Teriyaki Meatballs… with Apple

teriyakiapplemeatballs-1 cover

Happy Father’s Day! Missing my wonderful, creative father, who inspired me to try new flavors in cooking. I can’t wait to see him in a week! Let’s celebrate Father’s Day with some teriyaki apple meatballs. You really can’t go wrong with these.

I made these for a potluck because I knew others were bringing potato salad, pasta, or fried rice. I was originally planning on an asparagus mint salad, but my procrastination forced me to look at other options. I’m actually having meatballs for bite-snacks during cocktail our at my wedding, and since my wedding is on my mind, naturally my thoughts beelined towards making meatballs for a gathering. With bits of Granny Smith apple in these pork and beef meatballs, these little guys are a great bite size snack for dinner parties or potlucks!

Have you ever looked at meatballs and thought, what could be in them? What holds the meat together? It’s actually very simple. In my recipe, there is a whole egg plus one egg yolk. This really helps everything stay compact, even while browning them before sticking them in the oven. I’ve often read of the difficulty of keeping meatballs round while browning them. I’ve had trouble with this before, but the trick is the roll them up really tightly. When you have them all lined up on a baking sheet, the ones you’ve made in the beginning may have flattened out a little. There is an easy fix (albeit a little messy). Right before you place the meatballs onto your skillet, just reshape them. Pass it from hand to hand to get that nice sphere you want. Then, carefully place it on the skillet. After you have about 6-8 nicely browning, use a wooden spatula to gently roll them, pausing a bit on each side to let it brown. Turning the meatballs frequently helps keep its shape.

While those meatballs are baking in the oven, there is ample time to make teriyaki sauce. Put away those store-bought sauces, because teriyaki sauce is extremely easy to make! I personally like adding brown sugar and honey, but I’ve seen recipes with white sugar or hoison sauce as well.




RECIPE: Teriyaki Meatballs
Loosely adapted from here – a great resource for understanding meatballs.

1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored and sliced very thinly
3 green onions, white parts finely chopped, green parts sliced diagonally
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup panko breadcrubms
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1| Preheat oven to 350 F.
2| Warm coconut oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the white parts of green onion, salt, and cook. Stir until onion is soft and caramelized. When it is soft, add in chopped garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
3| Combine the beef, pork, apple, breadcrumbs, and all the spices together. Mix but do not over mix!!!!!
4| Work in eggs with your hands (or fork, if you don’t want to get messy!), and add the caramelized garlic and onions until just combined.
5| Get 1.5 tablespoon (I used an ice cream scooper!) of mix and shape into a ball. Line them up on a foil lined baking sheet for organization.
6| Prepare a baking dish (I used a 4 quart dish)
7| Warm up coconut oil in skillet. In batches, brown all sides of meatballs. Read above for tips on keeping the meatball in shape.
8| When browned, place meatballs snugly in baking dish in one layer.
9| Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the interior is about 145F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, sacrifice a meatball and cut it open. Make sure it is not pink.

Honey Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon honey
2 garlic gloves, minced
2 tablespoon shaoxin wine
2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in just enough water

1| Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil.
2| Reduce and simmer for 5 minutes, then gently pour in dissolved cornstarch. Watch it become thicker!
3| Simmer for another 1-2 minutes. At this point you can adjust it to taste (more sugar, honey, or soy sauce, or even water).
4| Cool and serve immediately, or store and keep in the refrigerator.

I poured the teriyaki glaze over the meatballs and sprinkled sesame seeds over them. Then, I took my diagonally chopped scallions (the green parts) and added them as garnish.

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