Teriyaki Meatballs…

Teriyaki has become synonymous with Japanese cuisine.  It’s important to remember that it is not the only flavor or sauce on Japanese cooking.  Here in Seattle, there’s a “____ Teriyaki” on every corner with every name combination imaginable.  It’s a shame what American food has done to Teriyaki sauce.  Another thing goes for Chinese cuisine (orange chicken isn’t Chinese folks).  I made a batch of mom’s Teri meatballs for a party and they are to die for, so here it is.  She calls this sauce her cilantro soy sauce, but I say teriyaki.  It may not be a traditional teriyaki from Japan, but it’s good.

The meat soaks in a bit of sauce, then is cooked.  I also like to boil down the marinade for a delicious glaze to top the meatballs with.

Start with fresh beef.  Being the stubborn perfectionist that I am, I like to grind my own beef.  The day I opened my meat grinder was one of my happiest.  Normal people would find that sad, but foodies out there know what I’m talking about. I used top round because it’s pretty lean, but still has enough fat for flavor.  A cut too fatty would prevent the meatballs from forming well.

After it’s seasoned, it carries the flavor with it.  Sometimes, along with some garlic.

Cilantro adds a bright fresh flavor to this sauce and it’s also great with flank steak or something similar.

Teriyaki Meatballs


1 1/4 c water
2 c soy sauce
2 oz (4 T) sesame oil
1 lb brown sugar
2 T garlic, chopped fine (not minced)
2 T ginger, chopped fine
2 T sesame seeds
2 T sambal oelek hot sauce
1 bunch cilantro
1 T white pepper

Mix them all together until dissolved.  You may heat on low to help with dissolving, but it’s not necessary.

Get your quantity of meat you’re using.  I made about 50 meatballs with 4 lbs of beef.  Pour some of the sauce into the mixture.  It’s a flavoring, not a soup, so don’t overdo it.  A sauce to meat ratio of 2 T sauce : 1 cup beef is good.  Feel free to add more, but remember you may need to add breadcrumbs later if it’s too moist.

With extra sauce, boil it down and use for a glaze.

Form meatballs and brown in a skillet on medium high heat on both sides. Put all the meatballs in a 13 x 9 (or whatever pan you want) into a 350 F oven for another 8-10 minutes to complete cooking.  There will be juices in the pan.  You can add that to the glaze.  Pour the glaze over the meatballs and hope it makes the trip to the table before being eaten.

I had no pictures of cooked meatballs….my point exactly.

*next up…French Onion Soup…*


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