You can eat less meat unnoticed with these Korean meatballs made from ground beef and chickpeas. The balls are baked and then cooked further in spicy sweet soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Eat these soft, juicy flavour bombs with rice or on a sandwich.

You can eat less meat unnoticed with these Korean meatballs made from ground beef and chickpeas.

Meatballs with less meat in other Asian countries

The meatballs with less meat are often made in Asia with tofu and minced pork. In every Asian country it has its own culinary characteristics.

I love Chinese meatballs of minced pork mixed with mashed tofu. The balls become soft and creamy due to the tofu. And for those who are not tofu lovers: you do not taste the tofu. It does taste mild and the structure is soft, just like many other dishes in Cantonese cuisine.

The balls are steamed or baked and in Cantonese cuisine served with a slightly bound oyster sauce. In Japan they finish the same balls with a sweet, full teriyaki sauce made from sugar, sake and mirin. And in Korea they often add a spicy dipping sauce that is rich in raw garlic and spring onion.

Texture

So why this recipe with chickpeas and not with tofu? Well, I think it’s a shame not to taste that delicious tofu! I prefer to keep it for a recipe in which it plays a starring role. I personally find chickpeas less tasty, but they are super healthy and high in fibre. And guess what? The chickpeas give these Korean meatballs the same tenderness and juiciness as tofu.

Taste of Korean meatballs with less meat

I kept the taste of the balls themselves fairly simple: a little ginger, cooking wine and sesame oil. For the glaze of this recipe, I was inspired by the various Asian cuisines, but subtly: a bit spicy with a little sweetness and rich in umami due to the soy sauce.

I used less garlic than the average Korean. And it is not raw, but cooked with all other ingredients in the sauce. It is therefore less sweet than the Japanese teriyaki sauce.

My Cantonese-oriented taste buds prefer a more modest approach. Despite this, you can still expect a taste explosion.

And the chickpeas? You won’t taste that at all! And that’s good news for those who don’t like chickpea.

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Less Meat Korean Meatballs

Koreaanse gehaktballetjes met minder vlees

You can eat less meat unnoticed with these Korean meatballs made from ground beef and chickpeas. The balls are baked and then cooked further in spicy sweet soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Eat these soft, juicy flavour bombs with rice or on a sandwich.

  • Author: Kamwoj
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: meat, legume
  • Method: backing, frying
  • Cuisine: Korean
Scale

Ingredients

A:

  • 200 g cooked or canned chickpeas. Store the liquid in the refrigerator for a different recipe 1
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g shallot (1 small), finely chopped
  • 10 g peeled ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour 2 or cornflour
  • 1 tsp Korean chili flakes

B:

  • 300 g ground beef
  • 2 tsp oil for frying

C  (glaze):

  • 50 g Japanese or Korean soy sauce 3
  • 2 tsp Korean chilli flakes or – powder
  • 30 g brown sugar
  • 10 g peeled ginger , and cut slightly smaller
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 120 g/ml water

Optional garnish:

  • Sesame
  • Korean chili flakes
  • Fresh chili pepper, in thin rings

Instructions

  1. Mix all A ingredients in a food processor until all chickpeas are finely ground. If you don’t have a food processor: grate the ginger, finely chop the shallot and mash the chickpeas with a large spoon or potato masher. Mix well.
  2. Combine chickpeas and minced meat and mix until smooth. Roll balls the size of a ping-pong ball. Let the balls stiffen in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  3. Puree all C ingredients for the glaze with a hand blender. If you do not have a blender, then chop/ grate the garlic and ginger completely and add them to the rest of the ingredients. Put aside.
  4. Heat a frying pan with two tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Put the balls in the hot pan. Bake the balls brown but entirely done.
  5. Add the sauce to the balls in the pan. Boil the sauce in a thick shiny glaze for about 10 minutes. Turn the balls regularly during boiling down.
  6. Serve the balls with rice and steamed vegetables. Or on a sandwich with cucumber, creamy avocado, mayonnaise, Korean chili flakes and a dash of rice vinegar.

Notes

  1. Freeze the chickpea fluid if you do not intend to use it within two days.
  2. Tapioca flour is a starch from the cassava root that we use in this recipe as a binder. Available at the Asian food shop or health store.
  3. Gluten-free: use tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) instead of regular soy sauce.

Keywords: Vlees, kikkererwt, mild, gehaktbal, vleesarm, glaze, Kantonees

 

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