The weather is finally warming up here and while normally we start grilling everything, I have been making all the Asian inspired meals and all the ramen! I don’t know if it’s the rain or the fact that we don’t have great takeout options around here but either way, we are loving it all!
As a girl growing up with an Italian family, spaghetti and meatballs runs through our blood, so naturally when it came time to make Asian inspired meatballs, the spaghetti’s cousin ramen seemed the like perfect fit!!
These spicy Asian meatballs are super simple to make, satisfying without weighing you down, and don’t have a ton of fancy ingredients. Nevertheless, the flavor is insane! Plus, paired with the quick and easy sesame ramen, you will have an amazing meal in no time. By the way, did I mention these make GREAT leftovers? I have been sending them with Andrew for work lunches and he is definitely the envy of his office!
Do you cook with chili garlic paste? If you like spicy food, it is totally a game changer. It’s an inexpensive (think less than $3) fermented chili paste that totally amps up the heat and flavor of any dish. It’s most commonly used in Asian dishes, but lately I have been putting it in everything (hello instant heat for your grill marinades!.) It has a much deeper flavor than you can get with just garlic and chili flakes alone and the paste-like texture makes it easy to distribute through the entire meatball mixture. We love our meatballs spicy in our house so we use a full teaspoon of the chili garlic paste- but if you aren’t a big fan of heat you can easily half that amount or omit it completely and still have an insanely delicious meatball!
Oh and if you are really daring, stir some into your ramen noodles at the end – game. changer.
Spicy Asian Meatballs with Sesame Ramen
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated zucchini, squeezed and drained
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 6 ounces ramen noodles
- garnish (optional) scallions, chili flakes, toasted sesame seeds
In a large bowl, combine chicken, bread crumbs, zucchini, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chili paste, rice vinegar and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil until just combined. Mixture will be wet. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400* Once meatball mixture is chilled, roll about 1 tablespoon of meat into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Complete until all the meatballs are formed (about 25 meatballs.) Bake for 8-10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
While meatballs are baking, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add ramen noodles and simmer 3-4 minutes, separating the noodles as they cook with a fork or tongs . Remove from the heat and let the noodles absorb any remaining liquid, about 5 minutes. Once there is no liquid left, stir in 1 tablespoon each of sesame oil and soy sauce. Serve meatballs on top of ramen noodles and garnish as desired. Noodles are delicious served hot or cold.