Spicy Korean Galbi Meatballs Recipe

When it comes to Korean barbecue, you just can’t go wrong with some Galbi Beef Shortribs, right?! Having bought a bottle of spicy Galbi marinade from my local Asian supermarket, the obvious dish aside, I wanted to explore other recipes to make. The sweet and spicy nature of Galbi sauce makes it quite an addictive flavour to savour over a bed of rice. So I experimented with some homemade meatballs and the results have been quite the firecracker of flavours! It’s unconventional but this Spicy Korean Galbi Meatballs recipe is a great alternative way to enjoy Galbi flavours and a hit on the dinner table.

Okay, the word “Galbi” (or Kalbi) is technically referring to grilled ribs and Galbi sauce is a Korean barbecue marinade specifically for ribs. I am using the word Galbi here more loosely to refer to the unique fruity sweetness & savoury flavours of the sauce. A classic Korean Galbi sauce is typically made with a blend of garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and Asian pear. Do watch out that some brands may contain mirin in their ingredients if you’re on a halal diet.

Spicy Galbi Meatballs with Rice

How to Make Spicy Korean Galbi Meatballs

Ingredients

  • Beef meatballs – see list of ingredients below for meatballs
  • Garlic, Onions – the aromatics
  • Spicy Galbi Sauce
  • Honey
  • Togarashi (Japanese Chilli Pepper Powder), Salt – to season & taste
  • Scallions – for garnish

For the Meatballs

  • Beef mince
  • Red Chilli Flakes
  • Salt, White Pepper, Cumin Powder
  • Light Soy Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Spicy Galbi Sauce
  • Scallions
  • White Sesame Seed

Recipe notes

  • Spice levels really depend on the brand. Generally, Galbi marinade isn’t spicy so you may have to add in chillies and more Togarashi to compensate for the heat. I used the Daesang Hot & Spicy Galbi Marinade and it’s got quite a fiery touch to it. I didn’t need any chilli flakes when cooking the sauce because it’s spicy as it is! Bottomline is that definitely experiment and play around with it to get that sweet spot for yourselves.
  • Honey is used to give the dish a little extra touch of sweetness and to balance out the heat. Again, this all depends on the brand of the Galbi marinade/sauce you are using as flavours may differ. If your choice of Galbi sauce is already quite sweet, you can reduce or even omit the honey.
  • I tend to keep my meatball sizes small because it’s easier to cook that way. Each meatball is roughly a heaped tablespoon – weighing around 15-20g. If your meatballs are large in size, it would take longer cooking times.
  • You can premake the meatballs and freeze them up to 3-4 months. This would save you a lot of prep time!
Spicy Galbi Meatballs with Rice

Spicy Korean Kalbi Meatballs

ET Food Voyage
Need some meatballs dish ideas? Try out this Spicy Korean Galbi Meatballs recipe, bringing Korean bbq flavours into a saucy hot & sweet dish!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian, Korean
Servings 2 servings
Calories 267 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ½ tbsp Red Chilli Flakes* optional
  • 1 Onion sliced
  • 1 tsp Togarashi Japanese Chilli Pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Spicy Galbi Sauce
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Honey*
  • Scallions chopped, for garnish

For the meatballs

  • 250 g Beef Mince
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp White Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder
  • ½ tbsp Red Chilli Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • ½ tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp Spicy Kalbi Sauce
  • 75 g Scallions chopped
  • 1 tbsp White Sesame Seeds

Instructions
 

Making the meatballs

  • Combine all the meatball ingredients till combined. Shape into palm-size balls, each roughly weighing about 15-20g.
    250 g Beef Mince, 1 tbsp Salt, 1 tbsp White Pepper, 1 tbsp Cumin Powder, ½ tbsp Red Chilli Flakes, 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce, ½ tbsp Sesame Oil, 1 tbsp Spicy Kalbi Sauce, 1 tbsp White Sesame Seeds, 75 g Scallions
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sear meatballs until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
    1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • In the same pan, add a little more oil if needed, saute garlic (and chilli flakes if using) for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
    2 cloves Garlic, ½ tbsp Red Chilli Flakes*
  • Then add in sliced onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until golden. Season with Togarashi and salt.
    1 Onion, 1 tsp Togarashi Japanese Chilli Pepper, ½ tsp Salt
  • Stir in Spicy Kalbi Sauce and toss in the browned meatballs.
    2 tbsp Spicy Galbi Sauce
  • Add water, give it a little stir, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the liquid has reduced into a thick sauce. You may need more water if the pan gets dry.
    ½ cup Water
  • Stir in Honey and Scallions. Serve hot over rice.
    1 tbsp Honey*, Scallions

Notes

  • Depending on the brand of Galbi marinade/sauce you are using, you may not need to use chilli flakes if it’s already spicy enough. Same with sweetness and you may not need as much honey to balance the heat. Alternatively, you may need more of either ingredient – it all depends on the brand you are using!
    (I used the Daesang Hot & Spicy Galbi Marinade and it’s got quite a fiery touch to it where no addition of chilli flakes are required.)
  • I tend to keep my meatball sizes small because it’s easier to cook that way. If your meatballs are large in size, it would take longer cooking times.
  • You can premake the meatballs and freeze them up to 3-4 months. This would save you a lot of prep time!
Keyword Beef, Meatballs, Rice Dish

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