Asian Sesame Party Meatballs

Asian-Sesame-Party-Meatballs-099 copy.jpg
Asian-Sesame-Party-Meatballs-099 copy.jpg

It's a simple appetizer for game day, or a great weeknight dinner! Valerie Brunmeier, author of the new cookbook Foolproof Family Slow Cooker, joined us to share her versatile recipe.

ASIAN SESAME PARTY MEATBALLS

There’s something about the addition of sesame oil to a dish that makes it completely irresistible, and this recipe is no exception. That amazing toasted sesame flavor is excellent combined with fresh ginger and garlic in these tasty meatballs. After simmering in your slow cooker in a hoisin- and soy sauce–based sauce that’s sweetened with brown sugar, they become one of the most fabulous party snacks ever! Have a large group coming? Double the recipe in a six-quart (5.7-L) slow cooker.

As much as I love serving these meatballs at parties, they also make for a simple dinner when served over rice with steamed broccoli or green beans.

SERVES 8 MEATBALLS

  • 1 lb (450 g) lean ground pork
  • 1 lb (450 g) lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (20 g) panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup (66 g) grated onion
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • 1 heaping tsp finely grated ginger root
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) ketchup
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry sherry
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) sriracha, or to taste1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp (10 g) finely grated ginger root

GARNISH

  • 2 tbsp (30 g) sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F (230C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pork, beef, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 112-inch (4-cm) diameter meatballs, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should end up with 26 to 28 meatballs. Bake the meatballs for 15 to18 minutes, until lightly browned. They don’t need to be completely cooked through at this point.
  3. Meanwhile, coat the insert of a 4-quart (3.8-L) slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, sherry, ginger, sriracha and garlic in a small mixing bowl. Set aside the mixture.
  4. Add the browned meatballs to the prepared slow cooker and pour the sauce over the top. Lightly toss the meatballs with a spoon to coat them with the sauce. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is bubbly.
  5. Garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions and serve directly from the slow cooker, or transfer the meatballs to a platter to garnish and serve.
  6. Note: The sauce has just a touch of heat if you use the amount of sriracha indicated. Use less for a milder result, or more.