Ready for a Korean inspired meal for the weekend? I think these little beauties are going to change your life in a good way. The reason why? They are virtually “hassle free” because they are baked not fried, which translates to no oil splattering everywhere. As well, a much healthier option.
Plus, they are dressed in an exotic spicy apricot glaze which is so good I could schmear it on just about everything.
I love serving these with egg noodles, a side of stir fried vegetables or adding the vegetables right into the dish before serving. You can also serve these as an appetizer for your next party! Your guests are going to give you the thumbs up on these for sure.
Lately, Steve and I have been eating super low carb meals so I’m serving these with zucchini noodles or even popping them into lettuce wraps!
Now, if you look at this recipe closely, there is a key ingredient that is a “must” incorporated into both the meatballs and the glaze. It’s called Gochujang and it’s a Korean chili paste. Here’s the question. Is it necessary to buy this and have it hanging around in your fridge after using it for one recipe? Of course, and why not? I have so many cool sauces in the fridge which I always throw into recipes. The more the merrier.
What exactly is Gochujang? It’s a red chili paste that also contains glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt, and sometimes sweeteners. It’s thick, sticky, spicy, and packs a a big flavour punch. You can buy mildly spiced or smokin’ hot depending on what the brand offers.
I have pulled this out on several occasions to use in chicken recipes and it is amazing on wings and other things. Since it’s very concentrated, just use caution when adding it to your favourite barbecue sauces. Better to add a little and increase it to your taste buds.
Here’s some FAQ’s I have received when I first posted this recipe on my insta story.
Can I make these meatballs ahead of time?
Yes! These Korean meatballs are perfect and easy to make ahead of time! As with most of my meatball recipes, I like to make a big ol’ batch and enjoy them for dinner and leftovers during the week. Here are three “make ahead” options for you to choose from.
- Mix the meatball ingredients ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Then when you’re ready to cook, roll the meatballs and bake, then get going on the sauce.
- Make ahead, cook and refrigerate. Just follow the steps in the recipe below and store cooked meatballs and sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. When you’re ready to eat, transfer meatballs and sauce to a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally until meatballs are heated through.
- Make ahead and freeze. This is what I do for all my holiday dinners. For this specific recipe, I would follow the instructions in the recipe below for cooking the meatballs, but wait to cook the sauce until the day you plan to serve them. Let meatballs cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge the day before cooking. Make sauce according to recipe directions and simmer thawed meatballs in the sauce until they are heated through or place all the meatballs and sauce into an oven proof baking dish and heat low and slow until heated through.
You guys know how much I love a good meatball. These are definitely going to be a favourite of yours too.
- 2 lbs minced meat of your choice, (you can use chicken, turkey, beef, lamb or pork)
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 slices of egg bread (challah) - processed into crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Spicy Korean Apricot Glaze
- ½ cup apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- Optional garnishes and add-ins: sliced green scallions, fresh pineapple chunks, chopped peanuts and cilantro.
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a non-stick baking rack on top or use a parchment paper lined sheet. Set aside. *Note* I like placing my meatballs on the baking rack so the fat drips off onto the baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, add all the meatball ingredients and mix with your hands to combine. Form the meatballs into small 1 inch balls. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together all the glaze ingredients. Add the meatballs and toss well until all the meatballs are glazed.
- Garnish as desired (I added steamed red pepper, fresh pineapple, scallions and chopped peanuts) and serve with cooked noodles or rice.