Scallion Turkey Meat”balls” with Soy Ginger Glaze


scallion meatballs with soy ginger glaze - trust in kim

As I was making these I swore (a lot) that I’d never make them again. I love baking, and I like cooking, but rolling and frying meatballs – this I do not enjoy. I guess the part that bugs me the most is: no matter how nicely I roll them into perfect little balls, they turn into triangles and other fancy shapes in the frying pan. That’s why I’ve renamed the recipe meat”balls.” I was going to call them meat”shapes” but I thought that might scare people away from this recipe.

But. . . when the results came in, and they were a big hit, I realized that like it or not, I will be making these again. I guess that means I just want to please the people I love.

These got rave reviews at a family party that I brought these to this weekend. I wasn’t sure how they’d go over, as there were a lot of kids (aka picky eaters). I didn’t think they’d like the cilantro in the meat”balls”, but they loved it; maybe it’s the slightly sweet sauce that made it go down so nicely. I really liked how tender the meatballs were.

I got this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog, and she adapted it from Canal House Cooking. The only changes I made were to halve the sauce recipe (it was plenty), and grate the ginger instead of chopping.

You can make the sauce ahead of time, and even the meatballs. Because I had to travel a way to my party, I cooked them ahead of time, then just reheated them at the party.

What you need for the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 4 large or 6 small scallions, finely chopped
  • half a bunch of cilantro, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, preferably toasted
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil

What you need for the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine), or 1/4 cup sake with 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 whole black peppercorns

What you do:

  1. To make the sauce, combine the brown sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and let it boil, stirring, until it reduces by half. You want a thick liquid that coats the meatballs. Oops, I was supposed to strain it through a sieve – do this, or just remove the peppercorns like I did… oh, maybe I left them in. Sorry whoever got the peppercorns.
  2. Combine the meat”ball” ingredients in a large bowl and use a fork to mix it all together. Form them into balls, about 1 tablespoon in each. Use wet hands to do this.
  3. Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add some meatballs to the pan, not overcrowding the pan; you want some room to move them around. Fry them until they are nice and browned on the outside (key to flavour!) and cooked through.
  4. Place on a (preferably) heated plate and top with sauce. Serve with toothpicks.


2 thoughts on “Scallion Turkey Meat”balls” with Soy Ginger Glaze”

  1. Looks good. We usually have meatballs New Years eve. Will try these. I always bake meatballs though. Have you ever tried that? You can shake the pan occasionally to move them around, but they still will be a bit lopsided.

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