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BAKED STICKY TERIYAKI STYLE CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Barb Hodgens

Posted on February 22 2019

Teriyaki style meatball

EASY DINNER OR APPETISER

These baked chicken meatballs are so juicy and so flavourful that they are hard to resist straight out of the oven. But topped with a delicious homemade teriyaki style glaze they are a total crowd pleaser!

Creating meatballs with a Luvele meat grinder couldnt be easier. After grinding, the meatballs come together in just a few simple steps. Best of all, they are baked (not fried), making them a super easy meal for a busy weeknight or a great entertaining appetiser that can be prepped in advance.

The glaze is a healthy, gluten-free and paleo twist on a traditional Teriyaki sauce – ask your dinner guests if they can guess the secret ingredient. Noone will guess it’s missing the sake and white sugar. How you marry the sauce with the balls is up to you. Drizzle it on, roll them in it or use tooth picks or chopsticks to dip and dunk them.

Try these teriyaki meatballs over a bed of steamy (cauliflower) rice or sautéed Asian greens. Yum!

teriyaki style meatball

PERFECTING CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Dry meatballs are a huge disappointment. Before you begin, here’s some tips for grinding chicken into succulent meatballs.

CHOOSE YOUR CUT:
White breast meat is lean but it’s definitely not the best option for grinding into mince. If over-cooked, ground breast meat can quickly become dry and crumbly. The thigh and leg are far better cut - darker in colour and with more fat for flavour.  If you’re concerned about the fat, much of it cooks out onto the baking paper anyway.

ADD MOISTURE & TEXTURE:
It’s very easy to over cook chicken meat balls and as the moisture cooks out, they actually shrink in size. To keep them as moist and plump as possible, conventional recipes add bread crumbs and an egg.  But, breadcrumbs are typically made from white, highly processed bread that’s virtually void of any nutritional value. Replacing the refined crumb with nutrient dense almond meal keeps them tender and moist as well as gluten free and paleo. The healthy switch will go unnoticed.

GO GENTLE WITH GROUND MEAT: 
The mixture is sticky and not the easiest to roll, but try not to spend too much time mixing or forming the meatballs. Make them quickly and gently. Freshly ground meat should be handled as little as possible so it stays tender.

SHAPE & BAKE:
Make the meatballs as uniform as possible so they all bake evenly. Keep a close eye on them after 10 minutes in the oven.  The meatballs are also delicious pan-fried.

teriyaki meatballs

INGREDIENTS

MEATBALLS
1 ½ kg chicken thigh meat (no skin)

4-5 garlic cloves freshly minced
4 spring onions finely chopped
2 tablespoons of tamari sauce (or coconut aminos)
½ cup almond flour/meal
1 egg
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon of salt

SAUCE
1/3 cup tamari sauce (or coconut aminos)

¾ cup water
¾ cup fresh pineapple chopped

¼ cup coconut sugar
2 cloves of garlic
2 cm fresh ginger root, peeled
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
Pinch of fresh or dried chilli (optional)
Toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle

METHOD

  1. Chop the chicken thigh meat into strips then place in the freezer for 30 mins to snap very cold before grinding.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 356ºF
  3. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  4. Prepare all the meatball seasoning ingredients and set aside ready to mix into the ground chicken.
  5. Set up your Luvele meat grinder with the medium cutting plate and a bowl under the head.
  6. Grind the chicken meat into the bowl.
  7. Add the meatball seasoning. Use your hands to mix and incorporate but don’t over mix or the ground chicken will start to break down into mush.
  8. Spoon out consistent sized portions and roll into balls and place on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the meatballs are firm to touch and begin to golden on the top. Note: The meatballs are also delicious pan-fried. This method is especially good if you choose to pass on the glaze.
  10. While the meatballs are baking, prepare the Teriyaki sauce. See method below.
  11. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Note: the meatballs will ooze fat and juice when they cook. Use tongs to pick up the meatballs leaving the fat on the tray.
  12. You can either roll the meatballs in the teriyaki sauce or use it as a dipping sauce on the side. 

teriyaki meatballs

TERIYAKI SAUCE

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender jug and blender until smooth. After blending the mixture will have froth on top. Cooking the sauce will remove this.
  2. Pour the sauce into medium saucepan.
  3. Set over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens.
  4. Transfer the meatballs into a large bowl.
  5. Pour the sauce on top and toss to coat.
  6. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. Note: As the sauce cools it will congeal. Simply reheat to bring it back to a runny glaze. If it’s too thick – add a little more water.  

For more fabulous meatball recipes try these, Vietnamese style Bun Cha meatballs or these easy burger patties. 

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teriyaki meatballs