Asian Meatballs

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asian meatballs

I’ve got an easy recipe for delicious ginger, garlic, lime and cilantro Asian meatballs with coconut rice here today. My starting point for this recipe was a pound of beef from the round that I had in the fridge and didn’t know what to do with. Beef round cuts are very tough so I knew I had to resort to extreme measures and that extreme measure was the food processor. I just ground it all up and voila, the toughness problem was solved.

Next, the flavor. I like to marinate beef in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lime juice and cilantro but instead of marinating, I just mixed all that good stuff into the beef here (I soaked the lime juice into bread cubes along with some milk, a trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen). For a little bit of heat I fried these guys in chili pepper-infused vegetable oil. I served some coconut rice (recipe courtesy of the Food Network) to go along and altogether got a fantastic meal.

More delicious Asian-inspired recipes:

asian meatballs
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5 from 5 votes

Asian Meatballs

An easy recipe for delicious ginger, garlic, lime and cilantro Asian meatballs with coconut rice.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: asian meatballs
Servings: 2
Calories: 1120kcal


For the coconut rice:

  • 1/2 cup jasmine rice, white or brown
  • water
  • coconut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound beef, from the round
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 slices sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 5 dried chili peppers, whole
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil


For the coconut rice:

  • Cook the rice according to package instructions but substitute 1/3 of the water with coconut milk.

For the meatballs:

  • Cut the beef into about 1-inch cubes and put in the freezer for 20 minutes to make it easier to process.
  • Meanwhile mix milk and lime juice together in a large bowl, cut the sandwich bread into 1/2-inch cubes and soak in the milk mix for 10 minutes.
  • Take the beef out of the freezer and process in a food processor until you have finely ground beef.
  • Mash up the soaked bread cubes with a fork.
  • Mix the beef into the bread.
  • Mix cilantro, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and egg into the beef/bread mix.
  • Form small meatballs (about 1.5 inches in diameter).
  • Heat vegetable oil and dried chili peppers in a cast iron pan until the oil is shimmering.  
  • Fry the meatballs until crispy and brown on the outside and cooked on the inside.


Calories: 1120kcal

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asian meatballs


  1. meme shebroe says:


    Amazing good! Similar to my old quick recipe with ground turkey. I bake my meatballs au lieu of frying, and served them over the coconut rice garnished all with chopped cilantro and crushed garlic for extra taste. It was a YUMMY meal and/or served for cocktails! Thanks Nicole for bringing back this great recipe, and which I have shared many times.

  2. Nagi@RecipeTin Eats says:

    I almost broke my laptop reaching in to grab one of those babies….this is my kind of flavours!! My kind of food!!

    You probably get sick of hearing me say this but I love your photo…as usual….in particular, I like that this one is pulled back compared to most that you share which is basically just you showing off the breadth of your skills ;) Thanks for the tips as well!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Aw, thank you, Nagi! (I actually would have liked to step back even further here but couldn’t because the metal tray in the background wasn’t wide enough). :)

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