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Asian Meatball Sliders with Spiced Pickles

Tender Asian meatballs with a sweet and salty glaze pair perfectly with garlicky, spiced pickles.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 50 meatballs
Author Kim Peterson

Ingredients

Pickles

  • cup rice or white wine vinegar
  • cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic, about 3 cloves
  • ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into ⅛-inch thick slices (about 2 cups)

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic, about 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Sauce

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

To Serve

  • 2 dozen slider rolls or Chinese steamed buns
  • Boston or red leaf lettuce
  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds

Instructions

Pickles

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, water, brown sugar, garlic, and pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add cucumber slices. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. (Pickles can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix all meatball ingredients in a large bowl with your hands until combined. Roll mixture into meatballs, a scant tablespoon each, and place on large, rimmed baking sheet. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Bake 9-11 minutes. Meatballs should be browned on the outside and cooked through.

Sauce

  1. While meatballs are baking, combine soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, ginger, and black pepper.

To Serve

  1. Place warm meatballs in a large bowl. Pour enough sauce over to coat. Line slider rolls with lettuce, place 2-3 meatballs on top along with pickles. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired. Meatballs can also be served in lettuce cups without the rolls. Pass remaining sauce separately.

Recipe Notes

Meatballs can be frozen before or after baking. Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw before baking.