Asian BBQ Meatballs

This recipe blossomed from my mom outwardly wondering what we were going to have for dinner. I told her that I would make dinner, so she could just relax a little. [She certainly doesn’t have many chances to do that!] I started thinking what I could make that would make my whole family happy (not all are as taste-adventurous as yours truly)..
We had ground chicken in the fridge and my recipe-creator gears started whirring in my head, attempting to create something unique and relatively simple to make.
You may be thinking..meatballs..unique? Not very. BUT I put a bit of a twist on these little round shaped balls of meat. I created an ‘Asian BBQ’ sauce to top them and give them a bit of a kick.
I don’t actually know if this would be considered Asian, but that was my inspiration for the flavor palate. They were easier to make than I thought!
The whole family loved it and said it was definitely a keeper. I know it’s just my family and they would never shun me for a bad recipe, but I always get nervous to see how they like something I created. It’s a thought-baby you want everyone to think is cute. Weird comparison.
After dinner, my mom started naming all of these things she’d like to put the sauce on…I think that means she liked it a little bit.
There aren’t very many ingredients and they are most likely all ingredients you have on hand. It’s perfect for a quick throw together meal for those I-have-to-run-to-rehearsal, or I’m-too-tired kind of night. Enjoy your chels-ified Asian BBQ Meatballs.

Asian BBQ meatballs chopsticks

Asian BBQ Meatballs
Serves 4

-1 pound lean ground chicken
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 green onion, chopped (or a little less than half of a normal onion))
-2 tablespoons Organic Tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-a pinch of salt

Asian BBQ sauce:
-2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon ketchup
-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
-1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
-A pinch of ginger
-1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Organic Tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
-a teeny tiny (real cooking term) splash of rice vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a piece of foil in a pan with sides (I learned the hard way) and spray with non stick cooking spray.
2. Mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Scoop teaspoon size meatballs onto the foil. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
4. While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in small bowl and stir well. Divide evenly into 2 separate bowls.
5. After the first 10 minute meatball baking period, remove the meatballs from the oven and flip them over. Take one of the sauce bowls and brush all of the meatballs with some of the Asian BBQ. *Then throw out that bowl of sauce! We don’t want cross contamination!*
6. Bake for 15- 20 minutes longer, or until the inside is no longer pink.
7. You can pour a bit of sauce, from the second bowl, on the side of your plate to dip your meatballs in.

Asian BBQ meatballs all

I really, really liked how these turned out. The sauce was tangy, and even a little bit sweet due to the ketchup. I served the meatballs with stir fried rice and broccoli…perfect combination, if you ask me.
Super easy and super quick! My kind of well-balanced, delicious and nutritious meal 🙂

Asian BBQ meatballs rows

Ingredient Chalk-talk:

Chicken has a surprising number (at least to me) of health benefits. It is, obviously a great protein source which aids in supporting a healthy body weight, keeps energy levels high, promotes healthy bone growth, and muscle growth. It increases your serotonin levels and which makes it a natural anti-depressant. It also controls an amino acid called Homocysteine which may cause cardiovascular disease. Chicken is high in phosphorus which helps maintain healthy teeth, kidneys, and central nervous system. So chicken is better for you than you thought, huh?

Tamari is not soy sauce, but it is very similar. Both sauces are produced using fermented soy beans, however, Tamari is Japanese and wheat free (but if you are GF double check the label) while soy sauce is not. It is a bit thicker, gives a richer and is less salty tasting than soy sauce. The richness in flavor of the Tamari, comes from the amino acids derived from the actual soy bean. It is a good source of Vitamin B3, protein, manganese, and tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that promotes healthy growth in children, balanced nitrogen levels in adults, and aids in the production of serotonin (the happy-body chemical.) Now like everything else, moderation is key. Though Tamari does contain less salt than soy sauce it still contains a lot! I ONLY use Organic Tamari because soy is one of the most GMO ridden food produced.

Ginger is used very commonly in Asian cuisine. Ginger is believed to alleviate gastrointestinal distress, and has been shown to contain antioxidants which inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds (fight those free radicals.) It can reduce the symptoms of sea sickness, dizziness, and cold sweating. Ginger is filled with gingerals (a powerful antioxidant) that may reduce pain and increase movement ability in those suffering from osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. It may even kill Ovarian cancer cells! (though more research is needed) Taste wise, it adds complexity to the flavor profile of a dish and is absolutely necessary for many Asian dishes…ginger is very strong and a little sprinkle goes a long way. Use it well and use it often.

Garlic is a member of the Allium family and is very rich in sulfur-containing compounds like, thiosulfinates and sulfoxides These compounds create the unmistakable garlic-y odor, but also keep your blood pressure under control by dilating you blood vessels. It is also a great source of manganese, Vitamin C, and selenium. The Vitamin C, primary antioxidant in garlic, not only contributes to a great immune system but has also been show to defend LDL cholesterol (the good stuff) in your body. Garlic has also been show to improve cardiovascular health. It lowers blood triglycerides and cholesterol, and most impressively, protect blood cells and vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress…which = the prevention of clogged arteries!!

These are little ninjas of health! Go forth and enjoy 🙂

Until next time,


“Laughter is brighter where food is best.” Irish Proverb

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