Spicy Orange Ginger Glazed Meatballs

February 23rd, 2012  |  Family Dinner, Favorites, Oink  |  2 Comments

You would think that when I go back home to see my mom {who lives in San Antonio and cooks like nobody's business} and she asks me what I want her to make me for dinner when I come to visit that I might bust out something like "chicken fried steak" or "King Ranch chicken" or "fried catfish" or something of the like, because she can make those things better than anyone else I know and I can't get those things in California.

The fact is whenever I go home, I beg her to make these meatballs.  Chinese style meatballs.  They are beyond amazing and I'm not quite sure how in the world she came to perfect an Asian-inspired dish like this, but she did!  And I LOVE them.  I know Italians have this thing with their meatballs and while I always enjoy a good Italian meatball, I'd take these Asian style over them any day.

Now, I've watched her make these the last 3 times I've been to visit and I swear the recipe is different every time.... but never once has the flavor been sacrificed or could I say that one was better the other.  They are always perfect and oh-so {eye-rolling-in-the-back-of-the-head}delicious.  I'm telling you this because if you are missing something like Chinese 5 spice, don't worry about it.  I know she didn't use it the first two times she made this; and I also know that she used plum sauce instead of the orange marmalade one time, so feel free to make those substitutions if it makes it easier or sounds better to you.

My husband, who suddenly after we got married developed an aversion to Asian food, said he thought these were better than Mama's {don't be mad, Ma}.   That's a lot coming from him, because he would certainly prefer to be eating some barbecue or good Tex-Mex when we're home, and yet--it never fails--he always ends up fighting with me over the last meatball!  What is it with meatballs and fighting, anyway?  [Don't hate me for watching smut TV]



For the meatballs:
3/4 lb ground pork
3/4 lb ground chicken (or turkey)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 egg
2/3 cup Kikkoman panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the sauce:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
2/3 cup chicken broth
zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
1/4 cup orange marmalade

green onions or chives, to garnish


In a medium bowl, combine all meatball ingredients.  Mix very well--don't be afraid to use your hands--and shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.

Place meatballs on a cookie sheet;  this can be done ahead of time and you can cover the meatballs with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook them.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and heat until a tiny piece of meatball sizzles.  Once oil is hot, add meatballs and allow to cook until all sides are dark golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

While meatballs are cooking, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a medium pan.  Set heat to medium low and allow sauce to simmer, thicken and reduce by about half, approximately 10 minutes.

Toss meatballs in sauce, spoon over your favorite rice {I prefer Jasmine cooked in chicken broth} and garnish with sliced green onions.  DELISH!

Since my friends at Kikkoman were so generous in sending me products to cook with, I made a few modifications to my mom's recipe--maybe they were the secret to making them even better!

2 thoughts on “Spicy Orange Ginger Glazed Meatballs

  1. These were amazing! My 2.5 year old ate 4 and my 9 month old even had one..without the sauce. Can’t wait for the leftovers! My husband said this is a keeper.

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