Gochujang or Korean chili paste has been a big hit over the last few years, which is no surprise to me because it makes my Korean Pork Meatballs so spectacular — you can’t help but fall in love. I used gochujang in the pork meatballs and the tomato sauce, which adds a spicy sweetness that’s incredible. You don’t need any fillers in these meatballs; like breadcrumbs or eggs because the juicy pork speaks for itself, and a tablespoon or two of gochujang gives incredible flavor.
I mixed ground pork with onions, cilantro, gochujang, soy sauce, and sesame oil (mostly pantry items, I hope) and rolled them lightly into balls, and seared them until deep golden brown in a skillet. While the meatballs were cooking, I whisked together a sauce with tomato puree, gochujang, soy sauce and sesame oil — similar ingredients in the meatballs, but the with addition of tomato puree. The sauce is gently poured over the meatballs and then simmered away for 20 minutes before enjoying. This meal makes an outstanding weeknight option, but they’re pretty impressive to serve for guests on the weekends.
1 pound ground pork
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped + more for topping
4 tablespoons soy sauce, I prefer dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons gochujang chili paste
14 ounce can tomato puree
steamed rice for serving, optional
- In a bowl, combine pork, onion, garlic, cilantro, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and gochujang.
- Using your hands, lightly toss mixture and form into balls. Place them in a large skillet over medium-high heat and allow to sear on all sides until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes or so.
- In a large measuring cup or bowl with spout, add tomato puree, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and gochujang, whisk.
- Pour over meatballs and turn down heat to simmer. Cover pan with lid and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid and stir to coat meatballs in sauce.
- Spoon meatballs over hot rice or noodles and sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!