Sesame-Ginger Turkey Meatballs

Mmmmmm.  Meatballs.  They should really be their own food group.  The standard parmesan and parsley variety is always a crowd pleaser, but why not try an Asian spin on the red-sauce standby?  Utilizing a milder ground meat, garlic, ginger, scallion, and sesame, these are a great way to savor the flavor of Chinese take-out, minus the excessive sodium.

Ground turkey isn't always a reliable stand-in for beef.  It requires substantially more seasoning - skimp on bold flavors and risk the dish falling flat.  I've been using it in a white bean chili packed with cilantro and jalapeños, and most recently, these meatballs!  Make use of extra ginger, garlic, and scallions by sautéing them up with bok choy and broccoli, then toss with brown rice noodles.  A little jalapeño and lime will really make the flavors pop. Top with meatballs and dinner is served.  


These came out so good, I ate them cold for lunch the next day, dipping them right into a jar of sambal oelek.  YUM.  Adapted with love from Food and Wine magazine.  

Sesame-Ginger Turkey Meatballs

Special equipment: Microplane, broiler pan


20 oz. package ground turkey (I used Shady Brook Farms)

4 cloves garlic

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

2 scallions, greens only, sliced thin (I do this with kitchen shears)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 T. reduced sodium soy sauce

1 T. sesame seeds

1 tsp. sesame oil

2/3 C. Panko breadcrumbs

canola or vegetable oil, for pan


Preheat oven to 450 F.  Brush broiler pan with enough oil to coat.

Place turkey in large bowl.  Use Microplane to grate garlic, then ginger, directly over turkey.  Add remaining ingredients and combine well.

Form mixture into golfball-sized meatballs.  You should end up with 15-16 of them.

Place on broiler pan and transfer to preheated oven.  Bake 15- 18 minutes, until meatballs are browned and cooked through.  

Yields 5 servings, three meatballs each.