Slow-Cooker Korean Meatballs
with noodles / kimchi / sesame snap peas
No need to heat up your kitchen for these meatballs in a Korean-inspired sauce with ginger and kimchi. The slow-cooker produces tender, saucy meatballs that are great served over noodles with crisp snap peas.
- Kimchi (opt) - 2 Tbsp, chopped
- Onions - 1/2, chopped
- Ginger - 2 tsp, grated
- Stock, low-sodium beef (sub any low-sodium stock) - 1 cup
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 5 Tbsp
- Ketchup - 4 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Sugar, brown - 2 Tbsp
- Beef, ground and lean - 2 lbs
- Eggs - 2
- Panko - 1/2 cup
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Limes - 1/2, juice of
- Korean meatballs (ingredients listed separately) - ~20
- Noodles, udon (sub soba) - 8 oz
- Sugar snap peas (frozen or fresh) - 1 lb, trimmed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Chili-garlic sauce (sub any hot sauce) - 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
- Kimchi / Onions / Ginger - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make sauce - Combine kimchi, onions, ginger, stock, soy sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sugar. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Snap peas - Trim peas. (Skip if using frozen.) (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Form meatballs - This makes enough for two nights. Mix beef with egg, panko, salt and black pepper. Form into 1” (2.5 cm) wide meatballs. You should have roughly 10 meatballs per serving (this amount is for two nights). (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Slow-cook meatballs - Place meatballs in the bowl of a slow-cooker. Pour sauce over top (don’t worry if the meatballs aren’t fully covered). Set cooker to low and cook until meatballs are cooked through and very tender, 4 to 5 hours. (Note: If you prefer not to use the slow-cooker, you can also brown the meatballs with a bit of oil in a Dutch oven. Add sauce and simmer on low until meatballs are cooked through and sauce thickens, 6 to 8 minutes.)
- Bring a stock pot of water to boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain.
- While noodles cook, heat a saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil. When oil begins to shimmer add snap peas and saute until starting to brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chili garlic sauce and sesame seeds and stir just to coat peas.
- Divide noodles between serving bowls.
- When meatballs are done cooking, gently stir them. Use a slotted spoon to remove meatballs, leaving sauce in the bowl of the slow-cooker. Set half the meatballs aside for Tuesday’s meal.
- Taste sauce that remains in slow-cooker and season with some salt if you'd like it more salty, chili-garlic sauce if you'd like more spice or lime juice to add citrus flavor.
- Pour sauce over noodles and top with meatballs for tonight's meal. Add snap peas to the bowls and squeeze lime juice over all of the components. Enjoy!
We found the sauce a little sweet because we didn't add the kimchi into the sauce (14 month old). Once we added the kimchi, it was a hit!0 Helpful
I used turkey for the meatballs, added mushrooms with the snap peas. Did the Dutch oven method instead of slow cooker. Used a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce at the end. Served over rice. We liked it a lot, it was a good meal. Will keep it in the rotation!0 Helpful
Made this twice now. The flavorful meatballs are a hit. I put them in the crockpot in the morning, before going to my son's baseball game, and we had nice hot food ready, and smelling great, when we got home.0 Helpful
I made this one other time and remembered the meatballs being bland, so I put sriracha sauce in the meatball mix and they were a little more flavorful this time. Also used regular beef broth (not low sodium) and didn't add salt.0 Helpful
The meatballs were a bit bland. Maybe better if I had kimchee?0 Helpful
With white rice instead of noodles0 Helpful