Asian Meatballs with Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce

Asian Meatballs with Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


  • 4 scallions, green and white parts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup dark soy sauce, such as tamari
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves (a handful)
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the scallions, half of the ginger, the bell pepper, half of the chile pepper, the garlic, the 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, the cilantro leaves and the lime zest. Pulse for 30 seconds, scrape down the bowl and process 1 minute more, or until finely ground. Add the meat and process until well combined, about 30 seconds more. Roll the meat into 24 balls the size of walnuts.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the meatballs and don't move them until they are brown on 1 side, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs and continue to cook, browning them on all sides, until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more.

While the meatballs cook, make the dipping sauce. In a bowl, combine the remaining ginger and chile pepper, the 1/3 cup of soy sauce, the lime juice, the sesame oil, the honey and a splash of water. Taste and adjust the seasoning; if it's too salty, add another drizzle of honey.

Place the finished meatballs on a serving platter, with toothpicks on the side. Serve with the spicy lime dipping sauce.