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Slow-Cooker Korean Meatballs
with sesame vegetable stir-fry

Active: 40 min Total: 4 hr 40 min
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 served alongside a quick, crunchy vegetable stir-fry.
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Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Korean Meatballs (enough for 2 nights):
  • Kimchi (opt) - 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Ginger - 2 tsp, grated
  • Onions - 1/2, chopped
  • Stock, low-sodium beef (sub any low-sodium stock) - 1 cup
  • Bragg's / coconut aminos - 5 Tbsp
  • Oil, toasted sesame - 2 Tbsp
  • Arrowroot powder - 1 tsp
  • Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
  • Chili-garlic sauce (sub any hot sauce) - 2 tsp
  • Beef, ground and lean - 2 1/2 lbs
  • Eggs - 2
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Limes - 1/2, juice of
Sesame Vegetable Stir-Fry:
  • Onions - 1/2, sliced
  • Bell peppers, any color - 1, sliced
  • 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

Nutrition Facts

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Prep

  1. Kimchi / Ginger / Onions (for both the meatballs and the stir-fry) / Bell peppers - Prep as directed. Combine kimchi, ginger and the chopped onions (for meatballs) in one container. Store sliced onions (for stir-fry) and bell peppers in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make sauce - Combine kimchi, onions (for meatballs), ginger, stock, aminos, sesame oil, arrowroot, rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce (the portion for the meatballs). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Snap peas - Trim peas. (Skip if using frozen.) (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Form meatballs - This makes enough for two nights. Mix beef with egg, 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)
  5. 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.)

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Make

  1. Heat a saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil. When oil begins to shimmer add onions (for stir-fry) and bell peppers. Saute until vegetables start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add snap peas and saute until tender, ~2 minutes more.
  3. Add chili garlic sauce and sesame seeds and stir just to coat vegetables.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve meatballs with vegetable stir-fry on the side. Spoon sauce over both dishes and finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

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Reviews

Ratings

Original (147)
Gluten-free (10)
Paleo (21)
Vegetarian (9)

72 reviews

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!

By: Jan-Marie
Posted: Sep 28, 2019
Diet: Original
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!

By: Lindsey
Posted: Mar 24, 2018
Diet: Original
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.

By: Kathleen
Posted: Mar 06, 2018
Diet: Original
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.

By: Laura
Posted: Jan 22, 2018
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

The meatballs were a bit bland. Maybe better if I had kimchee?

By: Sundi
Posted: Aug 13, 2017
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

With white rice instead of noodles

By: Kate
Posted: Jul 26, 2017
Diet: Original
0 Helpful