I’ve barely put away the leftovers from today’s Asian Spaghetti and Meatballs, and I already find myself craving more.
Craving more tender, flavor-packed pork meatballs. More crisp carrots, soft onion and nutty sesame seeds. And LOTS more saucy hoisin and soy-laced soba noodles.
And if I’m craving it after I’ve taste-tested it to perfection, after I’ve eaten it for dinner, and after I’ve eaten it as midnight snack before tucking myself into bed and turning off the light, then you KNOW it’s good.
So here’s the deal. There are a few steps to this. You’re going to dirty up a couple dishes, BUT dinner will be on the table in under 40 minutes, and I think that trumps the multiple steps and the dirty dishes.
So I thought, why not combine my love of these two things in the ultimate Asian twist on an Italian classic?!
When it comes to meatballs I have two important rules:
1.) They must be flavorful
2.) They must be tender and moist
Here, flavor comes from tons of awesome Asian ingredients like hoisin (which is about fifty million ingredients in of itself), soy sauce, sesame oil and a little bit of ground ginger. Garlic and grated onion aid in flavor as well, but also double up as key components in the tenderness and moistness aspect of my rules.
Once the little guys cook up, they’re pretty irresistible and after sneaking several while the noodles were cooking, I can attest that they would actually be lovely on their own, served as a sort of appetizer. But in this recipe, they’re meant to be twirled with hoisin-laced noodles, just keep it in mind for future reference.
The wonderful thing about the sauce and noodles, is you don’t need a ton of additional ingredients to complete the recipe. Almost all of the ingredients from the meatballs make an encore appearance in the sauce, with a few additions like rice vinegar for a bit of acid and chicken stock to loosen the sauce up in the final product.
While the meatballs cook, the remaining ingredients (that you already have out!) are whisked together, tossed with cooked soba noodles, some sautéed carrot and onion, plenty of sesame seeds and green onion. When the meatballs are done cooking, they’re scattered about, and it’s ready to go.
Asian Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp soy sauce, divided
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, divided
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp sesame oil, divided
- 5 large garlic cloves, divided
- 4 green onions, sliced and divided
- 3 tsp sesame seeds, divided
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 cup julienned carrots
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced onion
- 12 oz soba noodles
- 3 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/2-3/4 cup chicken stock
- 2-3 tsp sriracha Optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add pork, breadcrumbs, egg yolk, 1 tablespoon hoisin, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, ground ginger, 1 tablespoon sliced green onion, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and 2 grated garlic cloves (grated on a microplane) to a medium bowl. Gently mix everything until combined. Use a small ice cream scoop to form the meat into 15 meatballs. Line up on baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
In another small bowl, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons hoisin, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, rice vinegar and 1/2 cup chicken stock together.
Bring a large stock pot to a rolling boil. Season with salt. Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain.
While noodles cook, heat a large non-stick skillet, to a medium heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add carrots and onion. Sauté until carrots are slightly softened and onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add remaining garlic, cook another minute.
Add cooked soba noodles and sauce. Toss until the noodles have soaked up the sauce. If necessary, use a little bit more chicken stock to loosen the sauce up. Add sriracha if you want some spice! Add remaining green onion and sesame seeds, toss one more time.
Transfer to serving dish and place meatballs on top. Garnish with more green onion and sesame seeds if desired.