These tender Mongolian meatballs are infused with Asian-inspired ingredients and coated with a deliciously sticky Mongolian sauce.
Mongolian beef meatballs are packed with classic Asian flavors such as ginger, soy sauce, and green onion, then slathered in a similar sauce as used in my Mongolian Beef recipe. Needless to say, these delicious meatballs coated in a sticky glaze will be a hit with the whole family.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Ground beef - I recommend 80/20 beef for all meatballs, the fat is need to make juicy meatballs and it provides a richer flavor compared to overly lean ground beef.
- Ground pork - I feel the best meatballs are an equal mixture of pork and beef. However, you can use just one or the other in a pinch.
- Panko breadcrumbs - You can substitute plain breadcrumbs instead. But if we are doing Asain-styled meatballs, panko is appropriate.
- Beef broth - Beef broth will add moisture and flavor to the meatballs and sauce.
- Eggs - Eggs help bind everything together, but you can make meatballs without eggs if needed.
- Green onions
- Light soy sauce - I use low sodium soy sauce so it doesn't get too salty.
- Fresh ginger
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is best, but 1 teaspoon of garlic powder can be substituted in the meatballs if needed. I would not use powder in the sauce
- Ground black pepper
- Brown sugar - This is needed to add sweetness to the sauce, similar to an Asian BBQ sauce.
- Crushed red pepper flakes - Adds a touch of heat to offset the sweetness. This can be omitted if you don't like heat.
Any Asian-style meatballs are best served over rice. I like serving my Mongolian meatballs with Jasmine rice, but you can also swap out basmati, or even plain old white rice. Serve a wedge of lime on the side, and sprinkled with sesame seeds for a better presentation.
How to make them
Prepare the meatballs by crumbling the meat into a mixing bowl then add all remaining meatball ingredients. The eggs should be beaten prior to adding to the bowl. Mix everything together thoroughly with clean hands to ensure it is well combined.
Form the meatballs by removing 1-2 tablespoons of meat mixture at a time and gently roll between your palms to form into balls. Set on a rimmed baking pan.
Tip: If the meat mixture starts sticking to your hands, wetting your hands with a little water will keep everything from sticking.
Bake the meatballs in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Personal Preference Note: I often stop baking them 5 minutes early and crank my broiler on high and finish cooking them on the top rack. The broiler adds a nice crust to the exterior of the sticky Mongolian meatballs!
How to make the meatball glaze
The Mongolian-style sauce is both dead simple to make, and easy to screw up if you lack confidence in your cooking. All of the sauce ingredients get added to a small saucepan and then simmered until properly thickened into a glaze. Sounds easy enough, right? If this is your first time making it, you may get concerned your sauce is too thin, don't fret.
Here is what you need to know: Expect this savory sauce to be VERY thin while it is simmering, right up until the end. As it simmers, moisture evaporates and it slowly thickens. Once enough moisture has evaporated it will quickly transform from thin liquid to sticky syrup. Your sauce is done when it reminds you of the consistency of maple syrup.
Toss your cooked meatballs in the glaze and serve over white rice.
Storing & Reheating Leftovers
Leftover meatballs should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week. The meatballs can be reheated in individual servings in the microwave as needed.
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- 1 pound ground beef (80/20 recommended)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup beef broth
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 2 green onions (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- lime wedges
- sesame seeds
- 1 cup Jasmine rice (cook according to package instructions)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Gently crumble beef and pork into a large bowl and add all remaining meatball ingredients. Mix together thoroughly with clean hands until well combined.
- Scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of meat mixture and gently roll between your palms to form into a round ball. Set evenly spaced apart on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 20 minutes, or until they reach 160 degrees.
- Prepare the sauce while meatballs are baking.
- Add all sauce ingredients to a small saucepan, and bring to a brisk simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce reduces to a sticky syrup.
- Tip: If the sauce is too thin, it just needs to simmer long. If the sauce is too thick, dribble in a little water to thin it back out.
- Place meatballs in a large bowl and pour over sauce. Toss to evenly coat.
- Serve meatballs over a bed of rice and spinkle with sesame seeds. Serve a lime wedge on teh sdie.
This post was originally published on June 26, 2020.