Flavourful Korean Turkey Meatballs are seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, pepper, sesame oil and a little molasses.
Sometimes my kids whine about supper. (Okay, often.) May be it’s a phase? They’re tired of chicken, say they don’t like turkey meatballs, don’t want to eat fish again….What I have come to discover as they get further into their teens is that more and more they love highly seasoned foods.
My kids clean their plates when I serve these tasty Korean turkey meatballs.
They love garlic and ginger and spices, loads of spices. The more I prepare ethnic foods the less they complain. Needless to say, my cupboard has been filling up with different spicy condiments, including the Korean paste-like sauce, gochujang.
Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they’re tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang. Serve this dish with raw or lightly sauteed peppers for a bright and flavourful meal.
This recipe is slightly adapted from New York Times Cooking.
Korean Turkey Meatballs with Noodles
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. rice or cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup chopped peeled pear or apple
- ¼ cup minced onion
- ½-1 Tbsp. grated ginger
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari (GF)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ⅓ cup dry bread crumbs or panko (can omit for gluten-free version)
- 6 ounces udon, soba or linguine noodles* (GF if necessary)
- 1 Tbsp. grape seed oil
- 2 Tbsp. gochujang, or 2 Tbsp. ketchup seasoned with 1 tsp. hot sauce
- 3 scallions, cut on diagonal
*Can serve meatballs with rice instead
- Heat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Place turkey in a bowl.
- Combine molasses, pepper, sesame oil, vinegar, pear, onion, ginger, soy sauce and two cloves of the garlic in a food processor and whirl until well minced. Scrape out of the processor and onto the turkey and stir to combine. Mix in the egg and bread crumbs. Form into 1 ½” balls and place on prepared pan.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until done. (Careful not to overcook.)
- While the meatballs are baking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining.
- When meatballs are done, warm a saute pan over medium heat. Swirl in oil and add the remaining clove of garlic. Cook for 30 seconds then whisk in the gochujang or ketchup-hot sauce mixture and ¾ of the reserved pasta water. Simmer until it starts to thicken then add noodles. Toss to coat then add meatballs. (Add remaining pasta water if necessary.)
- Sprinkle over the scallions and serve.