If you are reading this post, it’s probably safe to say you look to the internet for cooking inspiration and you’re not alone. While I must own over 100 cookbooks, I also receive half a dozen email newsletters a day with links to recipes and I often click through in order to gain ideas for something new to make for dinner. These Korean Barbecue Style Meatballs are a direct result of a New York Times cooking section recipe of the same name that showed up in my inbox one morning. I’m not linking to the recipe because it’s behind a paywall, but it’s easily found if you have access.
It’s also not unusual for me to read the recipe and think, well, that looks good, but… In this case, it seemed odd to me that the original recipe had almost no spice or flavor in it. For that reason, I added ginger, sesame oil, a little brown sugar, and most importantly, the traditional Korean gochujang chili paste to the original ingredients. You can find gochujang in any market that sells Korean ingredients or on this Amazon link. I also made the meatballs smaller, only an ounce each. This way they’re easier to eat, look more bountiful on the plate, and are even the perfect size to be served as canapes for a cocktail party.
These meatballs go well with rice, especially when served with the dipping sauce in the recipe below (I like to drizzle some of the sauce over my rice too). I served this with some quick pickled cabbage and carrots, but of course, it would go well with kimchi. I also served some of my cucumber salad with the leftover meatballs for lunch the next day and I think they would be delicious on a Vietnamese bahn mi style sandwich too.
If you aren’t familiar with Korean Barbecue restaurants, here’s a quick primer. And before anyone says it, yes, I’m well aware this isn’t an authentic Korean dish. It’s not meant to be. It’s simply inspired by typical Korean barbecue flavors.
Do these Korean Barbecue Style Meatballs sound good to you? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to leave me a comment or question, I’d love to hear from you!
1.25lbs.ground beefuse 80/20 (20% fat) for a moister meatball
Dipping Sauce (optional)
2tablespoonsrice wine vinegar
1teaspoonchili crisp sauce, or sambal oelek,or any other spicy chili sauce you prefer
For Garnish (optional)
.5teaspoon sesame seeds
1eachgreen onionthinly sliced
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, add all ingredients except the ground beef and panko bread crumbs. Whisk together the ingredients. Add the ground beef and the panko bread crumbs to the bowl and combine with your hands until well mixed.
Shape the meat into one ounce meatballs. I recommend using a scale to keep the sizing consistent (see notes).
Place the meatballs on a parchment lined sheet pan at least 1" apart. Makes approximately 25-26 one ounce meatballs.
Bake at 425° until cooked through and lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.
Serve 5-6 warm meatballs with rice or noodles and the dipping sauce. I served this with a quick pickled slaw and later served the leftovers with some cucumber salad.I highly recommend adding a kitchen scale to your culinary tools if you don't have one. This Nicewell Food Scale is my latest purchase and I think it's absolutely fabulous. It goes up to 22 lbs and low as 1 gram and it's easy to clean! For even easier cleanup, cover your scale with plastic wrap before using.For easy clean-up, I like these pre-cut parchment paper sheets which fit perfectly on standard half sheet pans.
Note, some links in this post may be affiliate links. Using them adds no cost to you, but a very small percentage of anything you purchase does go to help support this site.