Sweet-and-Sour Korean Cocktail Meatballs
Old-school Swedish meatballs get a Korean twist, courtesy of gochujang, a spicy, subtly sweet fermented chili paste.
- Total Time:
- Yield: Makes 50
Photography: Meredith Jenk
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2016
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (from about 6 cloves)
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
- 5 tablespoons gochujang paste (available at Asian markets and walmart.com)
- 1 pound ground chuck (80 percent lean)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 large egg
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup safflower oil
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
- Thinly sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds, for serving
In a large bowl, use your hands to gently combine garlic, ginger, 3 tablespoons gochujang, beef, pork, egg, and 1 tablespoon salt just until evenly combined (do not overwork, or meatballs will be dense and tough). Scoop 1 tablespoon of mixture into your palm; gently roll into a ball and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. Meatballs can be formed, loosely covered, and refrigerated on sheet up to 1 day.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Swirl in 2 tablespoons safflower oil. Add half of meatballs in a single layer and cook, turning a few times, until browned in places and a crust forms, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and brown remaining meatballs in remaining safflower oil.
Wipe skillet clean. Combine ketchup, remaining 2 tablespoons gochujang, vinegar, sesame oil, 1/2 cup water, and brown sugar in skillet; bring to a simmer over medium. Carefully add meatballs. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and meatballs are just cooked through and evenly coated, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl, sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds, and serve warm, with toothpicks.