FAMILY/ How-Tos/ Meals/ Parenting/ RECIPES

Saucy Asian Meatballs & Getting Your Kids To Help In The Kitchen

I will get to this awesome recipe of Saucy Asian Meatballs in just a minute.  It made my whole family VERY happy and I enjoyed the sauce with veggies and rice.  But first let me tell you how it came about that this recipe even made it into our family favorites.

I am reading a book on parenting (whose title I will share with you soon when I remember it…I am sitting in a coffee shop and it is at home).  Anyway…it is an awesome book that has my wheels turning when it comes to parenting and what I expect out of my kids.

It has challenged me to challenge my kids. To expect more out of them and to encourage them to do things they don’t think they can or don’t want to do.

My oldest who will be 13 in a month, REALLY does not like to cook.  At least I thought she didn’t like to cook.  Every time I would try to pull her in the kitchen, she would shuffle, moan, groan & we would end up frustrated with each other.  I have decided that learning to cook is a non-negotiable in our home, as I want them prepared as possible to run a home of their own someday, so I have been trying to come up with a way to make cooking less of a drudgery for my oldest.

Enter Pinterest.  I have watched my daughter slowly build a following on Pinterest as she has super great taste and an eye for beauty.  She loves pinning things, and I noticed one of her boards was named “Get In My Belly.”  I checked out the recipes she pinned, and noticed that many of them were cheesy and full of sugar, so I cringed when I found myself saying to her, “Hey, how about you pick a recipe from your ‘Get In My Belly‘ boards to make for dinner.  I will let you pick what you want, I will buy the ingredients, but you have to make it.”

She immediately went to her boards and I was pleased with what she chose.  I was happy it was not deep fried or oozing with cheese and cream of something soup.  She chose Saucy Asian Meatballs.

I was interested to see if she would follow through with no complaining, and she did just that.  I sat in with her at the table, but I was very careful not do anything but guide her with my words.  She did all the chopping, shaping and baking.  I was amazed and very proud of my non-cook, cooking!

It took a few minutes to get her to use her hands to mix the raw meat mixture (can you blame her?) But, she gave in and we laughed about her dramatic facial expressions as she mixed by hand.  Blech.

Here she is with her finished dinner.  I showed her how to prepare rice in our rice cooker & make a side of frozen vegetables.  Her dinner got rave reviews from her sisters and her dad, who loves great flavor & “mmm’ed” all through dinner.

{Wanna pin it? She would be thrilled.  Pin button down by the comments}

 I was proud and so was she.  I’m eager to see if this will work again with her.  I sure hope so.  I totally enjoyed being with her in the kitchen and I loved seeing how empowered she felt by working hard and producing an entire meal by herself!

Want to follow her on Pinterest?  I know she would be thrilled to see her numbers grow.

Click here if so!


Saucy Asian Meatballs Recipe


*we doubled the sauce to make sure we had enough for my rice & veggies

{from Give Me Some Oven, click through for amazing photos of this recipe! She also talks about the flavor & how they won a taste testing contest by her friends after making numerous meatball recipes}


Meatball Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground pork or ground beef (we used beef, local & grass fed)
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 cup Panko or breadcrumbs (we used regular breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions
  • optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds, sliced scallions

Asian Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger


Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, mix together meatball ingredients until well-combined.  Shape into balls (I made mine about 1.5 inches, which yielded about 35 meatballs, but 1 inch is probably standard), and place on a greased baking sheet or in a 9×13 baking dish.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until meatballs are golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside.

While the meatballs are baking, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until blended.  Once meatballs have finished cooking, you can either dip each meatball individually (using a toothpick) in the sauce mixture.  Or you can pour the sauce over the meatballs and gently stir them until covered.



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  • Loni
    July 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Can’t wait to try the meatballs, I linked your recipe on my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  • The imPerfect Housewife
    July 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    You are one smart mama – and those meatballs look amaaaazing! I do share your daughters feelings when it comes to mixing raw meat by hand. I’m not a germophobe or anything, it just grosses me out. That is why I always have a box of plastic surgical gloves handy. I know, crazy right?? That’s OK, I can live with it. Can’t wait to try the Asian meatballs!

  • Karen
    July 19, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Another idea I heard once, was to teach your child how make their favorite restaurant dish. One, they’ll be motivated to make something they really like. Two, they’ll learn that they can make yummy things at home and not have to spend $$ going out to eat.

    • Amy Bowman
      July 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      that is a great idea. Even more creativity! Love.

  • Robyn
    July 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    These looks delicious.. Im going to try them.. Your daughter looks so happy and beaming with pride! Loved the photos of her smiling with her finished product.. Way to go! 🙂

    • Amy Bowman
      July 19, 2012 at 1:31 am

      Cute huh? Love the pride, too.
      Thanks for your comments, Robyn. So fun to see your face and get to “know” you through your comments.

  • Lisa
    July 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    This is supper tonight. Thanks!

    • Amy Bowman
      July 19, 2012 at 1:30 am

      Let me know what you think!

  • Carole
    July 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Great recipe. Would you be happy to link in to my Meatball edition of Food on Friday? This is the link . Hope you are having a good week.

  • Cindy
    July 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Looks delicious! I’ve pinned it to try later and am now “following” your daughter’s pins. She clearly has good taste!

    • Amy Bowman
      July 19, 2012 at 1:28 am

      that is so fun that you followed her. She is excited to see her number move up during the day..

  • Anonymous
    July 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    my mom is a great cook but whenever we were in the kitchen together it didnt end well… now as a new wife im slowly learning to cook on my own! i really wish i could have learned from my mom (now shes 2,000 miles away).

    also, congrats on your mri results! i have newly diagnosed ms and am eagerly anticipating/dreading my next mri

    katie in charleston, sc

    • Amy Bowman
      July 19, 2012 at 1:30 am

      Yes, it was not fun other times we had tried, but giving her some power and letting her chose the recipe sure made it better!

      So sorry to hear about your MS diagnosis. So sorry you have to know Mr. MRI. Blessings to you.

  • K Breck
    July 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Sounds like I book I am reading now about a mom in Dallas teaching her kids over the course of a year the basic life skills they need to have coupled with the independence and responsiblity to be a productive citizen. It’s called Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma. I’m on month four – it is entertaining and completely thought provoking.

    • Amy Bowman
      July 19, 2012 at 1:28 am

      Ha! That is the book! It is good, huh? I’m on the laundry chapter..