This chicken meatballs recipe makes the perfect meatballs that are glazed with a mix of Korean gochujang and pepper jelly, great as an appetizer or the star of the meal. I love them.
Do you enjoy chicken meatballs? I sure do. Patty and I love meatballs of any kind, whether they're made from beef, turkey, pork, chicken, or any combination thereof. As long as they're spicy. Or big on flavor.
Meatballs usually are. They're the perfect bite, really, a big ball of seasoned ground meat, typically drenched in some sort of wonderful meatballs sauce or glaze.
Just like this particular recipe. We're talking Spicy Korean Chicken Meatballs.
Mike's Spicy Korean Chicken Meatballs
These Korean meatballs are made with ground chicken that is seasoned with ginger and Korean gochujang, which is a spicy Korean chili paste. We use a bit of beaten egg and panko (or breadcrumbs) to bind them together.
They're browned up in a hot pan, then transferred to the oven to cook through and finish up. Once they're ready, we baste them with a spicy glaze made from sweet pepper jelly, more spicy gochujang, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Such a wonderful combination.If you haven't cooked with gochujang, you need to add it to your shopping list. It's such a huge flavor builder. Learn more about gochujang here, and why you need it in your kitchen.
You're going to love these sweet and spicy meatballs, my friends. Serve them as an appetizer, on game day or the super bowl, as a party or meal starter, or as the star of your dinner! Chicken meatballs are delicious and can make for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. And, they're freezer friendly!
Let's talk about how to make chicken meatballs with Korean chili glaze, shall we?
Chicken Meatballs Ingredients
For The Chicken Meatballs
- Flavor Building Veggies. We're cooking down some chopped celery, onion, jalapeno and garlic in a bit of olive oil to add to our meat mixture first. Some people like to either skip this step or add the raw chopped or minced veggies into their meatballs mixture, but you get more flavor out of my method. Cook them down first, then incorporate them into your meatball mix.
- Ground Chicken. I'm using 1 pound ground chicken to make 16 appetizer-sized meatballs. You can use ground beef, ground turkey or ground pork as well.
The Binders. 1 cup panko and 1 egg will help bind the meatballs. You may need a bit more if you're meatballs feel too wet or sticky or aren't holding together well enough. Bread crumbs work as well. here.
- Gochujang. There are different types of gochujang based on heat levels, but most have similar flavors. I chose a hotter variety found in my local grocery store. I use 2 tablespoons of gochujang, but you can add more to spice things up. It's so delicious.
- The Seasonings. I'm using 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 tablespoon spicy red pepper flakes, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add in other seasonings, like fresh or ground garlic, green onion, maybe a bit of brown sugar to sweeten things up. The choice is yours.
- Garnish. I use fresh chopped herbs, sesame seeds and spicy chili flakes for garnish. If you have a favorite, go for it.
For the Spicy Korean Chili Sauce
- Pepper Jelly. Pepper jelly makes for an excellent glaze or sauce starter. It is inherently sweet and sugary, making it perfect for a glaze. I use 1/4 to 1/2 cup pepper jelly to start, though you may want more if you'd like your chicken meatballs to be saucier. Use your favorite pepper jelly recipe, a store bought brand, or try my jalapeno jelly recipe. So good! Want it CRAZY spicy? Try my ghost pepper jelly! Whoa!
- The Saucy Ingredients. I'm using 3 tablespoons gochujang, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. If you'd like more sauce or a "saucier" sauce, add in extra gochujang. Taste and adjust.
How to Make This Spicy Korean Chicken Meatballs Recipe - the Recipe Method
For the Chicken Meatballs
Heat a large pan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat. Add celery, onion and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes to soften. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring.
Remove from heat and add contents to a mixing bowl. Cool slightly.
Add the ground chicken, panko, egg, gochujang, ginger powder and chili flakes. Add salt and pepper to your tastes.
Hand mix the meat mixture until everything is combined, but do not over mix. If you over mix with your hands, the meatballs can become mealy.
Form the meat mixture into 1-inch sized meatballs. You should get about 16 meatballs, about an ounce each or so.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat the pan again to medium heat and add remaining olive oil. Brown the meatballs 3-4 minutes, rolling them a bit to brown all of the sides.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, or until the chicken meatballs are cooked through. The internal temperature of your baked chicken meatballs should be 165 degrees F when measured with a meat thermometer.
For the Korean Gochujang Glaze/Sauce
While the chicken meatballs are cooking, in a large bowl combine the pepper jelly, gochujang, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and salt and pepper. Add to a small pot and heat gently, stirring, until it is well combined.
Pour the gochujang sauce / glaze over the chicken meatballs, or you can brush it on.
Sprinkle with chili flakes, sesame seeds and fresh parsley and serve.
Boom! That's it, my friends! Such a great recipe! I love these chicken meatballs. Total party food. You know you'll be ready for the super bowl or game day eating table with these babies. I hope your family loves them as much as I do. Chicken meatballs all the way.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Heat Factor. Mild-Medium. You'll get a good level of heat from the gochujang, depending on the brand you're using. You can spice things up even further by incorporating hotter peppers, like serrano peppers, habanero peppers or even ghost peppers into your chicken meatball mixture, and/or using extra spicy chili flakes and seasonings. Spice it up, my friends!
- For Baked Chicken Meatballs. Alternatively, you can add your chicken meatballs to a prepared rimmed baking sheet, lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper, and bake them at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are cooked through. The internal temperature of your baked chicken meatballs should be 165 degrees F. You can also finish them in a slow cooker.
- Keto Chicken Meatballs. These can be keto chicken meatballs, my friends, if you use a low or no-sugar pepper jelly.
Storage & Leftovers
Storing your Spicy Korean Chicken Meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge may allow you to store the leftovers for up to 3-4 days. To maximize the storage life, make sure to refrigerate the meatballs promptly.
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Honey-Sriracha Turkey Meatballs
- Spicy Meatballs in Chipotle-Lime Sauce
- Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)
- Grape Jelly Meatballs
- Spicy Meatballs Sub Sandwiches
- Spicy Italian Meatballs
- Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple-Gochujang Glaze
- Spicy Peel-and-Eat Shrimp with Honey-Gochujang Glaze
- Buldak (Korean Fire Chicken)
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Spicy Korean Chicken Meatballs Recipe
FOR THE CHICKEN MEATBALLS
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 pound ground chicken you can use ground beef, ground turkey or ground pork as well
- 1 cup panko or more as needed - you can sub in bread crumbs instead
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons gochujang or more as desired
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon spicy red pepper flakes or more as desired
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh chopped herbs sesame seeds and spicy chili flakes for garnish
FOR THE SPICY KOREAN CHILI SAUCE
- 1/4 cup pepper jelly
- 3 tablespoons gochujang
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE CHICKEN MEATBALLS
- Heat a large pan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat.
- Add celery, onion and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring.
- Remove from heat and add contents to a mixing bowl. Cool slightly.
- Add the ground chicken, panko, egg, gochujang, ginger powder and chili flakes. Add salt and pepper to your tastes.
- Hand mix the meat mixture until everything is combined, but do not over mix. If you over mix with your hands, the meatballs can become mealy.
- Form the meat mixture into 1-inch sized meatballs. You should get about 16 meatballs, about an ounce each or so.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat the pan again to medium heat and add remaining olive oil. Brown the meatballs 3-4 minutes, rolling them a bit to brown all of the sides.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, or until the chicken meatballs are cooked through.
FOR THE KOREAN GOCHUJANG GLAZE / SAUCE
- While the chicken meatballs are cooking, add the pepper jelly, gochujang, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to a small pot. Heat gently, stirring, until it is well combined.
- Pour the gochujang sauce / glaze over the chicken meatballs, or you can brush it on.
- Sprinkle with chili flakes, sesame seeds and fresh parsley and serve.