Easy Asian Turkey Meatballs

I’m baaaaack! Yep, yep! This is my first post since April 2, 2020 – all the way back at the start of the pandemic. Three years to the date, in fact! So much has happened since then, and I’ll be sure to catch you up in upcoming posts. The short of it is that I paused blogging and used that free time to change careers. It’s true! I left the food industry and recipe development to become a web developer instead. It took 2 years to finish my online program and get hired, and I’ve been settling into my new role as a Junior Web Developer for the past 11 months.

Changing careers has had many benefits, one of which is that now I cook for the pure fun of it. And that’s why I’m back, to share all the fun and creativity I’m experiencing in my kitchen. Like these Easy Asian Turkey meatballs. Nomnomnom!

Asian-inspired turkey meatballs lacquered in a shiny sauce atop white rice.

Before I go on to the recipe, a few other important things happened in the past 2 1/2 years. Mainly, I got married and became a step-mom, so I’m not cooking just for myself these days. And I am very proud to say that these meatballs are currently one of my SD’s favorite recipes. Yay!

She absolutely loves Japanese, Korean, Thai and Chinese flavors, so any time I introduce those ingredients it’s usually a win. In fact, she likes these so much she will take leftover meatballs for lunch. Double yay!

With that teenage endorsement, let’s get to it.

The ingredients:

It may seem like a lot of ingredients or unusual ones, but these are all easy-to-find, common Asian flavors. In addition, they make great pantry staples. Since we use these ingredients weekly, I buy them at Asian grocery stores in my area, which sell larger amounts at better prices. So, if these are flavors your family enjoys too, stock up!

The technique:

There’s actually no fancy technique here. But, while most classic meatball recipes warn against over-mixing, I encourage you to stir the meat mixture vigorously. I’ve found that mixing vigorously creates a wonderfully homogenous mixture that reminds me of gyoza or dumpling filling. Frankly, I just like it! Try it!

After mixing and shaping, I sear the meatballs in a hot pan with vegetable oil to get a nice caramelized crust. Then, I finish them in a 375° oven to cook all the way through.

I transfer the meatballs to a sheet pan before placing them in the oven so I can use the skillet and all the browned bits of goodness to make the sauce. Then, once the meatballs are cooked through, I transfer them back to the skillet, rolling them around to coat them thoroughly with sauce. Basically, I give ’em a good lacquering! Looks tasty, right?

Asian-inspired turkey meatballs lacquered in a shiny sauce atop white rice.

Serve these with white or brown rice and a side of steamed broccoli or bok choy for a complete, well-rounded meal.

Well, I hope you enjoy this “reboot” recipe for easy Asian turkey meatballs as much as my family and I do. I look forward to regaining my blogging “legs” and sharing more recipes. Say “Hi!” in the comments and feel free to share any recipe requests! See you soon!

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Easy Asian Turkey Meatballs

  • Author: Emily Brooks
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 23
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Meatballs 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Asian


Flavorful, easy, teenager-pleasing meatballs that make a great meal and delicious leftovers.



For the Sauce:

  • ¼ cup less sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ cup water

For the meatballs:

  • pounds ground turkey or chicken
  • 1½ tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon less sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Extra green onions for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk all sauce ingredients. 
  3. In a large bowl, vigorously mix all meatball ingredients until well combined. Divide into 12 portions (a generous ¼ cup each), rolling between palms to shape into balls. Place on prepared sheet pan.
  4. Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add meatballs and cook 6-8 minutes or until browned, turning halfway through to brown both sides. Reduce heat to medium if browning too quickly. Transfer back to sheet pan with parchment paper and place in oven. Bake meatballs 12-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165° F.
  5. Place skillet back over medium heat and pour in sauce; scrape up any browned bits and heat sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced to 1 cup.
  6. Transfer meatballs back to skillet with sauce and stir to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion to serve!


It’s ok to place the seared meatballs back on the same sheet pan with parchment paper since all of it is going into the oven and cooked to temperature.

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