Gochujang Turkey Meatballs

Gochujang turkey meatballs

Ball so hard

I know what you’re probably thinking… “what’s gochujang?” It’s pronounced as ‘go-chew-jong” and it’s a Korean condiment that’s commonly known as hot pepper paste. It’s found everywhere in Korean cuisine from stews to kimchi to marinated meats – they love their spicy food!


Being in a Vietnamese household, I’ve been exposed to many different asian cuisines growing up. Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Filipino… you name it, I’ve had them all (or at least I’ve done my best to). However, one of the very last ones that I was exposed was Korean. There wasn’t an abundance of it in Waterloo where I grew up, and so it took a few years for me living in Toronto and Calgary to explore and enjoy the best dishes this cuisine had to offer. Hopefully this recipe can give you a glimpse what you’ve all been missing out on and leaving you wanting more!

The gochujang sauce in this recipe is similar to what you find on korean fried chicken, adapted from Maanghi. As for the meatballs, they’re adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

Lisa xo.


  • When forming the turkey balls, periodically wet your hands so they’re easier to roll.
  • Sauce can be made ahead of time and re-heated.

Gochujang Turkey Meatballs

Makes 25-28 meatballs

For the meatballs
1 lb (454 grams) ground turkey
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 stalks green onion, chopped

For the sauce
1 tbsp cooking oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup gochujang (hot pepper paste)
sesame seeds, for garnish

Pre-heat the oven to 375 °F.

Make meatballs: Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a mixing bowl and form into balls, similar size to ping pong balls, and place onto parchment paper. Take out a frying pan, and brown the meatballs but be careful not to overcrowd. Once all are browned, place back onto a cookie sheet and cook in oven for 10-12 mins.

Sauce: Sauté garlic with a drizzle of oil until fragrant. Add the rest of ingredients and mix well to cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Set aside until meatballs are ready to be mixed in.

Combine: After 10-12 minutes, take the turkey meatballs out of the oven and toss in the sauce. Mix well. Serve with some sliced cucumbers or on a platter with plenty of toothpicks. Enjoy!



1. Combine all the meatball ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Combine well to remove any lumps from the panko breadcrumbs or green onions.IMG_0806



2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. First wet your hands, then roll out meatballs to ping pong-sized balls. You should be able to roll about 25-28.


3. Take out a frying pan, add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil and brown meatballs. Prevent overcrowding the pan and cook in batches if needed.


4. Once all meatballs are browned, place back onto baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10-12 mins.


5. As the turkey meatballs are cooking, make the gochujang sauce. First, sauté the garlic with half a tablespoon of cooking oil.


6.  Once garlic is fragrant, add the rest of sauce ingredients and let it cook until slightly thickened. Set aside until meatballs are ready.


7. Remove turkey meatballs from oven and toss in the gochujang sauce until completely coated.



8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with slices of cucumber or on a platter with plenty of toothpicks. Enjoy!


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