If you enjoy Asian potstickers, you're going to LOVE these Ginger Scallion Meatballs. Both the meatballs and the Potsticker Dipping Sauce come together quickly with minimal fuss.
When gazing through the menu at Asian restaurants, I find that it's difficult to resist the delicious steamed Chinese dumplings that are filled with pork, vegetables or shrimp. They're not complete though without the classic tangy-sweet-salty dipping sauce. These Ginger Scallion Meatballs with Potsticker Dipping Sauce share the same flavor profile!
I love to serve these Ginger Scallion Meatballs with a side of curly ramen noodles as shown in these pictures. I guess you could say that this is my version of Chinese Potstickers... deconstructed!
A side of marinated sliced cucumbers and slivered red onion make this a pretty meal in a bowl, although I have also paired it with stir-fried snow peas or sugar snap peas for a delicious combination. And we love udon or lo mein noodles in lieu of ramen.
This Ginger Scallion Meatballs recipe is easy enough for a delicious weekday dinner but it's unique and fun presentation makes it perfect for entertaining. I love that this entire meal can be prepped ahead so that there's minimal effort after a busy day or after guests arrive. This is how I like to prep the meal in advance:
- Make the Potsticker Dipping Sauce a day or two ahead and refrigerate.
- Crush the peanuts in a ziplock bag with the back of a spoon, seal the bag and store until serving time.
- Slice the cucumbers and red onion and refrigerate in a ziplock bag or storage container. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small jar, shake well and refrigerate.
- Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray or rub with a bit of oil. Make the meatballs and arrange on the sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap for up to 24 hours then bake as directed right before serving.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the ramen noodles for 4 minutes then drain and drizzle lightly with oil (to keep them from sticking together). Refrigerate until serving time then re-warm on 50% power in the microwave. You can also rewarm them by placeing them in a sieve and pouring boiling water over them. (See other noodle options in Café Tips below.)
Voila! A delicious dinner with no stress at serving time!
How to make smooth, round meatballs
I like to use a retractable ice cream scooper to portion out my meatballs. I'm not great at eyeballing equal size portions so this helps my meatballs to be consistent in size. It's not a big deal if your meatballs vary in size but it does make a prettier presentation to have them uniform.
Ground pork, chicken and turkey all have more moisture than ground beef so it can be a little more difficult to form into smooth, round meatballs. I have found that wetting my hands with just bit of water helps a lot! To illustrate, below is a picture comparison using my Strawberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken Meatballs as an example. The meatball on the left was rolled with dry hands and was a bit sticky and messy to roll. The one on the right shows a smooth meatball that was rolled with just a little water on my hands. The difference is pretty dramatic (in a culinary sense)!
Potsticker Dipping Sauce
The easy Potsticker Dipping Sauce is not only super DELICIOUS, it also keeps the meatballs nice and moist as it's brushed over them halfway through the baking session. The sauce can be drizzled over the meatballs before serving and I like to pass extra at the table. It's always a popular part of the meal and some people just about want to "drink it!"
To make the dipping sauce, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and give it a good stir. This sauce will keep well in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
Café Tips for making these Ginger Scallion Meatballs with Potsticker Dipping Sauce
- This recipe calls for panko crumbs. Panko crumbs are Japanese bread crumbs. They have a dryer and lighter consistency than regular breadcrumbs so they're great for meatballs. Panko crumbs can be found at most grocery stores in the same area as regular bread crumbs. Feel free to sub regular dry bread crumbs for the panko - it won't make or break this recipe!
- The Potsticker Dipping Sauce recipe includes sesame seeds. White sesame seeds are the norm but you can also use a combination of black and white seeds which can be purchased separately or combined in a jar, often called Tuxedo Sesame Seeds. If you don't have any sesame seeds, you can just skip them. They're mostly there for presentation!
- I use a 2-tablespoon retractable ice cream scoop to portion my meatballs, which is 40g or slightly under 1½ ounces. If you want the meatballs to be perfectly uniform you can use a digital scale. I really like this one.
- You can make these Ginger Scallion Meatballs bigger or smaller, depending on your preference. You may need to adjust the baking time just a bit. Larger meatballs will take more time and smaller ones a little less. I would still baste them with the sauce after 10 minutes of baking.
- Both the meatballs and the sauce recipes call for finely grated fresh ginger. I love fresh ginger but don't always have it on hand so I keep a tube of ginger paste in my refrigerator and usually have a few extras in the freezer. Ginger paste is simply ground ginger. It tastes and smells really fresh. You can find ginger paste in the produce section of many larger grocery stores, including Super Target and Super Walmart. (This is not a sponsored post, I just really like this stuff.)
- Chili garlic sauce is a delicious condiment that you'll find in the Asian aisle of almost any larger grocery store. It's spicy and tangy and is made with chili peppers, garlic and a bit of sugar - you don't need much but it adds a great layer of flavor. This recipe calls for ½-1 teaspoon and is used in both the meatballs and the dipping sauce. If you prefer things mild, start with ½ teaspoon. You can always add a bit more when you make the potsticker dipping sauce if you find that you prefer more heat.
- I like to serve these Ginger Scallion Meatballs with marinated cucumbers and red onions. To make these, slice 4-5 mini cucumbers on a long diagonal then half each slice lengthwise. Combine the sliced cucumbers in a bowl with ¼ of a medium red onion, sliced thin, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir it all together and let it sit while you prepare the meatballs.
- In the pictures of these Ginger Scallion Meatballs I have paired them with ramen noodles but lo mein and Udon noodles are also fabulous as is white or black rice.
Thought for the day:
And we have this HOPE
as an anchor for the soul,
firm and secure.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
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- ⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ½-1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (you could also use Sriracha)
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds optional
- 1 pound ground pork (ground chicken or turkey will also work)
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup panko crumbs
- 4 medium garlic finely minced
- 1 bunch scallions 7-8 medium size scallions
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (can use basil as an alternative)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ -1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce depending on how much heat you prefer
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ramen noodles lo mein noodles or udon noodles, cooked according to the package directions
- crushed peanuts
- fresh mint basil and/or cilantro, optional
- marinated cucumbers and red onion see Notes below
- stir fried snow peas or sugar snap peas are also delicious with the meatballs
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil (for easy cleanup.) Spray the foil generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Stir or shake until well combined. Set aside.
In a medium-large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, mix until everything is combined but don’t over mix. Using a retractable scooper or a large spoon, portion the mixture into 2-tablespoon scoops (around 1½ ounces or 40g). Give each portion a little squeeze then, with slightly wet hands, roll each one into a ball and arrange on the sheet pan spaced 1½-2 inches apart.
Drizzle a little olive oil over each meatball then bake for 20-22 minutes or until light golden brown, brushing each meatball with some of the potsticker sauce after 10 minutes of baking.
Serve with noodles or rice. Garnish with fresh herbs and chopped peanuts, if desired.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn't have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
I like to serve these Ginger Scallion Meatballs with marinated cucumbers and red onions. To make these, slice 4-5 mini cucumbers on a long diagonal then half each slice lengthwise. Combine the sliced cucumbers in a bowl with ¼ of a medium red onion, sliced thin, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir it all together and let it sit while you prepare the meatballs.