With a sweet, savory, soy-pineapple glaze/sauce these Hawaiian-inspired Huli Huli Chicken Meatballs make delicious appetizers, rice bowls and sandwiches!
Heat sesame oil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. When hot, add the garlic, ginger and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant then add the remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch and water.
Bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes or until reduced to about one half of the original volume. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl or cup. Add to the sauce mixture while stirring. Cook the sauce for another 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450˚F with a rack positioned near the top of the oven. Line a sheet pan with foil for easy cleanup. Spray the foil lightly with baking spray or rub with a bit of oil.
Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands or a sturdy spatula, mix until combined. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop up the mixture into 1 or 1½-inch portions. With slightly wet hands, roll each portion into a ball and arrange them at least 2-inches apart of the prepared baking sheet.
Brush the meatballs with additional sesame oil or olive oil and bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and, using a fork, dip each meatball into the sauce then return to the baking pan. Bake for another 5-6 minutes until meatballs are nicely glazed.
Remove meatballs from the oven. Serve them in rice bowls drizzled with sauce or as an appetizer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired, for garnish. To serve as an appetizer, brush the meatballs with more sauce and serve with toothpicks or cocktail forks and the remainder of the sauce in a small bowl for dipping.