Korean Meatballs in Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 2 hr
Serves: 4

These meatballs are beautifully seasoned with some of Korea’s most commonly used ingredients. They are not fiery hot, just flavour packed. Fortunately Korean barbecue sauce is now sold in many supermarkets. If you can’t find it, use your favourite barbecue sauce plus a couple tablespoons of soy sauce.


2 eggs
2 tbsp (30 mL) sesame oil
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
2 large garlic cloves
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) dried red chili flakes
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cayenne
450 g ground chicken
1/2 cup (125 mL) panko crumbs
1/2 cup (125 mL) Korean barbecue sauce
2 green onions, sliced


1 For meatballs, place eggs in a medium size bowl with sesame oil and salt. Coarsely chop garlic and push through a garlic press. Add ginger, chili flakes and cayenne. Whisk together.
2 Add meat and gently work with your hands to mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with panko crumbs and mix in. Let sit 5 minutes for crumbs to soak up liquid. Then using about 1/3 cup (100 mL) mixture, form into a large meatball about 2½ inches (6.2 cm) wide. Place on a large plate. Repeat with remaining mixture. You should have 8 meatballs.
3 Pour sauce into the slow cooker. Add meatballs, separating as much as possible. Cover and cook on high 2 hours or on low for 4 hours. Remove meatballs to a plate and spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle with onions. Pair with rice. They will keep well in the refrigerator for 3 days.
4 Stove Top Cooking: Heat barbecue sauce and ½ cup (125 mL) water in a large frying pan. Add meatballs and turn to coat. Adjust heat so sauce simmers. Cover and simmer meatballs, turning frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes. The sauce will thicken. Sprinkle with onions.
5 Spinach Swirled Meatballs: Microwave 4 cups (1L) spinach leaves in a bowl until wilted. When cool enough, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Thinly slice and stir into chicken mixture before forming into balls.