Asian Chicken Meatballs

Asian Meatballs

Meatballs are a staple and always a favorite in our house. I learned to make meatballs the old-fashion Italian way using veal and pork, which yield the most succulent meatballs, but as I look for healthier options, I have found that a mixture of chicken breast and thigh meat can make meatballs super juicy and tasty without all the fat.

There are two ways to approach cooking these: baking or frying. Obviously baking them is the healthiest way but it is also the easiest to over-cook them and make them dry so to avoid this, cooking them until just done is the best method then test them to see if they are fully cooked through prior to finishing them. The other option is to fry them, which is a sure-fire way to make the perfect meatballs each and every time.

My mother would think I am nuts to make chicken meatballs, even stranger to make them Asian style, but here you go… simple, tasty and healthy Asian Meatballs.

Serve with brown rice and your favorite green veggie.

Yield: 8-12 meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: Baking: 40 minutes, Frying: 20 minutes


for the meatballs

  • ½ pound ground chicken thigh
  • ½ pound ground chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ ground pepper
  • vegetable oil

for the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

for the garnish

  • toasted sesame seeds


  1. In a bowl, combine meats, ginger, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Knead the mixture until well combined. If it is too wet to roll into balls add more breadcrumbs so that the mixture comes together.
  2. For frying: preheat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the meatballs. When one side is brown and lifts easily from the pan continue to turn the meatballs until all sides are golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. For baking: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the bottom of an oven safe pan. Place the meatballs in the pan so that they do not touch. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Either use the same skillet from frying to heat a new skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil, garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds. Then pour in the hoisin, vinegar and brown sugar. Whisk until it comes to a slow simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce coating all sides of them. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with brown rice and your favorite green veggie. Garnish with sesame seeds.


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