Korean Meatballs


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot chile paste)
  • 3 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil (we used toasted sesame oil)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (we used table salt)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • Toasted sesame seeds and scallions (optional)


  1.  Add the following ingredients to a large bowl, mixing them just until combined: beef, shallot, 2 of the minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of the gochujang, 2 teaspoons of grated ginger, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and finally the salt. Roll the meat mixture into 48 meatballs that are 1-inch in size (about 2 teaspoons of the meat per meatball will get you 48 meatballs).
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, pouring one tablespoon of the vegetable oil in afterwards. Once the oil’s hot, add half of the meatballs in, letting them cook for 2 minutes before turning them over and cooking for another minute (meatballs don’t have to be fully cooked at this point). Take the meatballs out of the skillet and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour the remaining oil in* and repeat the process with the other half of the meatballs.
  3. Now that all the meatballs are on the plate, turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining garlic and ginger to the same skillet you cooked the meatballs in (we didn’t drain the drippings from the skillet before adding in the garlic and ginger). Stir constantly for 30 seconds before mixing in the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, remaining gochujang, and remaining sesame oil, continuing to stir until it’s all blended together. Bring the sauce to a simmer, turning the heat down to medium-low afterwards and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add all the meatballs to the skillet, letting them simmer in the sauce for 5 minutes (we occasionally stirred the meatballs around during that time so they could get completely coated in the sauce). Place the meatballs on a serving tray, sprinkling on the sesame seeds and green onions if you’re using them. Serve the meatballs with toothpicks or cocktail forks and enjoy !

*It looked like there was still enough oil in the skillet so we didn’t add the other tablespoon of vegetable oil in.


For us, the sauce didn’t have any real heat to it so we added an extra teaspoon of gochujang. That extra teaspoon was enough for us to start getting a little bit of heat but not overpower the other flavors. The sesame seeds and green onion add nice contrasting colors to the dish but these meatballs taste delicious all on their own !

This recipe came from Family Circle.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Family Circle.

Take care everybody !

3 thoughts on “Korean Meatballs

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