The Most Incredible Asian Meatball Bowls

Mains Meat Mains
Asian Meatball Bowls, Sacha Served What

These Asian meatball bowls will leave you wanting more, and more, and more, until you are so stuffed you can’t possibly eat anything else. And then you’ll still have more. Yes, they’re that good!

Seriously, that’s literally what happened to me. I was re-testing these Asian meatball bowls before my mom came over on Sunday – we we’re going out to brunch. I wanted to make sure it was absolutely perfect before I posted it (obviously). I decided to make a few changes to the original recipe because I wasn’t super happy with my first try (good but not WOW, you know?). Before I knew it I had consumed 8 meatballs and completely forgot I was about to sit down for a meal. I had a salad and all was well – brunch is really about the company anyways, and with my mom it’s always a good time.

Back to the bowls.

Make the meatballs and sauce, you won’t be disappointed. Serve them over rice with the crispy shiitakes (they taste a bit like bacon, yum!) and pickled chilies. Everything else is up to you – You don’t have purple cabbage? That’s okay! You don’t like edamame? No problem! There are a lot of ingredients in here, and my point is that you don’t HAVE TO add all the mix-ins (however they’re really freakin’ fantastic with all of them).

A great thing about meatballs and sauce is that they stay well in the refrigerator or freezer. Plus, they reheat easily, basically tasting the same as if they were freshly made. So you can make them ahead of time, what’s better than that?!

Ingredient Notes:

  • Ground Beef – I haven’t tried them with ground turkey, but I’m sure they would be delicious if you don’t eat red meat.
  • Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs4C, it’s my absolute favorite brand. However if you have another brand at home, they’ll do just fine. You can also substitute regular breadcrumbs here if you are not gluten-free.
  • Tamari – Can definitely use regular soy sauce if you are not gluten-free.
  • Fish Sauce – Used frequently in East and Southeast Asian cuisines, this is a must for some great umami flavor. Carried in almost every grocery store.
  • Pineapple Juice – Sometimes I cannot find straight pineapple juice at grocery stores. But they almost always have a pineapple orange or pineapple mango mix. Either of these would be fine.
  • Jasmine Rice – The best rice choice for this recipe because of how nicely fragrant it is, however you can definitely use whatever long-grain white rice you have at home.
  • Red Long Chili Pepper – If you cannot find these, substitute with whatever chili pepper you can find. Jalapeños work too!

Asian Meatball Bowls, Sacha Served What

Asian Meatball Bowls, Sacha Served What

Asian Meatball Bowls

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 bowls


For the Meatballs:

For the Coconut Lime Rice:

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • Zest and Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro optional

For the Quick Pickled Chilies:

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 red long chili pepper cut into thin rounds

For the Bowls:

  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 medium-sized carrots peeled
  • Coconut Lime Rice recipe above
  • Asian Meatballs recipe above
  • 8 tablespoons edamame beans
  • 1 Persian cucumber cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • Quick Pickled Chilies recipe above
  • Fresh herbs for garnish such as basil, mint, or scallions


For the Meatballs:

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, 3 cloves of garlic, ½ teaspoon of ginger, breadcrumbs, scallions, basil, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. Do not over mix.
  • Take a 1 ½ inch diameter cookie scoop and scoop the meatball mixture into balls. Place them onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and roll into perfect spheres.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the garlic, ginger, soy sauce and fish sauce. Add the rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, Sriracha, honey, ketchup, and pineapple juice.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the corn starch and water.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and sear until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip each one over and cook for one minute, then turn the heat down to medium-low and add the soy sauce mixture. Cook for 6 minutes, then add the corn starch mixture and cook until thickened, about 1 minute, then turn off the heat.

For the Coconut Lime Rice:

  • Place the jasmine rice into a mesh sieve and run under cold water until the water runs clean.
  • In a medium-sized pot, combine the coconut milk, stock, zest and juice from 1 lime, and the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, add the washed rice, cover and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, turn off the heat, and let sit, covered for an additional 10 minutes. Do not lift the lid the entire time.
  • After the 10 minutes of resting, take off the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Add in the cilantro, if using. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.

For the Quick Pickled Chilies:

  • In a small pot, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat and let cool completely.

For the Bowls:

  • In a medium-sized pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Let cool on paper towels.
  • In a small pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds for about 2 minutes until golden. Set aside in a small pinch bowl.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, take the carrots and firmly peel strips of carrot from the bottom to the top, until all of the carrot has been used. Set aside.
  • Divide the rice, meatballs, and sauce between 4 bowls, spooning the meatballs and sauce over a portion of the rice. Divide the edamame, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, chilies and mushrooms between the 4 bowls. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and fresh herbs on top. Serve immediately.


Meatballs Storage: The meatballs and sauce can be made and stored in the refrigerator  for up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave, or place them into a pot and reheat over medium heat until warmed through. 
Coconut Lime Rice: The rice can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, however it tastes best when served right away. Reheat in a microwave or in a 350°F oven, until warmed through. 
Quick Pickled Chilies: The chilies can be made a stored in an airtight container with the pickling liquid for up to 1 month. 
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