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Divide approx. 30g of the cooked noodles to each chicken soup portion just before serving

These gluten-free Korean meatballs are a quick-to-make meal bursting with umami flavour thanks to the great addition of a Korean staple, Gochujang chilli paste.

Garnishing the Korean meatballs with sliced spring onions

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang chilli paste is an essential cooking ingredient used in Korean cuisine. It is not a condiment, but a fermented concentrate paste that is thick, robust, pungent, sweet, salty and mildly spicy.

The main ingredients in Gochujang are glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, red chilli pepper flakes and salt.

A little goes a long way when added to meat dishes such as these meatballs or stews, stir-fries, soups and sauces.

Most Asian stores sell several brands of Gochujang in tubs, but not all are gluten-free, so select one specifically labelled Gluten-Free.

Photo of Gochujang gluten-free chilli paste

How to store Gochujang

Once the tub is opened, store it in the refrigerator. Due to it’s concentration and fermentation, it can keep for several years.

The tub has a secure lid that seals any aroma, preventing other foods from absorbing the smell.

How to cook the meatballs:

1. Add a few drops of cooking oil to your gloved hands and roll out 4 cm meatballs. Place them on a large tray about 2 cm apart.

Raw Korean meatballs rolled and placed on a baking tray

2. Cook the meatballs for 15 mins covered in foil on the middle shelf at 180°C/350°F.
3. Remove the foil and sprinkle the meatballs with the sesame seeds.
4. Return the meatballs uncovered to the oven to cook for 15 mins.
5. Select another baking dish (eg; Pyrex) to transfer the cooked meatballs. Return this dish to the oven for 5 mins. This step will crisp them up nicely.

The drained and crisp Korean meatballs piled in a serving plate

How to make the dipping sauce:

1. Keep the residue of meat juices and paste rendered from the meatballs in the tray.

The cooked Korean meatballs in the baking tray

2. Pour the residue liquid from the tray into a small saucepan, keeping as much fat apart with a spatula.

Pouring the pan juices into a small saucepan to make the meatball sauce

3. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for 8 mins. Add the cornflour and whisk in well until the sauce starts to thicken.

Cooking the sauce and adding cornflour to thicken it

4. Using a sieve, pour the thickened sauce into a serving bowl below. Taste and season accordingly.

Straining the sauce

HEALTH TIP!

In Korea, Gochujang is traditionally used to alleviate slow digestion and strengthen the stomach. With its probiotic properties, it is known for its benefits in maintaining optimal gut health.

Read more about its health benefits here

Gluten-Free Korean Meatballs

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
These are meatballs with a bang! Aromatic, fun, easy and so tasty!!
This is a quick-to-make meal recipe that will take you an hour to prepare and cook. All you need on standby is a tub of gluten-free Gochujang chilli paste - a dynamic, aromatic Korean paste that adds plenty of umami flavour to dishes, including these meatballs.
Enjoy them with some steamed rice and the dipping sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Dipping sauce 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 42 meatballs (4cm)

Ingredients
  

Gluten-Free Korean Meatballs

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp store-bought gluten-free Gochujang Chilli Paste
  • 2 tbsp Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 kg ground minced beef or a mixture of beef & pork
  • 4 spring onions, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 handful fresh coriander, chopped finely

Extras

  • some cooking oil, to roll the meatballs
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, white or white & black sesame seed combination
  • ½ tbsp cornflour, to thicken the sauce
  • 2 spring onions, sliced thinly, to garnish

Instructions
 

Preparing the meatball mixture:

  • Beat the eggs lightly in a bowl and add the Gochujang chilli paste, soy sauce, garlic and white pepper. Combine well.
  • In a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients together with the egg mixture.
  • Using disposable gloves, gently massage the mixture until the meat has slightly broken down, but don't over-massage it or the meat juices and fat will leak out.
  • Add a few drops of cooking oil to your gloved hands and roll out 4 cm meatballs. Place them on a large tray about 2 cm apart.
    Raw Korean meatballs rolled and placed on a baking tray
  • The meatballs can be either cooked straight away or chilled for several hours covered ahead of time.

Cooking the meatballs:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°.
  • Cook the meatballs for 15 mins covered in foil on the middle shelf.
  • Remove the foil and sprinkle the meatballs with the sesame seeds.
  • Return the meatballs uncovered to the oven to cook for 15 mins.
  • Select another baking dish (eg; Pyrex) to transfer the cooked meatballs to. Return this dish to the oven for 5 mins. This step will crisp them up nicely.
    The drained and crisp Korean meatballs piled in a serving plate
  • There will be a decent amount of meat juices and chilli paste residue in the tray. Keep this aside to prepare the dipping sauce.
    The cooked Korean meatballs in the baking tray

Preparing the dipping sauce:

  • Pour the residue liquid from the tray into a small saucepan, keeping as much fat apart with a spatula.
    Pouring the pan juices into a small saucepan to make the meatball sauce
  • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for 8 mins. Add the cornflour and whisk in well until the sauce starts to thicken.
    Cooking the sauce and adding cornflour to thicken it
  • Using a sieve, pour the thickened sauce into a serving bowl below. Taste and season accordingly. The dipping sauce is best served warm but can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
    Straining the sauce

Garnishing:

  • Soak the sliced spring onions in some iced water to remove the strong flavour and to crisp them up.
    Soaking the sliced spring onions in cold iced water
  • Sprinkle them generously over the warm meatballs and serve with steamed rice and the warm dipping sauce.
    Garnishing the Korean meatballs with sliced spring onions

Notes

  • Keeps for 3 days chilled
  • Suitable to freeze (without the spring onion garnishing)
Keyword gluten-free asian cuisine, gluten-free meatballs
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