This Asian Meatball recipe is tossed with a soft tangle of delightfully chewy yakisoba noodles, crisp-tender vegetables and Honey Sesame Ginger Sauce and is guaranteed to have everyone licking their plates!
This Asian Meatball recipe with yakisoba is an easy, flexible meal solution for busy weeknights but also 5-star spectacular for company! The Asian Meatballs are juicy, tender, flavor bombs, tossed with my favorite, easy-to use, Fortune Yakisoba Noodles and crisp-tender stir-fried veggies, all enveloped in a dynamic sticky, sweet, tangy, honey sesame sauce punctuated by zesty ginger, punchy garlic and chili sauce. This recipe is a symphony of tantalizing flavors and textures that’s easy to customize with whatever veggies you have on hand. Best of all, the Asian Meatballs get baked while you prep the rest of the ingredients, then it’s just a 10-minute stir fry to dinner! Serve it up with some potstickers, crispy crab rangoons or egg rolls for pure taste bud magic.
Meatballs are always a dinnertime favorite! Don’t miss Honey Buffalo Meatballs, Cranberry Meatballs, Cocktail Meatballs, Korean Meatballs Greek Meatballs, Turkey Meatballs, Teriyaki Meatballs and more.
How to Make Asian Meatballs Video
WHAT Noodles should I use?
This Asian Meatball recipe is paired with my favorite noodle brand – restaurant quality Fortune Yakisoba! Yakisoba is made with wheat flour, water and kansui (かん水). Kansui is a salty, alkaline liquid that gives the noodles their delightful chewy, springy texture that holds up so well in stir fries and leftovers.
Fortune’s Yakisoba Noodles are pre-cooked fresh, then packaged, so they just need a quick reheat in the microwave or hot water, making them SO convenient and easy to use not only in this recipe, but in any weeknight stir-fry, soup, or noodle dish.
WHERE should I buy YAKISOBA NOODLES?
Authentic Fortune Yakisoba Noodles are made in the USA, so you should be able to find them in most grocery stores. Look for Fortune Yakisoba in the refrigerated produce section near the tofu and Twin Dragon egg roll wrappers. The noodles come with three packets of yakisoba in each family pack, each with their own ZERO MSG, ZERO CHOLESTEROL seasoning packet. We will use all three noodle packets and one seasoning packet for this recipe.
If you are having a difficult time locating yakisoba noodles, you will definitely be able to find them at an Asian grocery store.
Asian MEATBALL Ingredients
The Asian Meatballs come together quickly with a handful of ingredients. If you have fresh aromatics on hand, they’re ideal, but this recipe can also be made with granulated onion, ginger and garlic and it will still be incredible. Here’s a closer look at what you’ll need (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
For the honey sesame sauce
The sauce ingredients may look a little lengthy, but they are whisked together in minutes!
FOR THE Stir Fry
- Noodles: use the three packets that come in one Fortune Noodles Family Pack, and one seasoning packet.
- Vegetables: I used bell peppers, carrots and snap peas, but feel free to use whatever veggies you love or have on hand, taking into account their different cooking times.
- Green onions: we will use all of the green onions – both the white parts and green parts at different times in stir frying, so just separate them once chopped. I consider the “white parts” up to where they are noticeably green and beautiful for garnish. One green onion may include 2-3 green stalks – use all of it.
- Ginger and Garlic: add a warm spicy, almost pepper taste. These aromatics awaken and elevate the entire Asian Meatball recipe. If you’re looking to save time and skip some chopping, or you don’t have fresh aromatics on hand, you can substitute the fresh garlic and ginger with powders and add them directly to the sauce. The typical rule of thumb is 3:1, so one part dried to three parts fresh.
HOW TO MAKE this Recipe
These Asian Meatballs with Yakisoba come together very quickly thanks to Fortune’s Yakisoba Noodles. The rest of the ingredients are either quickly combined into meatballs or whisked together to make the sauce; now you’re just a quick stir fry to dinner! Let’s take a closer look at how to make this recipe (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
STEP 1: Cook Yakisoba noodles
Fortune Yakisoba Noodles come already steamed, so they don’t require cooking, just reheating to warm through and to loosen the noodles so they don’t stick together. I recommend following the instructions on the Fortune Noodle packaging:
- Option 1: Add noodles to a pot of boiling hot water and separate with chopsticks for up to 1 minute.
- Option 2: Puncture the noodle pouch and microwave on high for 1 minute.
STEP 2: Make the Meatballs
- Add all of the meatball ingredients to a large mixing bowl except the beef, and whisk to thoroughly combine. Add the beef and mix with your hands just until combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop (1 ½ tablespoon capacity) to roll the mixture into meatballs. Place meatballs onto a baking sheet topped with a baking rack.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes, until they are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, you can make the sauce and prep the veggies.
STEP 3: Make the Honey Sesame Stir Fry Sauce
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl – that’s it!
STEP 4: Stir fry
- Stir fry the bell peppers, carrots and white parts of the green onions for 2-3 minutes, then add the snow peas, garlic and ginger, and green parts of the onions and stir-fry for one minutes.
STEP 5: Combine
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
- Add the noodles and toss until warmed through, about 1 minute.
- Add the meatballs and green onions and toss to combine.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and dig in!
possible recipe variations
This Asian Meatball recipe is a blank canvas for different veggies or sauces. Here are a few ideas:
These Asian Meatballs with Yakisoba is a meal in itself with plenty of yummy carbs and veggies. You can round out the meal with a salad such as Crunchy Asian Salad, Chinese Salad, or Asian Pineapple Salad, fruit like Perfect Fruit Salad, and/or an appetizer like Potstickers, Pork Egg Rolls, Pineapple Cream Cheese Wontons, or Crab Rangoons.
Asian MEATBALL FAQS
Meatballs require both eggs and breadcrumbs (or in this case crushed crackers) to bind the ingredients together. If you don’ have enough of either ingredient compared to the ratio of meat and liquid, the meatballs can fall apart. My general rule of thumb for no-fail meatballs is 1 large egg + ½ cup bread or cracker crumbs + 2 tablespoons milk/or other liquid per 1 pound of ground meat. Works like a charm every time! If your meatballs are too loose to roll, then add additional breadcrumbs. If the mixture is too dry, add a splash of milk.
Meatballs can be tough and dense instead of light and juicy because of three reasons: 1) too little liquid, 2) overworking the meatball mixture, or 3) over-rolling/compacting the meatballs. To prevent tough meatballs, add all of the meatball ingredients to the bowl except the ground meat, stir to combine and then mix the ground meat in with your hands. This method allows you to handle the meat as little as possible. You don’t want to over-mix the meat into a paste, instead, pieces of ground meat should still be visible. Also, take care when rolling the meatballs to use a light touch by not squeezing them too much or rolling them too much. Leave them airy instead of compact.
I do NOT recommend using a food processor or mixer to blend the meatballs because you end up with a mixture that is denser. The goal is to just combine the ingredients together so they are evenly dispersed but not to over mix which can be easy to do with equipment. Over-mixed meatballs = tougher meatballs.
Yes, you can either freeze the Asian Meatballs before baking or after baking.
TO FREEZE RAW MEATBALLS
1. Line meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet so they aren’t touching.
2. Place entire baking tray with the meatballs in the freezer. If your freezer can’t accommodate your baking tray, then use a small tray and freeze in batches. Freeze for 1-2 hours, until solid.
3. Transfer meatballs to freezer safe bags or containers and squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
4. Label meatballs and store in the freezer for 3-4 months.
5. When ready to serve, thaw meatballs in the refrigerator overnight then continue to cook per recipe instructions.
TO FREEZE COOKED MEATBALLS:
Once your meatballs are cooked, freeze them while still on the baking sheet:
1. Bake meatballs according to directions; let cool to room temperature.
2. Place entire baking tray with the meatballs in the freezer. You will want to make sure the meatballs are not touching so they don’t freezer together. If your freezer can’t accommodate your baking tray then use a small tray lined with parchment paper and freeze in batches. Freeze for 1-2 hours.
3. When your meatballs are frozen enough that they won’t stick together, transfer meatballs to freezer safe bags or containers.
4. Label meatballs and store in the freezer for 2-3 months.
5. When ready to use, let meatballs thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat per instructions.
Tools Used in This Recipe
Asian Meatballs with Yakisoba
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- 1 egg
- 12 Ritz or Saltine cracker crumbs (may sub scant ½ cup panko breadcrumbs)
- 4 green onions, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (may sub ½ tsp powder)
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, (may sub ½ tsp ground)
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound lean ground beef (see notes for turkey)
- 1 17.76 oz. pkg. Fortune Yakisoba Noodles (use all three packages within the pack)
- 1 tablespoon neutral high smoke point oil (peanut, canola, vegetable)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips, then halved if long
- 1 large carrot cut into matchsticks
- 2 green onions, chopped 1/4”-inch, white and green parts separated
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (may sub 1 tsp ground in sauce)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced (may sub ¾ tsp powder in sauce)
- sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
HONEY SESAME SAUCE
- 1 seasoning packet from Fortune Yakisoba Noodles (the noodles come with 3 seasoning packets, you will only use 1 for this recipe)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice wine
- 2 teaspoons Asian chili sauce, more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Top with a baking rack and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Add all of the meatball ingredients to a large bow EXCEPT the ground beef. Whisk together with a fork until thoroughly combined. Add the ground beef and gently combine with your hands (don’t over-mix or your meatballs won’t be as tender).
- Use a small cookie scoop (1 ½ tablespoon capacity) to roll into meatballs. Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet without touching. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until cooked through to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Meanwhile:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and add the noodles. Stir the noodles with two chopsticks to loosen and separate for up to 1 minute (no more) – don’t overcook!
- Transfer noodles to a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain VERY WELL then drizzle with toasted sesame oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together; set aside.
HONEY SESAME SAUCE
- In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients together; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the bell peppers, carrots and white parts of the green onions and stir fry 2 minutes. Add the snow peas, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add a splash of additional oil if needed.
- Add the sauce to the skillet, stir to combine and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
- Add noodles and toss until evenly coated and warmed through, approximately 1 minute; remove from heat
- Add the meatballs and green onions and toss to combine. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
- Fortune Yakisoba Noodles are made in the USA, so you should be able to find them in most grocery stores. We are using the plain noodles labeled, “Japanese Stir Fry Noodles with Seasoning Sauce Base.” Look for Fortune Yakisoba in the refrigerated produce section near the tofu and egg roll wrappers. The noodles come with three packets of yakisoba in each family pack, each with their own ZERO MSG, ZERO CHOLESTEROL seasoning packet. We will use all three noodle packets and one seasoning packet for this recipe.
- Turkey Meatballs: My expert tip for juicy turkey meatballs is to add 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt to enhance the juiciness. Also, if you want your poultry to taste like beef, add 2 teaspoons beef bouillon (granulated or crushed cubes) and reduce the salt to ¼ teaspoon.
- Frozen Meatballs: The homemade meatballs are infused with garlic, ginger, green onions, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil which is what makes them Asian Meatballs. However, you can make this recipe with frozen if needed, you’ll just be missing some of that authentic flavor. If you go this route, make sure you don’t purchase Italian meatballs. Prepare according to package directions.
- Rice wine:. I use “Kikkoman Aji-Mirin: Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning” which is commonly found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can Amazon it. I highly suggest you google image before you head off to the grocery store so you know exactly what you are looking for. The best substitute for rice wine is pale dry sherry.
- Storage: Due to the springy nature of the noodles, this recipe keeps very well, without the noodles soaking up all of the sauce. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Meatballs: roll the meatballs and place on a lightly greased baking rack set inside a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days. Bring to room temperature before popping in the oven.
- Yakisoba: prepare according to directions, run under cold water and drizzle with toasted oil. Store in an airtight container/plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two days.
- Sauce: whisk the sauce ingredients together and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Let the sauce sit at room temperature while preparing the stir-fry; whisk again before using.
- Veggies: chop the veggies and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Cook: Within the next 48 hours, proceed to cook the Asian Meatball recipe in minutes!
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