Gochujang Chicken Meatballs or Korean Chicken Meatballs - After Korean Chicken Wings & Korean Cauliflower Wings, if I have enjoyed anything more than that, it is this spicy, sweet, and Sticky Korean Gochujang Chicken Meatballs.
Korean Chicken Meatballs - Crispy on the outside and sweet, soft, and meaty on the inside these meatballs are beyond delicious.
Korean Chicken Meatballs Recipe
These Sticky Korean Meatballs are all about sweet, spicy, and umami flavors. It's super crispy on the outside and so flavorful on the inside. The sticky and slightly spicy sauce is simply the best thing that anyone could ever ask for.
The sauce is thick, sticky, and packed with flavors.
It's all about Gochujang
If you've used Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste), you'd probably know its taste. If not, then be prepared to taste some umami flavors. It's this one paste that turns out to be a total game-changer for this chicken meatball recipe. Gochujang has a unique blend of flavors which is extremely hard to describe. All you have to do is simply close your eyes and let your taste buds feel it.
Gochujang is used while making the meatballs and also when we are preparing the sticky sauce. It's neither too sweet, nor too spicy. For the first time, when I tasted it, I was like - "what on Earth is this? (in a good way)". The flavors were unbelievable. Adding it to the sauce made it taste even better.
Let's take a quick look at the things that you'll need to make Gochujang Meatballs.
Ingredients Needed for Gochujang Chicken Meatballs:
To Make Korean Meatballs:
- Olive Oil - You need some Olive Oil to saute the filling for meatballs.
- Onions - I have used some onions to give the meatballs a tasty filling on the inside.
- Ginger - Ginger has an earthy tone to itself which makes the meatball and sauce taste so good.
- Garlic - You cannot have Korean Meatballs without some Garlicky kick.
- Bell Pepper - You will need to use finely chopped bell peppers for this recipe/
- Chili Flakes - If you want to heat in your meatballs then you must add chili flakes to your filling.
- Salt & pepper - The basic seasoning to give some life to these meatballs.
- Gochujang - Make sure you taste your Gochujang before using it. This will help you decide how spicy it is. Depending on that you can adjust the spices in your recipe.
- Vinegar - Rice Vinegar accentuates other flavors and also balances the saltiness of the recipe.
- Soy Sauce - Make sure you use low sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari to make this recipe.
- Ground Chicken - Instead of Ground Chicken you can use Ground Turkey or Ground Beef as well.
- Panko Breadcrumbs - Panko Breadcrumbs is so important to give shape to your meatballs.
- Eggs - Eggs are important to hold the shape of the meatballs.
For the Sticky Korean Meatball Sauce
- Soy Sauce- Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari is important for this recipe/
- Vinegar - I have used rice vinegar to cut out the excess saltiness and add a tangy, tarty touch to this Korean Meatball recipe.
- Brown Sugar - Brown Sugar brings that caramel-y texture and that sweetness to our Meatballs.
- Honey - Honey will balance the heat and make it taste amazing.
- Ginger - Chopped Ginger will add an earthy tone to our Korean Meatballs.
- Garlic - Some Minced Garlic will make our Sticky sauce all the more flavorful.
How to make Sticky Gochujang Chicken Meatballs?
- Saute: In a saute pan, add some olive oil. Into that add chopped Onions, minced garlic, and chopped ginger. Saute them for 30-seconds and then add chopped bell pepper. Make sure you do not overcook your bell pepper. Since we want it to be a bit crunchy. In this add Chili Flakes, Salt, Pepper, Gochujang Paste, Rice vinegar, and Soy Sauce. Stir lightly and allow this to simmer for 1-minute.
- Make Meatballs: Mix them with ground chicken, Panko Breadcrumbs, and Eggs. Use a spoon to mix well. Scoop out a small portion of the filling and make small meatballs. Cook them in hot oil until all sides are golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- Make Korean Sauce: Take a bowl or a pyrex measuring jar. Into that mix Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Gochujang Paste, Brown Sugar, Honey, Chopped Ginger, and Minced Garlic. Stir well to combine.
- Make the Sauce sticky: Pour this sauce in your saute pan. Allow it to simmer for 2-minutes on low heat so that it gets sticky.
- Add Meatballs: Now add your meatballs and use a spoon to coat them in the sticky Korean sauce.
- Serve: Serve your Gochujang Chicken Meatballs with plain rice and garnish with some green onions.
Recipe Tips that you won't find anywhere else
- Gochujang - Gochujang or Korean Chili Paste is quite spicy. But, it also depends from brand to brand. Some might be too spicy whereas some might be moderately spicy. Depending upon the heat factor of your Gochujang paste, you can choose or not choose a certain brand of Gochujang.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Your Meatballs should not be loose. To make sure they are perfectly crispy on the outside make sure you add enough panko breadcrumbs.
- Baked Meatballs - Instead of cooking them on a skillet you can bake your meatballs. Baked meatballs take longer. So make sure you have at least 45-minutes in your hand before you begin doing that. You will know that your baked Meatballs are done when the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F.
- Sticky Sauce: You can skip brown sugar for your Sticky Korean Sauce. I prefer some brown sugar as well as some Honey to make this sticky Korean Sauce.
Other recipes that you'll love:
- Authentic Butter Chicken Meatballs (in just 30-minutes)
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs stuffed with Mozzarella
- Firecracker Chicken Meatballs in Air Fryer
- Vegetarian Meatballs
Gochujang Chicken Meatballs Recipe
- 1 Pound Ground Chicken or Ground Beef/Ground Turkey
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Medium-sized Onion finely chopped
- 4-5 Cloves Garlic minced
- ½ Inch Ginger finely chopped
- 1 Medium-sized Bell Pepper finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 1 Tablespoon Rice vinegar
- 1-2 Tablespoon Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste)
- 1½ Tablespoon Chili Flakes
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 Large Eggs
For Sticky Korean Sauce
- ⅓ Cup Low Sodium Soy sauce or Tamari
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1-2 Tablespoons Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste)
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoons Honey
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 inch Ginger finely chopped
- Chopped Green Onions
- Saute: In a skillet over medium-high heat add some olive oil. As the oil shimmers, add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and bell peppers. Saute on low heat for 30-seconds. Add Sauces: Into this add Chili Flakes, Salt, Pepper, Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste), Low Sodium Soy Sauce, and Rice Vinegar. Saute this on low heat for 1-2 minutes and allow it to get sticky.
- Making Meatballs: Take a bowl and add ground chicken/ground beef/ground turkey. Into this add the sticky sauce you made, followed by Panko Breadcrumbs, and Eggs. Stir well to combine.Shaping: Use a small cookie scooper to scoop out a small portion of the mixture. Take it in your palm. Roll it in your palm and give it a proper circular structure. Cook: Cook in hot oil until both sides are crispy and golden brown.
Make Sticky Korean Meatball Sauce
- Mix Ingredients: In a pyrex measuring jar or a medium-sized bowl combine Low Sodium Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste), Brown Sugar, Honey, Ginger, and Garlic. Stir well to combine.Cook Sauce: Pour this sauce in a skillet. Allow this sauce to simmer for 1-2 minutes so that it gets sticky. Add Meatballs: Into this add cooked meatballs and coat them in the sticky Korean Sauce.
- Garnish: Garnish with chopped green onions and serve with plain white rice.
These meatballs are very tasty! The recipe seems a little bit off in a couple of places, though. My husband and I have pretty high spice tolerances, but even after adjusting the amounts of chili flake/gochujang to the lower ends of the ranges given in the various parts of the recipe, this was near the top of our spice limits. I followed the meatballs section exactly as is other than dropping the chili flakes to 1/2 Tbsp (1&1/2 Tbsp seems like a LOT for one pound of meat). They taste great but need a little bit more structure (maybe adding more breadcrumbs to the mixture would help?) to hold up to the sauce. We ended up just kind of mixing ours into the rice and veggies we served them with, and that worked well! I also doubled the sauce recipe because I felt like the recipe didn't quite make enough for how many meatballs this made. Overall, very tasty and I will definitely be making this again, just with some adjustments. 🙂