party, I will probably up the cilantro. Is it just me or are these begging for a squirt of sriracha? Its probably just me since I put that stuff on everything.

  17. Leslie M

    I LOVE your blog. I just discovered it a few months ago somehow, and I read it every day now. I’ve made several of your recipes now, including your baby food recipes (which were a huge hit btw). Now when I need a recipe for something in particular, I come here first. I hit a snag with that practice tho last week, as I couldn’t find a single pot roast recipe!! How can you not have a basic and yummy pot roast recipe?! So I had to look for myself, and the yummiest looking recipe I found was Ina Garten’s Company Pot Roast recipe..I’ll let you know how it goes, as I’m making it tomorrow. Also, just curious, my mom is Jewish and the only Jewish food she’s ever made for us is latkes. She swears up and down (it’s a pretty big pet peeve with her actually) that it’s not an authentic latke when the potatoes are shredded..everything has to be thrown in the blender and made into a purée, then fried. I haven’t seen anything like this in your latke recipes, and just wondered what you thought. Sorry to be so off topic :), but I figured you only kept up with comments on your most recent posts. Hope you have a fantastic New Year’s!!

  18. I think I love you!! was bored with all the chili sauce/jelly meatball recipes I saw online to make for a party tonight. Do you think I could pour the sauce over the meatballs and keep them warm in a slowcooker or is that too much sauce to meat ratio? Also – am moving to NYC next fall and am already completely dismayed at the size of kitchens!

  19. Deb,
    Enjoy your recipes, photos and all the instructions that tie things together so creatively…… You are a joy to follow…… Thanks for the past year of FUN and good
    eats !!! Looking forward to 2012, your book and all the new exciting things you will
    share ….. A very special New Year greeting to you and your precious family !!!!!

  20. Steve

    Ground white meat Turkey, ground dark meat, or a mix? The choice will very much influence the final taste. Which did you use? Thanks

    1. deb

      Steve — I used white (it’s what the store was kind enough to be grinding when I got there) but prefer dark meat or at least a mix in general.

      t.reams — It might work. I don’t have much practice with keeping things warm in the slow-cooker.

      Leslie M. — Actually, someone asked me the same in another comment section a couple months ago, so someone else has the same approach! I hadn’t heard of it but I have a) eaten latkes that tastes like they were made that way, I think at a diner in my neighborhood, and b) am not surprised that there are so many approaches to making a traditional food, all backed by people who insist it’s the only “right” way. It’s like this with foods in every culture! That said, I love the crisp strand-like ones most of all. ;)

      Jean — Whoops. I misread this site I’d Googled.

  21. Kathryn

    Want to try these, but will experiment with cooking meatballs in oven on a tray instead of frying. What do you think? Have done it successfully with ground turkey for Italian wedding soup before, so I think it might work!

  22. Jen

    Happy New Year Deb! I understand the balance predicament and wonder at the act of it myself sometimes, then I take a walk around a beautiful lake that I call my own and I’m back on the teeter totter enjoying the ups and downs of it all. Thanks for all of your great posts this year…looking forward to new deliciousness from you.

  23. Jenny

    Deb, Just a quick note to say happy holidays and best wishes for a happy new year! Yours is my favorite food blog of all, your recipes are no-fail (so I never need to worry about making these for a dinner party without a trial) and my entire family is looking forward to your book!! AND – my husband and I are moving to NYC in Feb! We can’t wait to try your list of recommended places to eat there (not to mention attending a book signing!). Wishing you all the very best!

  24. I am thinking of making these for breakfast. But I will probably make it for lunch actually before my 20-something kids head out for New Year activities (yes, there is life after toddler-hood and every year is more amazing than the previous one). Wishing you a grand 2012 and balance and joy.

  25. Happy New Year Deb! Taking a step back and realizing that life is really good amongst all the chaos is of the everyday is important. Being grateful for all that we have is something we should do every day. No one is perfect, but we do the best we can and at the end of the day what mutterers most is that we’re with the ones we love doing what we love. I love your blog, your recipes and your spirit. You’re following your bliss and it shows in your blog. Happy New Year!!!

    Jackie

  26. Anita

    These look so good. I’d love to make some to keep in the freezer, handy for a quick snack. Do you think the meatballs would freeze better before or after browning? BTW, I have been following your blog for about a year now, and absolutely love it? Thanks for sharing your recipes, stories and pictures!

  27. loren

    These look phenomenal! Meatballs are one of my favorite things ever. Unfortunately, I can’t cook with any alcohol. Any suggestions for mirin/sake substitutions? Or is it to vital a part of the recipe?

    Thanks and Happy New Year!

  28. MaryM

    These look and sound delicious. Sure would be a great thing to have in the freezer for just-in-case or football snacks or whatever. I love to keep a stash of “emergency food” in my freezer for times when I need something easy to put on the table. Thanks, Deb! Can’t wait for the book.

  29. Jenn

    Debb, I just wanted to take a moment at the close of the year to say thank you for all your recipes, for your beautiful photographs, and great stories. Its wonderful to have a place I can go where I know I can try a new recipe confident that its going to come out well enough to share with out having to do a trial run first. You’ve saved many a late party invite and gotten me tons of complements. THANK YOU!

  30. Gabi

    Happy New Year, Wonderful Deb! You have inspired me, saved me on what-to-cook nights, made me look like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen, and never let me down. In fact, I second everything Jenn (#67) just said. Thank you! You deserve all the great things that are bound to happen to you this year.

  31. Angela

    Happy New Year! Hope you can make it to CA for a quick book tour. Would love to make a road trip to come and see you….we are smack dab in the middle of Ca on the coast. So either SF or LA, here I come!! Quick Q: when you say you used “half of the ginger” did you mean half of a cup? Or 1/8 of a cup? Sorry I’m so literal!

    1. deb

      Angela — Good question. They called for 1/4 cup chopped ginger. Of course, whether you mince or just coarsely chop the ginger could greatly affect the ginger-punch outcome. I tend to chop ginger pretty finely (the way you would in most Asian recipes) and felt that 2 tablespoons was plenty of ginger. Of course, I’m a little ginger shy and if you’re ginger gaga, you might not mind 1/4 cup. God, that was a long answer, huh?

      Book tour — We’ll talk about this soon, I promise. Knopf will want to hear where you want me to go and we’ll figure it out from there. I’d love love love to go everywhere, and so would Alex and Jacob, where possible. You have no idea. My mother is in fact making sure she is retired in time to join me on the book tour, that’s how stoked we are about it. But, nothing’s worse than showing up to a mostly empty room, so we’ll probably start with the places that got the most votes and can always add cities where needed.

  32. Kara

    I started reading this blog because of your delicious recipes and fun writing style, but one of the things I appreciate most about it is how real you are. Hearing I’m not the only one who struggles with time for myself, getting dinner on the table, etc. along with working and taking care of a toddler (and preschooler) is refreshing! Have a happy new year!

  33. Ginny

    I just made these in advance for tonight’s gathering…The only change I’d make would be to double the amount! Also, I probably needed to dry the cilantro and onion really well because it was rather hard to form balls without the mixture turning into patties! Oh well, I will call them “bites” tonight! Oh, and of course the hubs and I quality-controlled these, and I don’t know if I can keep my hands off the rest before tonight! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!

  34. BCE

    Thank you Deb for all you have provided in 2011, great recipes, photos and a wonderful blog to read. Wishing you and yours all the best in 2012!

  35. indianaburns

    your sweet words made me teary…i feel the same way about my own family (husband, 2yo, 1mo). seriously, though, who needs to be cute when one is so happy!? this recipe rocks in the toddler department. i think they could be easily renamed, “turkey toddler treats”. how my foodie husband and i ended up with such a picky child eludes us, but when i started including her to ‘help’ make things like egg fritters, her eating choices improved dramatically. your latkes are another recipe i want to incorporate into her newly found hobby of toddler-cooking. this is on our list for the week. happy New Year!

  36. terri

    Thank you for this recipe. I used the glaze as a dip (also using the lesser amount of ginger) but I changed the meatballs. Your recipe reminded me how much I missed my potstickers and that just by adding an egg to my filling I could just make meatballs and skip the messy dumpling folding (which I’m horrible at). The filling is basically the same but uses ground pork, lots of fresh finely minced ginger, and no cilantro. The combination of your glaze and the potsticker meatballs is fantastic ! Thank you and Happy New Year.

  37. Bella

    Deb, I live in NY and no one here doubts that I will have to fight for standing room at your one of your appearances here, but something tells me that wherever you go, and I mean some long neglected corner of the map, you will have full houses. Whenever I recommend your site–to friends, random people on facebook, people across the globe–the response is always (always!), “Oh, of course, I love Deb! Isn’t SmittenKitchen the best?” I swear.

  38. Gloria

    I just made them and they are wonderful! I didn’t have any mirin or sake; I may have sinned by replacing it with some really good red wine but the sauce is still extremely delicious.

  39. chrisaflute

    Hmmmmmm…. “Russian Tea Cakes”. Check old Betty Crocker cookbooks, don’t grind nuts but only chop exceeding fine,make then TINY (one bite), roll in XXX sugar *immediately* out of oven, and then again when cool. Heaven!

  40. You can tell I’m the food fan at the party because I’ll be the one toasting with my proud meatball on a celebratory blue toothpick as everyone else raises their champaign flutes. This is my idea of wine on New Year’s: in my meatball sauce. Happy New Year to all and to all a rockin night!…er…yeah, maybe one too many licks of the wine sauce…

  41. Deb

    Made these tonight for NYE snacking/dinner and they are delicious! My 10 yr old son rolled his eyes in pleasure as he ate them, and said the sauce was the best part. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks, and happy new year!

  42. Sandra

    This sounds really good, will try them soon (don’t have to take them to a party to share, do I? we can have them all at home for dinner, no???). Just wanted to let you know I really love your blog! I just discovered it a few weeks ago, have made the butternut-chickpea-tahini-salad five times since then (actually brought it to a NYE party yesterday … it’s 2012 already here in Germany) and really enjoy reading your pragmatic, funny recipe introductions. So have a happy new year – I am looking forward to reading more from you and getting myself some inspiration for the kitchen :-)

  43. Rachel

    I made these last night using a mixture of 2 parts bison 1 part pork instead of turkey. They were amazing! Thanks or another great recipe.

  44. Bonoca

    Deb,

    Quick question….for the do-ahead part you said, “I’m storing mine in the fridge overnight and crossing my fingers they’ll taste fresh tomorrow.” Did you store them cooked or uncooked? And how did it turn out?

    Please bring your book tour to Richmond, VA! We would love to have you here and we’ll treat you to great southern hospitality :-)

  45. Petra

    I hear your pain on the book… I am just in the proofreading stage of my book (not about cooking:-) it is a science book). And I will be so happy to be done. Exhausted but done.

  46. What a lovely recipe. My girl is gluten free and she will absolutely love this. Thank you for your truly wonderful recipes. Let us know if you cross the pond and come to the UK on your book tour. We’ll definately be there.

  47. What a great recipe! Your photos are gorgeous as always. I forget about meatballs all too often, you’re absolutely right about them, and I need to remember to make them more often.

  48. Susan

    These look delicious, but I wonder if using Hoison sauce instead of soy might make the sauce a little more clingy and less salty.

    1. deb

      Susan — Could be delicious, and faster.

      Bonoca — I cooked them and stored them in the fridge. They reheated well and disappeared quickly at the party (as did the bottle of bourbon we brought, if I’m being honest, also, ow). I would love to come to Richmond! I hope it can happen.

      Even in Australia — Actually, I find that breadcrumbs contribute to softer meatballs, however, there’s so much greenery and scallions in these that I didn’t miss the breadcrumbs as much as I thought I would. That said, I don’t think a tablespoon of two would do the meatballs any harm.

      Delphi — Ha! Maybe next year. :)

      Bella — Thank you.

  49. I’m a sucker for mini meatballs of any kind. As a part-time caterer, I can attest to your comment about little bites with sustenance being popular at parties. Meatballs are always big winners. I only wish I had seen this post yesterday while I was planning snacks for our NYE.
    As always – your photography has me wanting to reach for one of those frilly toothpicks…it’s dinner time, right? Happy New Year to you + your family!

  50. Those meatballs look brilliant. Great photography to boot.

    Out of curiosity, have you tried this recipe with other types of meat? I’m personally more of a lamb person. Also, you might wish to try rolling your meatballs using an ice-cream scoop. It kind of takes the fun out of getting your hands dirty but you’ll get a batch of even sized meatballs.

    Keep up what you’re doing! :)

  51. Cara

    I think I need to plan a party… Also, for getting dinner on the table, I’ve found the slow cooker is my friend. I had to search for healthy recipes, particularly as we don’t eatI noodles, but as I build up a collection it is working well for me.

  52. Marci

    These were amazing but I did make a few modifications that may help others. I left out the brown sugar (I’m a no sugar-gal) and mirin (don’t have) in the sauce. I substituted 1/2 cup apple juice concentrate instead. Also,be sure and use low-sodium soy sauce. It’s so concentrated after boiling down that it’s a necessity. We LOVED the sauce. Also instead of frying the meatballs, just broil them 3 minutes on each side (after spraying your broiler pan with Pam). Helps with the calories and tastes even better. I needed 1/2 cup bread crumbs to hold them together too.

  53. Deb – your kid gets cuter and cuter! And these meatballs look divine. I need to find something I can bring them to – oh year – I could serve them to the adults and our boy’s birthday party coming up. Congrats on your crazy 2011 and good luck in 2012. Any chance you’ll be coming to Vancouver, Canada?

  54. these look delicious – i planned on making meatballs for dinner sometime this week, i’ll definitely be trying this recipe. I also love the presentation with the toothpicks – makes a great yet filling party/ gathering snack

  55. Virginia

    Congratulations on your recognition as the Best Cooking Blog on saveur.com! I look at your win and in my head I go, Woohoo! I read that blog every week! I even get emails!

  56. Helloo. I just made these for dinner and they got major nods of approval! Do you think these could be baked instead of pan fried?

    And I too love your blog, your voice, your photos, and of course your recipes. Can’t wait for the book!

  57. amy

    I think I might have to pick up some ground turkey when I go to the butcher this week. I wonder if my kids (and husband) would eat these.

    also, I think you should come to st. petersburg, florida when you do your book tour. you should come in the winter. not in the summer.

  58. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing all these amazing recipes, I enjoy reading your blog and looking forward to reading much more this year. Will your book be available for online ordering?

    Happy 2012!

  59. Kathy

    I made these NYE and they were amazing. I will make them again and again (and may leave off the sauce sometime for a healthier weeknight meal). A note on breadcrumbs: I found the mixture far too wet, so I did add about 2 or 3 tbsp of store-bought breadcrumbs (as well as turkey breast meat). They turned out gorgeously tender. A real keeper! Thanks!

  60. Kathy

    sorry–to clarify: i added 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs, and used all turkey breast meat. also added a few shakes of red pepper flakes to the sauce. superb!

    1. deb

      Alex — I’ll have a soup for you tomorrow that would go perfectly. :)

      amy — Can I come this winter? Like, tomorrow when it’s supposed to be 30 degrees?

  61. Julie

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit. I used shallots instead of scallions and served the meatballs over pasta. We will be having this again in the near future!

  62. Isn’t funny how you have a baby and after the first crazy days/weeks you think, “hey, I can totally do this! It isn’t that hard to coordinate previous life and new baby” and then the baby becomes a toddler and suddenly you have control over nothing? No time ever for anything? As good as it is, the word to define your state of self is frazzled. Wishing you a happy new year, while I start planning to make these real soon.

  63. Kate

    I made this for dinner last night, accompanied by fried rice, and it was delicious. Thanks for the recipe–100% of the recipes I’ve tried from you have landed somewhere between “tasty” and “delicious”.

  64. AmyK

    These were great last night “banh mi” style on a roll topped with shredded carrots. I also added a little Sriracha to the sauce, which was nice to offset the sweetness a little. Thanks for the recipe!

  65. Laura

    FYI–most soy sauces are NOT gluten-free (have wheat as an ingredient). This is tagged gluten-free so I wanted to point it out: make sure you buy gluten free soy sauce if you’re making this for someone with gluten intolerance.

  66. Jasmine

    The timing of this recipe could not be better. I made teriyaki chicken skewers and potstickers for our N.Y.E. party and have lots of left over ginger, scallions, and cilantro. This will be the perfect way to use them up. And, I love AmyK’s idea of turning them into a banh mi!

  67. Marna

    I have all the ingredients, but the 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
    Can I leave it out ? will it taste very diffrent ? what can I substitute for it ? (I’m living outside the country at the moment).
    Thanks

  68. Veronica Ryan

    I made these for New Year’s Eve and they were a huge hit! Thanks so much! Also made your chocolate raspberry cake for my daughter’s 17th birthday which falls on December 24th – another big hit. I am so thrilled to have found your site – thank you so much!

  69. Jessica

    just got home to realize that I’ve got ground beef, not ground turkey. Do you think that will work as a substitute? (and I love, love, love you site — it is my favorite procrastination/inspiration destination!)

  70. NancyNS

    I am NOT a ground turkey fan, but something about this recipe sucked me in. I made them last night and served them over broad egg noddles, and the meatballs were REALLY delicious. Thanks!

  71. judycoco

    I just made these and they were delicious. Did not have mirin so I used some Harveys Bristol Cream sherry (hey whatayagonnado?) The sauce was not thickening so I added some more brown sugar. I served over Japanese noodles for a dinner entree. Raves!

  72. Michelle Arianne

    Deb – thanks so much for this post! I made the meatballs and brought to a New Year’s Eve party. They were a HUGE hit and disappeared in minutes! FYI, I doubled the meatball part of the recipe and didn’t double the glaze part — there was enough glaze. I love that this recipe covers many bases — the meatatarians, the “I only eat poultry”, those who for religious reasons don’t eat pork, adults, kids… so everyone pretty much.

  73. Dee

    The hubby loved them, went great with mashed potatoes and salad! I used 2 tbsp japanese soy sause for the meatball mixture, over 650gr turkey, and still found them a bit too salty.

  74. Joanna

    Made these last night – they were awesome! I baked them instead of pan-frying, which resulted in something closer to meatlumps than meatballs, but the hands-off aspect of throwing them in the oven made it worth it. I got 24 lumps from my batch, so they were probably a little bigger than yours, and they took about 15 minutes at 375 in case anyone else wants to try! I would recommend putting them on a rack though — I put mine straight onto a baking sheet and they kind of leaked fat puddles (sounds worse than it was).

    Also, I accidentally over-reduced the sauce and had to add some water back in, but it was SO good. I put the meatballs and most of the glaze into a large bowl and gently stirred until they were all coated. Seriously, so good. Thanks for the idea!

  75. Marisa

    Deb, where did you get your glass mixing bowls? I’ve been looking for ones with high walls like that forever and can’t find them anywhere. The ones I currently have are round with shorter walls, which I often find means I have to use a slightly bigger bowl than I otherwise might, and it can make mixing batters and the like messy and inefficient as the ingredients tend to move outward, so I’m always stopping to scrape the sides. Thanks!

  76. Amy

    Hey… Best. Blog. Ever. I’ve made many recipes from this site and they’ve all turned out wonderfully. I made the meatballs on New Year’s Day and they were super soggy– so soggy that they were difficult to keep in a cohesive mass when cooking, and this was after adding 2tbsp of bread crumbs. I followed the recipe to a T– and once they were cooked, they tasted great– just a little odd and burnt looking, nowhere near as cute as the picture. As mentioned, I followed the recipe (except for the breadcrumbs)– the only (other?) difference is that I used a stainless steel bottom pan, not a cast-iron (Amazon is being very pokey about delivering mine). Suggestions? I’d love to make them again for the carrot soup– but I’d also like them to look like meatballs, not dark brown “things” of dubious origin. Thanks!!

  77. Kutzika

    Love this recipe. Made it 2 days in a row, and I am already craving it again today. Huge success with my husband as well. Thank you!

  78. Such a lovely photo and they do look superb. Like you, I prefer substantial party food and actually served meatballs with a feta dip at my last party. :)

  79. KClayton

    Yum!!! I wonder how this would work if you left the sauce kinda thin & served it over Soba noodles? I just may have to find out. Tonight.

  80. Tracey

    I made these last night because the picture you posted required me to do so..and I have to say they were every bit of delicious as the picture looked. I served it as a meal over some brown rice next to a side salad. My family was amazed and I felt quite accomplished! Thanks for making me feel and think that I’m a 5 star chef! Every single recipe I have tried from this blog never disappoints!Can’t wait for the book :)

  81. Erin Sipe

    I made your baked chicken meatballs for our NYE party, but used turkey because our local grocer doesn’t carry ground chicken anymore. He actually looked a little sad about it when I asked him… The meatballs were a huge hit – even pitted against the long-standing favorite! I am psyched to see “another” turkey meatball recipe to try out.
    Happy New Year!

  82. Tabitha W

    I made these a few days ago for a party. They were just the perfect thing to bring. I made two batches, one which I cooked a day before and one which I left the meat mixture sitting in the fridge over night. I liked the flavours better when the meat sat uncooked over night. It was a richer flavour from the green onion but not over powering. I also found that they held up a bit better when I cooked them. I would recommend if you have the time to let the meat sit for a while before cooking just to mix all the yummy onion goodness. I have to say Deb, When ever I need ideas you are always the one I turn to. I also made your french onion soup not that long ago, it was to die for! thanks for being so amazing!

  83. Love this site. As an expatriate currently residing in Oslo, this recipe among many of yours reminds me of how much I miss the art of cooking. These look simply delectable and I’m sure I will be able to make them here(major points for that, as it’s often difficult to find basic ingredients. For example, vanilla extract does not exist, which bothers me on several levels.) thanks again, and I am duly envious of all those who get to buy your book AND get it personally autographed!

  84. I was very keen to try this recipe, but minced pork was much easier to find than minced turkey (we’re expats in Hong Kong), so we had pork scallion ginger meatballs instead. I used the food processor to chop the spring onions etc, then put everything else in and pulsed a few times to combine. Worked beautifully! The meatballs were moist and delicious, and didn’t need the glaze – it was a tad overpowering for the pork, not sure what I did wrong there. This recipe is on the keeper list! Thank you for sharing it.

  85. Marla

    I made these the other day, and my husband raved about them! The sauce made more than we needed just to drizzle over them, so I’ve saved it in the fridge to use on other things. (A teaspoon in chicken soup the other day gave it a nice kick!)

  86. Reet

    I made these tonight, following the recipe with no changes, and they were a hit. I used dark meat turkey and 6 scallions. The proportions were spot on, and I did use almost the full amount of ginger (which I microplaned) called for in the original recipe. I plan to make them again, but next time I will double the recipe. The sauce was especially yummy, and we didn’t have any left over; that could be b/c it thickened pretty nicely in about 35 minutes, but most likely b/c we loved it. Do make the full amount.

  87. Nicole B

    I was making these when the cable guy showed up so him and my husband got to be my taste testers. I added 1 tsp crushed red pepper to the meatball mixture. I loved the heat next to the sweet sauce.

  88. Paula

    Yum! Made these for dinner tonight with udon noodles and a salad. Even with bread crumbs added, these were still a bit too crumbly for party presentation – I admire your orb-like meatballs! How did you keep them from sticking? I used a goodly portion of vegetable oil in a stainless pan and had some sticking issues. The sauce is awesome, and I’m happy to have some left to put on veggies tomorrow.

    1. deb

      Paula and anyone else who had sticking issues — The trick to browning soft meatballs or pretty much anything that can fall apart is to fully heat the pan, add the oil, fully heat the oil until a flick of water makes a loud hiss, add the meatballs and don’t move them until they are “ready” to be moved, i.e. a brown edge has formed between them and the pan and they can be moved with a spatula slid underneath without scraping them from the bottom. It’s tricky at first, it will save this and every other meatball/latke/skin-down chicken dish going forward. Promise. It saved mine!

  89. Becca

    I made these for a potlock last night and they were a HUGE hit. I also substituted the cilantro for parsley as I cannot stand the taste of cilantro. Used a food processor to make the parsley nice and small. Also added a tiny bit of panko in the meatballs, but I dont think it was necessary. I think next time, Ill add a bit of red pepper flake to the sauce for a bit of spice!

  90. Jess

    While you said: “We are definitely not going to discuss how many hours I have spent this year wondering how anyone ever gets dinner on the table/keeps an apartment clean/gets any sleep/takes vacations… all while looking cute.” I propose starting a club of mothers of toddlers dedicated to discussing just this. Club meeting locations rotate club member’s apartments, and discussion happens hands on: group cleaning, cooking and toddler wrangling – all while NOT looking cute. Post meeting – 8 hours of sleep and a vacation, except for that one unlucky member who was voted “cutest looking” and will be watching the kids.

    1. deb

      Jess — Ha! I’m in. (I like to believe that we might look cuter than we feel explaining to a 2 year-old for the n’th time that the toilet is not for washing hands. I am able to maintain this belief by avoiding mirrors.)

  91. nat

    I ripped this recipe off for turkey burgers last night…popped a tablespoon of white miso into the burger mix as well. Deeeelicious. Super excited to put the rest of that miso to use in your carrot soup!

  92. Carrie

    My neighbor and dear friend made these for New Year’s to go with our Chardonnay tasting – these were DELICIOUS!!! Looking forward to making these for a week night dinner. And thank you for all your recipes you put on here – the photos are always a delight and you always give me a new way to impress the husband :)

    1. deb

      dee and others that asked about baking — I haven’t tried them baked but if you have had success baking other meatballs, I am sure it would work here.

  93. candice

    fabulous job, deb! i steamed some jasmine rice to go with the meatballs and sauteed some fresh carrots for a regular old tuesday night meal. so delicious!

  94. Deb, made these as per yr recommendation with the carrot soup- big hit with the family! I subbed gr. beef for the turkey and I must report deliciousness! Also had no more green onions, subbed some minced leeks (giant green onions, no?) also threw in a minced jalapeño as it was in the veg drawer and asked to be sacrificed for the greater good. Otherwise followed recipe to a T. All good!

  95. I’ve made these twice — in TWO NIGHTS! My family of 3 KILLED the entire batch (I’d hoped for leftovers) the first night and wanted to try them with brown rice as an accompaniment to help soak up the yummy sauce on night #2. We killed batch #2 as well. These are a SUPER-soft meatball and they do kind of slump a bit in the pan but Deb’s right: heat the skillet, heat the oil and DON’T move them until they’re ready to be moved. I ended up cooking them on three sides and having semi-triangular ball-like things, but nobody minded (they were, in fact, happy for an additional side of caramelized, crispy deliciousness). Next time I’ll try broiling them because they can be a bit time-consuming as a dinner item… Thanks, Deb!

  96. vickyb

    Oh my goodness! I bookmarked this as soon as you posted it, ready for our japanese January. It’s my husband and my form of detox asit’s so naturally healthy, and WAY easier and more enjoyable to stick with than no-sugar, no-fat, no-meat, blah blah. I used minced pork, as we’re a bit poultry-d out at the mo, used almost the full amount of ginger (which I grated and didn’t strain out), left out theground cori and added 2handfuls of panko, as I found it way too wet. The mix made 30 and i sheet-froze half, and saved half the sauce in a jar in the fridge for next week. The flavour was really wonderful, the sauce was RIDICULOUSLY good! I made it in the morning when the baby was napping and had to stop myself from drinking it like juice! Served with steamed rice and stir-fried greens, I will make it again and again and again! Thank you so much for posting!

    Happy new year!

  97. Hey Deb,

    first time writing here but I’ve been reading you and loving your recipes, style, pictures for long – can’t wait for your book to be available..!
    Just a quick message to thank you for these scrumptious meatballs of heaven : I’ve made some tonight and loved them so much I had to post about it on my blog…
    They are great !!! We had them with the carrot-sesame-miso soup and it was delicious, really.
    I truly wish you a happy happy new year and hope to read your cookbook soon !
    Best,
    Tania aka Catering Deneuve

  98. Katie H

    First time commenting, long time reader. This is the first recipe I’ve made from your blog and it was AMAZING! The sauce was so good. I let it reduce a full hour and it was syrupy and salty and everything you’d want out of asian style sauce.
    One question – I ended up adding some breadcrumbs to my meatballs because they were almost too wet to “roll”. Were they supposed to be that wet or did I miss measure?
    I can’t wait for your cookbook; congratulations!

    1. deb

      Katie — They’re supposed to be wet. I find that wetter meatballs have more tender results. The trick is to use wet hands and not worry if they don’t get perfectly round.

  99. Vanessa Bershatsky

    Made these for Bunco club last night and left with an empty dish! My husband wants to steam them in wonton wraps this weekend. So we’ll see how that goes. And that sauce? I seriously wanted to poor myself a glass and drink it, it was that good. I used a generous half cup of ginger, let it simmer for about an hour. Then saved the ginger to nibble on…. mmmmmmm……

  100. Terry

    Ohh! I expect these will be a big hit at our Superbowl party.. for now, a half-recipe is becoming a glazed meatloaf for me and the Hubs! Thanks!!

  101. Gary

    I was looking for some Asian inspired meatball recipe for ages. I think that this is the recipe that I am trying to look for. Thanks for the information!

  102. Kate

    I made this into meatloaf and it was delish. I just poured the sauce over the top before baking like you would a ketchup sauce on old school meatloaf.

  103. Christa

    These were phenomenal. We made them for a Playoff Party we hosted last night. I had a hard time getting them to stay together though….

  104. Mary

    I made these for a party this weekend and though I feared they would be dry, my guests assured me they were not. They went so quickly, I didn’t even get to try one of them! Best dish of the night. THANKS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  105. These looks amazing. And I love that they are gluten free (with the right soy sauce). I can’t wait to make these myself. I have a baby shower that I’m hosting soon, maybe I will make these and serve them there. YUMMY!!

  106. Monica

    Made these last night for the family. My son is headed back to Temple University and wanted to make something delish before he has to suffer through three months of his own cooking. Seriously wonderful! Made a double batch of the glaze for future meals, really amazing flavor could go with nearly anything! Thanks!

  107. I love that you use ground turkey for these meatballs! I would love to know what kind of turkey you used…lately I have been hooked on Diestel turkey – they make an organic ground turkey and an italian ground turkey sausage (along with a ton of other turkey products). Everything I make with their meat always turns out great! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  108. Ladotyk

    Unfortunately these didn’t turn out as good as I’d hoped. The meatball flavor was a bit too one dimensional, and the sauce was a bit too sweet. I do like the idea, though, so if I were to try it again I think I’d use a recipe for pot sticker filling that includes a few more extras like shitake mushrooms and water chestnuts.

  109. Sara

    I have made these twice and love them! I could drink the sauce! I just made the sauce again and used it in the last minutes over a salmon fillet in the oven. What a perfect combination! Thanks Deb!

  110. Carey

    Hi There,

    I really love your website.
    However, I am gluten free and wanted to let you know that Soy Sauce is NOT gluten free.
    It has wheat in it unless you get bragg’s or wheat free tamari.

    Please be careful which recipes you label GF, especcially so your book is more successful for us nutty GF gastronomes! :)

  111. deb

    Carey — There is a very clear note at the top of the recipe warning that this recipe is only gluten-free if you find gluten-free soy sauce. I saw several at the store.

  112. Ltrain

    i made these last night, and i really liked them! i used regular ground turkey (as opposed to low fat), and I think it made them a little more “wet”. I would like to try again with pork or a pork/turkey combo. really yummy and the sauce was delish! :)

  113. EJ

    @Ltrain – do try it again with the pork. I made these (again) last night w/ 7% fat turkey, and mixed in 4 or 5 (uncooked) breakfast pork sausage patties I had kicking around the fridge. Unqualified yum.

  114. Sunny

    Ooh, these look so good, I’m sure there’s a way to make them vegetarian. Thank you for offering a cilantro alternative, I’m one of those people who think it tastes like soap.

  115. Katherine

    Deb, wonderful sauce- i let it reduce as we nibbled on some pâté and other amuse-bouche- it was spectacular however, the meatballs were dry. They were not overcooked- but boy were they dry. I frequently prepare the meatballs in the Ottolenghi cookbook and after an over cooking disaster a few months ago, I’m very careful. These, for example, were cooked 6 min the first batch and only 5 min the second as the oil temperature had increased. Any ideas? I’m an x-newyorker now london based but just used regular turkey mince (Waitrose brand- our version of food emporium.) Not particularly lean and followed all the prescribed amounts on the remaining ingredients. Any ideas to moisten them up? I have not read all the other comments but from a quick browse, it doesn’t look like other people are having this problem…without adding pork, what should i do?

    1. deb

      Katherine — I actually found the meatballs drier than ones that use my favorite formula for meatballs, so it’s not just you. However, they were so tiny and flavorful, especially with the intense glaze, that I decided for the sake of ease I’d leave the recipe as-is. However, if you, like me, go berserk over an almost meltingly tender meatball, I’d suggest adding about 1/2 cup freshly ground breadcrumbs (i.e. from white bread or whatever you have around, run through a food processor) and 1/3 cup lukewarm water to the meatball mixture. The resulting meatballs will be even softer, and thus more of a pain to shape and brown in a pan, but almost always result in soft and never dry meatballs. Hope that helps.

  116. kate C.

    Made for a ‘new baby – new house’ open house we hosted today for friends and family and they disappeared so quickly I didn’t get a chance to see how they tasted reheated from when I made them yesterday. I’m glad I tested them yesterday! I made with the gluten-free soy sauce and my two friends with celiac were pretty happy! Now I just have to make them again just for us, because only eating 1 1/2 of these was so not enough. Thanks for the great recipe!

  117. kate C.

    Oh, forgot to add that I used the 7% fat ground turkey too (instead of the ground turkey breast) and I thought the meatballs were a nice texture, not dry. (maybe not ‘meltingly moist’ but really good!) I bet it would make a difference if you use the 7% fat versus the 1% (or is it 3% fat?) that the breast-meat only ground turkey is.

  118. Rebecca B

    Delicious- so tender and juicy, and very flavorful! I too found the mixture to be a tab too mushy and added 4-5 tbs of breadcrumbs, but they didn’t dry out at all. Also, since I wanted these as a meal rather than an appetizer, I boiled soba noodles and tossed them with a bit of the sauce, then placed the meatballs on top with the extra sauce drizzled on top. YUM!

  119. I just made these last night, or a version of it and the flavors were amazing! I used pork instead of turkey and left out the egg because I was thinking of using it for a wonton filling and it worked. I also added raw chile pepper for a spicy kick and it was so incredibly delicious. Before making the dumplings I tested a couple and fried the meatballs and they held up nicely. Great snack, I’m definitely making these again for the super bowl, and next time I’ll use turkey! thanks so for sharing this!

  120. MichelleC.

    Hi Deb,
    I made these last night for dinner (my 8 year old helped me roll and thought it was a blast!!) with side of rice and some steamed broccoli……even my very picky 6 year old ate them…..I have three kids….the older two are amazingly adventurous eaters and the six year old……not so much. I thought there wouldbe leftovers for tonight and not even one meatball was left!!! Thanks so much for such a delicious recipe…..I am going to try baking them next time just to see what the difference is since it means less work and no extra oil……I will report back;-) Thanks so much!!!!

  121. misseesippee

    Yesterday, I made a few hundred of these for my son’s Robotics team. My son brought home an empty tray. Success! (btw, another vote for Seattle)

  122. Yum! I look forward to making these at my earliest convenience!

    Will have to sub chicken for the turkey as the latter is not available here, and yes parsley instead of cilantro (though that’s easily available, I just don’t like it), but I just bought some mirin this holiday on my visit to the States so I’m excited that I can follow this recipe pretty closely. Looks delish!

    (Thanks for the note on making them softer/moister above too, that’s good to know)

  123. Hello Deb ~

    Made these last night and they were delicious. Found the meat mix too moist to form into balls, so I put the mix in the freezer for a bit. Worked like a charm. Also just plopped the meatballs into the sauce after they were cooked and drained on paper towels. Again, delicious – thank you.

  124. mari

    just wondering would these meatballs taste as great if i used another meat? lamb, chicken, or pork? as turkey isnt as readily available here except for the whole ones. but id love to try these out :)

  125. Well, I made them with chicken that I chopped up, and my fussy husband who at first didn’t want anything to do with them, LOVED THEM! Those little meatballs were great! Thanks so very much!

  126. Justine

    I made this last month right after you posted it. I am going to make it again tonight as hubby keeps saying: “When are you going to make the meat balls with the green bits in them again?” Also, I think I am going to make mini patties with the meat mix as my “meat balls” were not round at all.

  127. C

    These are delicious. My roommate and I love it. The sauce is perfect. The meatballs were VERY tasty, but very…sloppy. They were way too mushy to hold their shape. Next time, I might try a variant with fewer oils and sauces in the mix or more solid ingredients. I would even add bread crumbs, but I might try for something healthier. I will definitely make this again.

  128. Suann

    I used chicken instead and I went without the glaze. These were amazing. AMAZING. We ate them with salads as well as Korean style with rice and kimchi.

  129. Heather

    I love this recipe and concept! We made it with ground pork instead of turkey and added ground shrimp. It gave it a really wonderful texture and an extra rich flavor. We served it with noodles with peanut sauce – sort of a cool riff on spaghetti and meatballs. Delicious!

  130. ZBK

    I just had to tell you that I made these at our Super bowl party and they were gone in a flash. They were amazing. The sauce was to die for. Absolutely fanatstic! Also, I prepared everything a day in advance so I used my crockpot to heat it all up and it worked out real well.
    Thank you, AGAIN! Love your blog :-)

  131. Made these tonight with slight adjustments to the glaze—substituted a bit of maple syrup for sweetness since I didn’t have any mirin, and since we only had light brown sugar I added a drop of molasses as well (the flavors worked perfectly). I served these over udon noodles (an Asian-inspired spaghetti and meatballs) and drizzled the glaze over the whole thing, then sprinkled with a few sesame seeds. They turned out so beautifully–thanks for the amazing recipe and wonderful blog!

  132. Diane

    These are the most amazing tasty meatballs with an amazing glaze! If you make the sauce a day ahead the flavors intensify and delicious. Great blog, keep up the terrific recipes and inspirational thoughts.

  133. Elaineous

    How would you serve these at a party? On a platter with the glaze on them or on the side? Should I keep them in a crock pot so that they’re warm? I’m hosting a bachelorette party in a hotel & really want to make these but it has no oven for rewarming.. Thanks!!

  134. Tessari

    Thanks so much for posting the recipe! I’ve already made these four (!) times and I’m going to make them again tonight. I’ve had success with using ground chicken and ground pork and I also bake them at 400 for 15-20 minutes…less messy and less work!

  135. Becca

    This is now my third time making this yummy recipe – this time instead of making meatballs – I’m going to do burgers, using the sauce as a topping..I think its going to be a hit!

  136. I made these last night for dinner – they were fabulous! The sauce took quite a while to thicken, like you said, but it worked out anyway. I will definitely make these again but first I must try all of your other recipes :)

  137. Debra

    These are just delicious made as is and I will surely make them again. Next time I think I will experiment by adding a little garlic and maybe a bit of cayenne to the meatballs. The one substitution I made with the sauce was rice vinegar for rice wine.
    Also I made a few tonight for a snack and froze the rest (uncooked). Nice to have on hand.

  138. Have made many times and we love this recipe this evening I am going to make after I grind my chicken with my Mother’s day gift of a meat grinder!

    Happy Mother’s Day

  139. Laura

    i am THOROUGHLY OBSESSED with these meatballs. just made them again for a dinner party pared with the cabbage slaw with spicy lime dressing.

    BTW, my turn to host our neighborhood dining club last week. for the theme i had everyone pick a recipe from your site and we did small plates. naturally everything was fantastic!

  140. Carissa R.

    Re: BAKING these: I’ve made these plenty of times, but this last time I went out on a limb and baked them, since I have a totally lovely Baked Turkey Meatballs w/ Lentils recipe from Williams-Sonoma that always works like a charm. These had what has to be the creepiest texture in a meatball I’ve ever experienced. (I’ve never eaten baked/congealed baby food that has had all the moisture removed from it but I have a good guess as to what it may taste like now…) Though my family ate them, I’ve got PLENTY of leftovers, and that is NEVER the case with these. It’ll be one of those recipes that I’ll now have to wait to re-visit because I kinda ruined it for a while, sadly. The moral of the story? Suck it up, friends, and cook these in a skillet as the recipe indicates.

  141. Bianca

    Glaze was great. I let it cook for at least 30 minutes so it could reduce enough. The meatballs were terribly wet though. Too wet. Adding an egg plus 1/4 cup additional moisture from the soy and sesame oil to only 1 lb of meat was overkill. I had to add at least a 1/2C panko to stiffen the mixture to a somewhat ballable blend. I also felt the flavor of the meatball was flat. It needed garlic and ginger to kick it up…kinda like a poststicker filling as others have mentioned doing. Glaze was great though.

  142. Miranda

    My Dad and I have made these a couple of times now for family dinners. I just thought I would comment to say that this week when we made them, we got a bit “distracted” (didn’t read the instructions properly!) and we just put all the sauce ingredients into a cold saucepan, set it to heat and then forgot about it again (ahem, yeah, sorry!). We probably cooked it for about 20 mins on a medium heat. It turned into the most gorgeous sticky, thick, toffee-like glaze ever.It was to die for! So we are definitely going to skip all that sauce prep again and just chuck it all in to bubble away!

    Also, we put the balls of meat mix onto a heated, heavy bottomed, flat non-stick pan without any oil and they fried beautifully. We did find the mix was quite wet each time we made these, but just put spoonfuls into the pan rather than pre-rolling balls. We will keep making them as they are now a firm family favourite dinner, with some boiled basmati rice and a green salad on the side. Thanks for a great recipe Deb!

  143. Just by looking at the bowl of meatball ingredients, I can taste this dish. I recently made a marinade very similar to this for some spareribs. I wished I had a Gewurztraminer that night, as I do now. Perfect.

  144. I am in the process of making these for friends tonight. I doubled the recipe and the sauce. The sauce obviously is taking much longer to reduce. But that’s not the problem. The sauce is way too salty! What can I do to cut the salty flavor of the sauce without adding water to thin it out? Any last minute suggestions? Thanks.

  145. Kimberly

    Hi Deb! Love your blog. Quick question, I need to make these a day in advance, could you please give your recommended instructions for reheating? Thank you.

  146. deb

    I would cook them until they are browned and *just* done in the center, then rewarm them in the oven on a tray. The sauce can be rewarmed in a microwave (I think?) or a saucepan.

  147. Leigh

    Great recipe. Thanks. I did cut back on the sugar and added lime juice. I think the next time I would sub some ponzu for some of the soy sauce.

  148. Jesse

    Delicious recipe. Blew people away at a party where everything else was chips, dips and salsa.

    I swapped the turkey for fresh ground pork and added garlic to the recipe.

    Thank you!

  149. Nina

    Haha, just read your comment 73, don’t think you saw many near empty rooms! I know Vancouver was so busy I could just hear your voice while standing in an aisle of books! Like the sound of this recipe but don’t want to have to brown them first, we’ll see how much energy I have for my holiday season kick off party this Saturday.

  150. Maggie V.

    I want to make these ahead and freeze. I’m thinking just undercooking when browning; making the glaze and freezing both separately. Please tell me this is okay — I’ve got 7# of meat in the refrigerator for ‘meatball making day’ – tomorrow. Party insn’t until 12/22 and they will be held in a chafer.

    Thanks.

  151. Maggie V.

    Hello Deb – these ‘taste-tested’ great. The meatballs are frozen, but the glaze, in a separate freezer bag won’t freeze. I had to use a combination of mirin and dry sherry but I would not have thought that would affect the freezing process.

    Thanks.

    1. deb

      Hi Maggie — Alcohol doesn’t freeze, right? (Or, not solid.) So, that’s likely the culprit. Doesn’t mean, I don’t think, that it won’t stay fresh in the freezer until needed.

  152. deb

    Hi Mary — If you check the recipe notes, they clarify that the recipe is only gluten-free if you use a gluten-free soy sauce. (I bought mine at Whole Foods, where there were more GF soy sauce brands than ones with gluten.)

  153. Pam Delaney

    I made these on Monday for NYE – our guests loved them! I baked them in the oven and they came out great (although a little flat like a slider). I also made the gruyere rosemary sea salt crisps from the cookbook and EVERYONE wanted the recipe! I think every lady there took a photo of the cookbook before she left so she could go buy it! Thank you for posting amazing recipes – I am never disappointed! Happy New Year!

  154. Emily

    I am recently GF and made these last night for a 10 person dinner party I hosted. I made the non-mini version by browning on both sides and then dumping them in my slow cooker. I didn’t reduce the sauce, but used it as my liquid in the slow cooker. They turned out AMAZING!! So juicy and delicious that I have had half the party guests ask for the recipe already. My foodie friend said they were the best thing she ate all night! Thanks for several years worth of recipes that I have used. I love that anything I make from here always turns out delicious!

  155. Victoria

    I’m a little confused. I was looking at the “Jewish” recipes to find something to make my boyfriend’s southern baptist parents who want to experience my culture, and this recipe was listed in the category. Was that a mistake, or is there something jewish about this recipe that I completely missed? Thanks Deb! Also, you’re in my city tonight, but I’m working and they won’t let me leave early to go to your book signing. SO BUMMED!

    1. deb

      Victoria — Ha! No, that would have been an accidental mis-filing. Just relieved they weren’t pork. ;) So sorry we didn’t get to meet!

  156. Sarah

    I made this for my husband who was skeptical- He now begs for me to make this whenever I can. We have made them for a recent cocktial party and guests they were pleasantly shocked that they were Turkey meatballs.
    The sauce is amazing and they said it best” This sauce is so good – you could put it on a shoe and it would taste good!”
    So … thank you for giving me this amazing go to receipe- I never cook- I don’t cook- and I frankly burn everything, but with this receipe I was able to impress my husband and all my friends and family. I can hold my head up a little higher now thanks to you!

  157. Mary

    This is a lovely and relatively simple recipe. I followed it exactly but next time I will not put 1/2 cup of soy sauce. It was way too salty. I simmered my sauce for about 45 mins to get it down to half the original amount. And I may just omit the soy sauce in the meat mixture all together. The other problem I had was making it look like meatballs. Mine came out more like meat cubes. Instead of serving it as finger food, I paired it with rice. Overall it’s still a good recipe. Thanks, Deb!

  158. Mark

    Saturday night. Scallion meatballs with soy-ginger glaze, paired with spring rolls and sticky rice. I’m smitten. I followed the recipe exactly (well, I used a mirin substitute) with no problems forming the meatballs. i would not add garlic to the meatballs as despite the comments I read … raw garlic in meatballs, no thanks. I could probably make a bucket of the glaze though, and it wouldn’t be enough. The best part … half are frozen and waiting in the freezer. Thank you Smitten Kitchen.

  159. Sara

    Hi there, LOVE your blog. I made these delicious meatballs about a month ago and I am making them again tonight. I have a question though: I saved some of the leftover sauce when I made them last and it is still in the fridge in a Tupperware container-it’s very thick and syrupy but I am thinking I can just reheat and re-use right? Nothing in the sauce can really go bad, but I thought I should check first. Thanks for any guidance!! Cheers to the weekend :)

  160. thekatester

    Made these meatballs last night for a Christmas party and they were a huge hit! One person even said they were the best they’ve ever eaten. Thank you for the recipe!

  161. Kris

    I made these for a Christmas Eve appetizer party and they were loved. When I tasted the sauce and meatballs separately I thought both were good but not anything special – it’s together that they were really delicious! First thing to be finished at the table. I used a cheap soy sauce and I definitely recommend using a higher-quality one to make the sauce less cloying.

  162. Inna

    Hi Deb, recently found your blog and became hooked on it for the last two weeks. Made the meatballs last night – they were excellent. To speed up the sauce, I just poured it on the skillet after the meatballs were done and the sauce got reduced in minutes. PS. Love your Russian recipe section – this is my background, but I never make anything like this – too much work involved :-)

  163. Lali

    Made them for dinner. Served with Basmati rice and Indian-style salad (chopped onion, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot with lemon juice and salt). They were excellent!

  164. Shanteri Baliga

    I made these today with chicken instead of pork and eliminated the sauce. They were so flavorful and the proportions were spot on! I also sauteed baby spinach in the same oil as the meatballs…..with rice, this is a great lunch combo for me.

  165. delicious flavors in the meatballs! they browned up nicely. as convenient as it is to do it all on the stovetop though, I’ve become quite accustomed to the ottolenghi 4 minute browning and 5-7 minute oven. I think I may try that next time with these. Also, I wonder if I reduced the glaze a little too much–it was very sticky and strong, not bad, but quite molassesy. I wondered if it should be a bit looser (this may have been because it cooked down faster as I divided the glaze amount by four since I only had 1/2 lb of turkey). I’m going to try your sesame ones in the book next!

  166. Zizzy

    A cry small ice cream scoop worked beautifully and you could drop them right into the hot pan without handling the meatball mixture over and over — I also added a couple tablespoons of corn starch to bind the meat mixture — Delicious and thanks for such fantastic flavors.

  167. Paula

    I made these for a New Years party. Very, very good. Loved all the flavors. I did add some breadcrumbs to the meat mixture because it was very wet and almost impossible to form into neat shapes (which I thought looked nicer). The meatballs were still very moist. Thanks for a great recipe!

  168. Made these for the Super Bowl last night… the mixture was so very wet, and despite tossing from palm to palm to shape, still ended up looking like little miniature patties/sliders. The flavor was great, so I certainly wouldn’t want to remove any of the meatball ingredients. I get my ground turkey (all of my meat actually) from several local farmers, and it had been frozen. I’m certain there was extra moisture because of that. And can we talk about that sauce?!?!?! I want to bathe in that sauce. I have some leftover, and great plans for some awesome-tasting veggies this week. Yum.

  169. I made these for a party yesterday along with your Middle Eastern, Greek and Italian meatballs. Each one had a paired dipping sauce and there were platters of crudites for dipping as well. Great fun!

    For simplicity, I used the same mix for all the meatballs (2/3 beef, 1/3 pork) including this one. I also followed your suggestion and added about half a cup of breadcrumbs to the mixture to bind and tenderize it. I was worried the sesame would be overpowering, but it was lovely! The sauce was fantastic too, exactly as is.

    But the real reason I’m commenting: I had some left over, so I reheated them in a sriracha-spiked chicken broth and added rice noodles and shredded cabbage. Ohhhhh my goodness. The perfect food for a single-digit winter evening.

  170. Just a follow up: I made these again after several months (have been on an Italian meatball kick..) and wow it’s all about Asian right now. I incorporated Deb’s suggestion to add a handful of breadcrumbs dampened with just a squirt water, and since I had a bit of trouble browning for the whole time last go around, I browned for 5 mins on stovetop and finished on a sheet pan in 400 oven for about 10. Since mine were a little bigger I found this method yielded perfect, moist and cooked through balls. Thanks again.

    1. deb

      Clara — You can freeze them, definitely. For me, freshness is more about the freezer — some pick up more smells. If yours does not, no reason they shouldn’t be as fresh as anything else after a month or so.

  171. Kwade

    I’ve made these delicious meatballs 10+ times and they are a crowd pleaser! I follow the recipe exactly. I recently made a triple batch for a party, served on a bed of Napa Slaw. I had extra, uncooked that I whipped into a turkey burger – topped with a lite mayo & chili garlic sauce — best turkey burger ever!! DP, thanks! I love your recipes.

  172. Hanna

    I LOVE these meatballs and have made them several times over. I want to make them for a party I’m throwing next weekend, but have a few questions-
    1) Do you think I can leave them “warming” in the oven at around 200F without drying them out?
    2) I can’t seem to find enough other Asian-y things to try for the party. Everything else I chose was Italian-esque. Your Caesar salad deviled eggs, your marinated eggplant with capers and mint, your bourbon slush punch, your marinated roasted peppers with capers and mozzarella (or maybe a Caprese salad depending on how delectable the tomatoes are!)… as you can see I am going for more of a finger food approach.

    Any ideas so that I can serve these awesome meatballs without having flavors that don’t make sense together?? (aka please help!) I’m fine to switch out a few of the others. Your help, great guru, would be much appreciated!

    PS- you’re the best. There’s no other blog I can find to blindly trust. Everything you make has the Midas touch!

  173. deb

    Hanna — I think you can leave them warming for a while, maybe not hours but if you’re nervous, you can always add a splash extra water to the meatballs to give them more protection from the heat. You might find some ideas in the small/sparsely populated Chinese, Vietnamese or Thai sections of the recipe archives. The fried egg salad, mango slaw and ginger fried rice are longtime favorites, as are the noodle dishes. And thank you!

  174. Lynda Barack

    Hi, I am desperately looking for an easy protein to serve at a holiday open house. We are making latkes so I need something that will require virtually zero effort at the party. Wondering what your thoughts would be about broiling these meatballs, for simplicity? Thinking if I could get dark meat or mix it might work? Thanks!

  175. JL

    Great recipe! Making them in stages in prep for a Christmas party so I just made the meatballs right now. Took the advice of some others and added 1/8 c of panko to help it hold together. I also added about 1 tbsp of garlic paste and a few shakes of garlic salt (I used low sodium soy sauce so it needed a little more salt to me). Per the author, I subbed parsley for cilantro because I’m not a big fan. Mixed it all together in my stand mixer. Used a tablespoon to measure out even little appetizer sized balls. Cooked them in a cast iron skillet, using 2 forks to turn every minute or so to slightly brown and keep them round, then let them cook through for an additonal 5 minutes. After letting them drain on paper towels for a few minutes (and sneaking a couple), I placed the meatballs on a foil lined cookie sheet and froze them. I’ll put then in a ziplock bag to store in the freezer. My plan is to make the sauce the day of my party, then dump the frozen meatballs and sauce in my slow cooker. These were pretty darn tasty by themselves so I can’t wait to try with the sauce. Thanks for the recipe!

  176. TerryB

    I made these for a christmas party also. Tripled it. Made the meatballs a couple of weeks ahead, baked them and frozen on a sheet pan , wrapped well, thawed them the morning of and reheated in the sauce in my electric fry pan. I did add some bread crumbs just to make handling easier. They were a big hit.

  177. Sara B

    We made these tonight – Vegetarian Style! I substituted most of the meat with ground soaked walnuts and then some tofu for variation. Aside from my sauce being VERY salty (I didn’t use reduced sodium, but definitely wished I had) these were lovely. I’ve never had real meatballs so I can’t vouch for how mine would compare to such a thing but they were tasty and hearty. We were both stuffed (especially after all of the water we consumed to deal with the saltiness!). Thanks for being an inspiration in my kitchen… Again and again!

  178. Kaela

    Made these for a holiday party. They are delicious. I made half the night before and then made another batch on the day of the party. The sauce was a little tricky – turned into a hard candy before I knew it. Made it a second time and it was still really thick – but completely delicious. Am making them again tonight for dinner and love the flavors. Thanks for this super easy recipe!

  179. Trishy

    Made these for a post holiday party and they were devoured in minutes. Nobody realized they were turkey, which is a compliment, apparently! Thanks for keeping the recipes coming, Deb!

  180. Candace Jordan

    Another winner, Deb! I used 3/4 c fresh parsley and 1/2 tsp dried cilantro bc. my market was out of fresh cilantro. Were I to do anything differently it would be to be as generous with the oil as Deb says! My second batch of meatballs stuck to the cast iron pan when the oil became scant.
    I will make another batch with chicken, but I suspect turkey is the way to go.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  181. Candace Jordan

    Funny! So as per my comment above, I made another batch with minced chicken, and whereas before I used parsley, this time I used cilantro.
    Wow! I love cilantro and cook with it often, but this batch of meatballs taste like dish-soap to me. (I hear there is something genetic about whether or not one thinks cilantro tastes like dish soap). I find this strange, as I have enjoyed cilantro in other dishes.
    When I make this again, I will stick to turkey (which was more moist and absorbed flavors better) and parsley.
    Thanks, Deb.

  182. Ali

    yum-o! I made these last night to have as leftovers for the week, they’re so great! I made a pot of basmati rice on the side as some other commenters have also mentioned. To pack for lunches I drizzled the sauce over the rice and then put the meatballs on top, to avoid soggyness. The rice soaked everything up wonderfully and I’m looking forward to an interesting, wholesome, relatively healthy week of lunches!

  183. Mira Laime

    My meat balls didn’t turn out as meat balls, they were weird three-sided blobs :( I have no idea how you’re supposed to get them round and evenly cooked. Next time I’m making patties instead of balls. The sauce took more like an hour and a half until it turned into anything resembling syrup.

    The taste was excellent though, so I’m gonna be making these again!