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Asian-Inspired Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Get your tastebuds ready for some bold flavors we bring for a twist on a classic dish.
Asian-Inspired Chicken Meatballs RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Meatballs are hardly the sole provenance of Italian grandmothers and their oversize vats of tomato “gravy.” Most of the world has its own spin on the combination of ground meat and seasonings, and you’d be wise to embrace a few in your kitchen. These chicken meatballs are inspired by street-corner grills in Vietnam and Thailand, where ginger, garlic, and chiles reign supreme. With those bold flavors, plus the char of a hot charcoal grill, you won’t need a fat-heavy mix of meat, or even a pile of spaghetti, to make an outstanding dinner with this chicken meatballs recipe. Serve them with steamed rice, cucumbers, maybe a bit of sauce, and big lettuce leaves for wrapping and let everyone make their own Asian-style burrito.

Nutrition: 230 calories, 12 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 670 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1 lb ground chicken or pork
1 small red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced lemongrass (optional)
1  jalapeño pepper, minced
2  tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4–8 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
Boston lettuce, steamed rice, pickled cucumber salad, ginger scallion sauce, and/or sriracha for serving

How to Make It

  1. Preheat a clean, lightly oiled grill or grill pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat with the onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass if desired, jalapeño, sugar, and salt, stirring gently to evenly distribute all the ingredients.
  3. Roll the mixture into golf ball–size orbs, then carefully thread 3 or 4 onto each skewer.
  4. When your grill is hot, add the meatball skewers and grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until a light char has developed on the outside and the meatballs are cooked through.  When done, they should feel firm, but springy to the touch.
  5. Use the lettuce and rice to make little Asian-style wraps with the meatballs, topping with cucumbers and your choice of sauces.

Eat This Tip

Asian Wraps

Korean cuisine loves to use large lettuce leaves to house grilled meats, rice, kimchi, and sauces. In fact, it could be anything: grilled steak, pork loin, chicken chunks, even grilled vegetables. It’s like eating a delicious burrito for a quarter of the calories. Invent at will; just don’t forget the sriracha.

RELATED: Healthier comfort food recipes you can make at home.

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