These Asian style pork meatballs are a delicious and allergy friendly main dish that are great for weeknights since they don’t take too long to make! Our recipe is soy free, gluten free, and peanut free.
One of our favorite global flavors to eat and cook with is Asian food. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean… we enjoy all of it! We love cooking Asian inspired recipes at home as well since we can adapt them to be soy free, and one of our favorites are these pork meatballs that we usually serve over noodles.
This recipe is one that I’ve been making at home for several years now. We had tried a few other recipes that included Chinese five spice powder, which it turns out my family isn’t a fan of, so I created our own recipe that doesn’t use the five spice powder.
I usually never measure the ingredients when I make this at home, but I decided to actually write things down and put this on our website since it’s one of our family favorites that I make often. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Food allergy notes for this recipe:
- Gluten free
- Soy free
- Peanut free
- Dairy free
How to make Asian style pork meatballs
Here are the steps to make these Asian-inspired meatballs, this is just an overview of steps, the full recipe card is at the end of the post!
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet pan with either foil or parchment paper. If you use foil, spray it or brush it lightly with oil. Set aside.
- Combine the ground pork and all the listed meatball ingredients except for the sesame seeds.
- Mix well and roll meat into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls.
- Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart and sprinkle with some black sesame seeds.
- Bake until they are cooked through, about 18 minutes.
- Serve over rice, quinoa, or gluten free noodles with a drizzle of sauce (how we usually serve ours), or toss the meatballs with the sauce first and then serve.
Since some brands of coconut aminos have more salt in them than others (more on that below), I didn’t add a specific amount for the salt in the recipe card. A small dash or pinch of salt is probably enough to add to the meatballs depending on how salty your coconut aminos are.
These meatballs taste great with ginger in them, but my husband can’t have ginger so I made a batch of these both with and without ginger. Both batches are delicious! I love them made with ginger, but if you are not a fan of ginger or can’t have it, you can leave it out and these meatballs will still taste great.
Our homemade meatball sauce
In the photos, I just used a sauce made with coconut aminos and chili crunch sauce, but we typically serve this with a sauce that I make with coconut aminos, sweet chili sauce, and chili crunch sauce if we want some heat.
I usually don’t measure this sauce when I make it, so I estimated the measurements for what I normally make. You can adjust the ingredients if you like as well, we sometimes add some chickpea miso to this sauce and it tastes delicious!
The Miso Master chickpea miso tastes so good and is delicious in sauces and soups. We used it to create a mouthwatering sauce for our miso mushroom recipe, which would go great with these pork meatballs.
If you are a fan of fish sauce, we’ll sometimes add that to our meatballs and sauce as well to add some additional umami flavor and salt. My daughter loves adding fish sauce to her noodles, a little goes a long way if you decide to add it. Start with a few dashes then add more if you like.
A note on coconut aminos and sodium
We usually use coconut aminos in our house as a soy sauce alternative for recipes like this. One thing to keep in mind is that different brands of coconut aminos have different levels of sweetness and saltiness.
Personally I prefer the taste of the Coconut Secret coconut aminos and teriyaki sauce, this brand tends to be sweeter and less salty than other brands. But the Big Tree and O Organics brands tend to be more salty. I’m not sure how salty or sweet other brands are.
I created the meatball and sauce recipe with the sweeter Coconut Secret coconut aminos, so if you are using a saltier brand, you can adjust the recipes to taste. You probably won’t want to add any additional salt to the meatballs if you’re using a brand of coconut aminos that are more salty.
Can I use something other than coconut aminos in this recipe?
If you’re not a fan of coconut aminos or you can’t have coconut, you can try the Oceans Halo soy free sauce (they make a low sodium version as well), or the San-J No Soy Tamari made with fermented peas.
The San-J no soy sauce is super good and really close to regular soy sauce, you won’t know the difference. We really enjoyed adding it to our recipes since my husband isn’t a big fan of coconut aminos for dipping or drizzling.
If you can’t have coconut and you can have peas, I highly recommend using the San-J no soy tamari if you haven’t tried it yet. Since it is salty like regular soy sauce, I usually mix it with the coconut aminos in recipes to reduce the sodium.
Asian Style Pork Meatballs (Soy Free)
- 1 ½ pound 85/15 ground pork
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tablespoon San-J no soy tamari
- 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 Tablespoon minced chives (or 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions)
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (you can leave out the ginger if you don't like ginger)
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper
- Salt, to taste* (if your coconut aminos are salty, don't add too much additional salt)
- Black sesame seeds, for garnish
- Additional chives or green onions, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet pan with foil and spray with oil, or line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground pork with all the other ingredients except for the sesame seeds. Mix by hand until well combined.
- Roll the meat into 1 inch to 1 ½ inch balls, place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Sprinkle the top of the meatballs with black sesame seeds, and bake until cooked through in the middle, 18-20 minutes. 18 minutes was sufficient time with our oven.
- Whisk the coconut aminos, sweet chili sauce, and chili crunch together to make the sauce.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist