Japanese meatballs

I am pretty hopeless with chopsticks in spite of lots of practice but the fact that these Japanese-style has nothing to do with their being easier to eat than a lot of Asian food – it’s the flavour – mostly derived from the ginger – which makes these meatballs so good. I’ve anglicised the recipe a bit – if you want to be more authentic use rice wine vinegar instead of the cider vinegar.

Serve with a salad of baby spinach leaves.

This will freeze, but if that’s what you’re planning under-blanch the cauliflower or it will lose its bite completely.


japanese meatballs recipe


Recipe for Japanese meatballs

Serves 4


  • 8 spring onions – thinly sliced and including about an inch (2 cm) of the green, but keep that separate
  • 200g/7 oz minced beef (not fatty)
  • 200g/7 oz minced pork
  • About an inch (2 cm) of ginger, peeled and grated (did you know you can keep ginger in the freezer and peel and grate as and when you need?)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • about 3 tbsps. of cornflour
  • 1 tsp smoked salt and generous grinds of Indonesian long pepper
  • rapeseed oil for shallow frying
  • 2 tbsps sesame seeds – dry fried
  • 120ml/½ cup good quality soy sauce – follow this link to find out about soy sauce quality, you don’t want the horrid watery stuff.
  • 15g sachet Clearspring miso instant soup paste with sea vegetables
  • 2 tbsps of sake
  • 4 tbsps cider vinegar
  • 300g/10 oz blanched cauliflower florets (a small-medium sized cauliflower)


  1. In a big mixing bowl mix the minced meats and the white part of the spring onions; the egg; the ginger; the sesame oil; 1 tbsp of cornflour and the salt and pepper – the mixture should start to feel a bit elastic
  2. Pour a generous amount of rapeseed oil into a big frying pan and get it good and hot.
  3. Meanwhile make golf-ball-sized meatballs, and sieve a little more cornflour lightly over them.
  4. Fry the meatballs turning frequently until they are crispy all over – a couple of minutes on each surface. Drain onto kitchen paper and keep warm.
  5. In the same frying pan mix the soy sauce, miso soup paste, vinegar, sake, and 120ml/½ cup water and bring the mixture to the boil
  6. Put the meatballs back into the frying pan.
  7. Mix 1 tbsp of cornflour with 3 tbsps of cold water, add to the juices in the frying pan and mix in well to avoid lumps forming. Stir to cover the meatballs
  8. Serve, garnished with the sesame seeds and thinly sliced green of the spring onions.


japanese meatball recipe


For other recipes for meatballs on Saucy Dressings, follow this link.

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