By Justin Shoults + Melissa Lee
Would you believe this dish was created because I had leftover gochujang sauce from teaching my Seoul Food cooking class? Seoul food has nothing to do with soul food, a cuisine traditionally prepared by African Americans in the southern United States. Seoul is the capital of Korea. In my class, I introduce some basic Korean condiments and pantry items, such as gochujang, kimchi, and gochugaru (덜매운 고춧가루, hot pepper flakes ). When one of my students didn’t use the gochujang sauce that was prepared for her, I took it home with me.
The next day, my daughter Amber told me she wanted to eat meatballs, and on a whim, I added the leftover gochujang sauce to my meatball mixture. My meatballs were juicy and packed with umami. I couldn’t help bragging about them to my Chef friend, Justin. He is a perfectionist, so he tweaked the recipe and created the gochujang glaze to add even more deliciousness to the meatballs.
The gochujang meatballs is great for rice or noodles. If you’re looking for a Korean noodle recipe, don’t miss our ram-don noodle recipe—a dish inspired by the award-winning Korean movie Parasite.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Feeds 4 People
List of the tools and special equipment
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
Small pot to make glaze
- Measuring cups and spoons
- One small bowl
- One medium bowls
- Sheet pan
- Microplane grater
- Larger cheese grater
- Small whisk
- Rubber spatula
- Aluminum foil
1lb ground beef chuck, 20% fat blend
½ lb ground pork, shoulder
2 tablespoons gochujang chili paste
½ bunch scallion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 2” piece of ginger, grated
2 tablespoons Korean radish, grated on large cheese grater
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
½ cup fine breadcrumbs
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon gochujang chili paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup dark soy sauce
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
1 bunch scallion, thinly sliced
To Make the meatballs:
- Place the ground meats in a medium bowl. Place the rest of the ingredients on the meat and mix thoroughly to combine. The mixture should be a little sticky but dry enough to hold its shape. Add more bread crumbs if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Shape the meat mixture into 1” diameter meatballs, or desired size.
- Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
To make the glaze:
- While the meatballs are cooking, in a small pot add the beef stock, gochujang, cider vinegar, and honey. Bring to a boil.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and the soy sauce and whisk together until combined. Add the cornstarch mixture into the boiling beef stock and whisk vigorously to combine. Bring back to a boil and then remove from the heat. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the meatball.
- Add in the toasted sesame seeds.
- Toss the cooked meatballs and the sauce in a bowl. Serve on plates with the sliced scallions on top and more sesame seeds.
The meatballs freeze well. First, individually place the meatballs on a sheet pan in the freezer. Once frozen, they can be stored in a Ziploc bag for a couple of months. They are great for a quick appetizer. The meatballs should be pulled on a thaw before cooking.
The meatballs can also be cooked then stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheated and tossed with the glaze.
Pork is added to the meatball for a softer texture. If ground pork is not available, then you can use 100% beef.
Gochujang can be added or taken from the sauce to adjust the heat.
The Korean radish is added to the meatball for added moisture. This can also be substituted with other seasonal vegetables, like carrots or summer squash.
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Here are the Amazon affiliate links for you to order the ingredients and tools to create this delicious dish.