Cooking English

Meatballs with honey, garlic and soy sauce

Learn how to make juicy meatballs with a honey, garlic and soy sauce -sauce.

In this blogpost you will learn how to make juicy meatballs with a honey, garlic and soy sauce -sauce. This is a part of a new series in which I try new meatball recipes and share them with you. Check this blog regularly or subscribe to my Youtube channel to be informed about new recipes!

Scroll down to get a short overview of the recipe or to download it.

About the taste, this is a very sweet version of meatballs. It resembles to the “boulettes à la Liégeoise” and in our kitchen, there is a bit of a discussion on which meatballs are better. Of course, they are great and wonderful, each in their own category! 😉 If you eat following the chrononutritiondiet, as I (try to) do, this recipe is a “joker”.

Watch this video for more visual instructions!

This is as tasty as it looks!

The sauce

As always, start by washing your hands. By now, in this pandemic, you should be aware of that. You don’t want any nasty stuff in your food and later in your body. Next, check if you have all ingredients. I recommend to put them on a plate, close to you and sauce and meatball ingredients separately. If you do this, you’ll save a lot of time looking for things you may not even have. Some ingredients as the honey, soy sauce and water can already be measured, but if it is complicated for you, because you don’t have enough bowls, just make sure you have a measuring cup nearby.

garlic, honey, starch, pepper, chinese spices, soy sayce, olive oil, water on a serving plate
It’s a good idea to put all the necessary ingredients in range.

For this version of the meatballs, you can start with the sauce. So, chop the garlic, or cut it as small as possible. Some people have special cutting tools, that works too. There’s no need to crush the garlic, because that’s too much. I think it’s better to keep some tiny bits and not mash it into a garlic paste. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and when that’s hot, you add the garlic. Make sure the heat of the stove is not too high and let the garlic simmer.

cut garlic with knife and peels
This is how small I cut the garlic.

Before it gets brown, you add the water, honey, soy sauce and the spices. I got a nice pot of honey from my grandmother. She heard that I was suffering from a sore throat, because I had to teach with a mask, and it was hard to breath. That’s why she sent her daughter to the beekeeper to get me some good honey. As you can see in the video, I emptied it well! But the last bit will serve the sauce. Make sure the water, garlic, honey, spices and soy sauce are well blended and let it simmer.

Now you can put the starch in the 50 ml of water. You mix it so that there aren’t any clumps left. To do so, use a fork or a small whisk. Once that’s done, lower the heat of the stove to medium and while stirring, gently add the starch-water mixture. Don’t stop stirring! Your sauce will become thicker. When you’ve added all the starch, take the sauce off the stove and start with the meatballs.

brown sauce with soy sayce, garlic and honey, spatula on the stove
Do you see the bubbles? They are “heavy”, not “light”, which indicates the sauce is getting thicker.

The meatballs

Turn to your plate with ingredients and start by preparing the shallots, garlic and ginger. Peel the shallots and garlic and cut them in tiny pieces. Keep those separate. Then peel and grate the ginger. Be careful not to grate you fingers in the process. Unless you are a vampire and like blood in your food. Then always grate your fingers and leave other humans in peace. :p

ingredients for the meatballs: milk, ciabata, garlic, ginger, egg, shallot, cumin, thyme, salt, minced meat, knife
These are the ingredients for the meatballs before measuring.

Take the bread and tear it in pieces. I usually take ciabatta, as we eat this all the time for breakfast, but you could use any bread. Old is better, as those crumbs will stay more solid after soaking them. If you have no choice, then use fresh bread, but don’t soak it too long. And if you want to be fancy, why not buy prepared breadcrumbs from the grocery store?

In an anti-stick pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat. Simmer the shallots in the heated oil, until they are slightly transparent. Don’t let them get brown. If you’re not using an anti-stick pan, you may need a bit more grease, or you’d have to use less heat. Once they are ready, set aside to cool down. If they aren’t cool until you need them, that’s no problem. You can also use other onion like vegetables, such as green onions or yellow onions. Dare to experiment with the preferences you have at home!

Preheat your oven on 200°C.

Now it is time to mix the ingredients for the meatballs! Take a large bowl and add the minced meat, shallot, garlic, spices, egg and freshly grated ginger. Squeeze the milk from the bread and add it to the rest. Combine everything evenly with your hands. I use my hands, because it is easier to get to know the right texture of the meat. If you prefer, you can use a spatula, but it will be more difficult to get it even. Now form the meatballs, again with your hands (or a spoon). Make them as big as you want, but remember that smaller pieces will have to cook less and larger ones need more time. Make them all the same size. If you make very small meatballs, this recipe could also perfectly serve as an appetizer on a spoon with some of the sauce or stuck on a toothpick. Success guaranteed!

meatballs in pan
Bake the meatballs in the same pan you used for the shallots.

Take the same pan you used for the shallots and heat the last tablespoon of olive oil. Also add the butter. When everything is melted, gently put in the meatballs and let them get brown evenly. Don’t drop them too brusquely, or you’ll get oil burns on your hand. This has already happened to me so many times! You can use two large spoons to lay the meatballs on the pan. The purpose of this cooking is to close the meatballs on all sides: they have to change their colour and get a bit brown. They don’t have to be completely done, as they will continue to bake in the oven. When the outside is evenly baked, transfer the meatballs to a casserole and cover them in sauce. Close the casserole with a lid or with aluminium foil and put in the oven.

meatballs with sauce in casserole
These just need to be covered and then they can go into the oven!

Plating and rice

After 10 minutes, lower to 175°C and keep the meatballs in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. While your meatballs are in the oven, it is a perfect moment to prepare some cooked rice. I like to serve it with basmati.

To get the best cooked rice, I find it good to wash the rice first. I measure a quantity for two persons, that is somewhere around 125 ml and I add water, stir it with my fingers until the water gets white, take out the water, add fresh water, repeat this several times. Then I put the rice in a pot and add the same amount, plus some extra, maybe in total 160-170 ml of water. Cover the pot with a lid. Turn on the heat and let it boil. Check your pot regularly so your stove doesn’t get covered in sticky rice water, if needed turn down the heat. When all the water is absorbed, your rice is ready. A small trick, when you see that the rice is ready, but there’s some water left, (turn off the heat) take off the lid and let it evaporate. You could also invest in a rice cooker and never fail your rice again.

Take the meatballs out of the oven, serve them on a plate with rice and enjoy!

meatball honey garlic soy sauce rice plate knife
It’s time to feed the people!

Check my other blogposts with recipes and explore the world of chrononutrition too.

Tell me what you thought about this recipe! Will you try it soon? Which onions did you use? Do you have any other advice for preparing rice? Tell it in the comments below!

prepared meatball with spoon
Just looking at it… my heart melts… saliva in my mouth…

Download the recipe here:

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