These Juicy and delicious gluten-free Asian meatballs are topped with a homemade super flavorful sticky Asian sauce. I promise you that These Whole30 Meatballs are better than Chinese takeout! not only are they so easy to make, they are also paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and keto-friendly!
Growing up in China, my dad always made a “sticky” sauce with most dishes. Sticky tofu, sticky short ribs, sticky eggplants. You name it. It is always his magic sauce in the kitchen.
And these sticky Asian meatballs are one of my favorites.
You may also love some of my other favorite Asian recipes with a healthy twist:
- Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry (Whole30)
- Healthy Paleo Orange Chicken
- Instant Pot Cashew Chicken (Whole30)
In order to make a healthy twist on my Asian food, I made some substitutions for these gluten-free meatballs.
I have made my dad’s authentic Chinese food magic happen in my kitchen here in America, 10 thousand miles away from home with these super flavorful and healthy Asian meatballs with sticky sauce.
And, you won’t believe these are Whole30 and Paleo compliant.
Why I love these Sticky Asian Meatballs
1. Packed with flavors
To begin with, this gluten-free meatball recipe itself is packed with all the aromatics – ginger, garlic, green onion.
Additionally, we are going to top off these Asian Meatballs with a flavorful sticky sauce simmered to perfection.
2. Easy to Make Whole30 sticky Asian Meatballs
This oven-baked Meatball recipe is so easy to make.
With only a few accessible ingredients, you have the best juicy and tender meatballs.
3. So “Fancy” to bring to the dinner table or party
Not your average Chinese Takeout Food.
This authentic Chinese dish is healthy, fancy and so creative, and will definitely please a crowd.
4. Reminds me of Home
I don’t make Chinese food often because I never think I get even close to my dad’s cooking level.
But these sticky Asian meatballs, my dad would actually be proud of!
Ingredients needed for this healthy sticky Asian Meatballs Recipe
If I learned a thing or two from watching my parents cooking Asian cuisine growing up, to begin with:
- Green Onion 葱
- Ginger 姜
- Garlic 蒜
These are the three ingredients you will find in most Chinese food.
Additionally, Asian cuisine also uses a lot of sesame seed oil, soy sauce, and white sugar.
Additionally, here are the main ingredients for these Asian meatballs.
1. A mix of ground pork and ground chicken
You can also use all ground pork, chicken, or turkey
I like the texture of pork meatballs and chicken meatballs the most. It also provides just enough fat to bring out the flavor.
Asian pork meatballs or Asian chicken meatballs? Your choice!
2. One egg
3. Arrowroot flour
My dad always used corn starch or flour to marinate meat in his Asian cooking. I substitute it with arrowroot flour which helps to keep the gluten-free meatballs moist after baking. Additionally, it is gluten-free and paleo-friendly.
4. Coconut Aminos
5. Salt to taste
I actually did not end up adding any extra salt. Take into consideration that coconut aminos themselves are salty.
HOW TO MAKE THESE sticky ASIAN Meatballs WHOLE30 FRIENDLY
To make this meatball recipe whole30 and paleo compliant I have made a few substitutions
Instead of soy sauce, I used coconut amino, which is gluten-free, paleo, and Whole 30 compliant. Additionally, it is packed with 17 amino acids.
Similar to corn starch that acts as a thickener, arrowroot flour is a great gluten-free, paleo, andWhole30 alternative to use in this sticky Asian sauce recipe.
Unlike white sugar, coconut sugar is paleo-friendly. Although, it is not Whole30 compliant. However, you can omit coconut sugar to make this meatball recipe Whole30.
What Makes the Asian Sauce Sticky?
So my dad uses this flour called Sheng Fen 生粉, which is a kind of starch.
Besides the fact that I cannot find Sheng Fen in normal grocery stores, it is also not gluten-free or whole30 friendly.
Therefore, I have tried a whole 30 approved paleo starch – arrowroot flour.
What is Arrowroot Flour?
Arrowroot flour is a starchy substance extracted from the root of Maranta arundinacea (read more here).
You may be familiar with corn starch, a traditional thickener in many recipes. Similarly, arrowroot flour also thickens food, but has no taste, leaves food glossy and clear.
Even better? It is a healthy starch. It is gluten-free, paleo, and Whole 30 friendly.
How to Serve THESE whole30 STICKY ASIAN gluten-free Meatballs
Perfect Party Appetizers
These Whole30 Asian Meatballs are the perfect bite-size. Just put some toothpicks in them and you have a fancy and healthy Chinese food “takeout” appetizer.
Gluten-free meatballs makes a Healthy Dinner for the Whole family
Chinese food isn’t complete without rice. Serve these Sticky Asian Gluten-free Meatballs with some Jasmine rice and some stir-fried vegetables on the size.
Or top them off with noodles.
Again, NOT your average Chinese Food takeout.
For a whole30 friendly option, you can serve it with cauliflower rice.
These Whole 30 Sticky Asian Meatballs are great to serve as a healthy dinner, appetizers for parties and social gatherings. They look so fancy, but no one needs to know how easy they are to make.
(Last Updated July 11th, 2019 – tweaked the recipe a bit to make it extra moist and soft)
OOO ALSO I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOUR CREATIONS! YOU CAN USE “TRIED IT” ON PINTEREST OR SHARE ON INSTAGRAM BY TAGGING #SHUANGYSEATS
You May Also Like these Meatball Recipes:
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp arrowroot flour (make it extra moist)
- 1/4 cup green onions (chopped)
- 1/4 cup poblano pepper (optional for spicier taste)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 inch fresh ginger (minced)
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- Salt to taste *
Asian Sticky Sauce
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup coconut aminos **
- 2/3 cup chicken stock
- 3 - 4 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 heaping tbsp arrowroot flour
- 1/2 tsp fresh or ground ginger
- 1 clove garlic (minced, optional)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a baking sheet with avocado oil.
- Finely chop the green onion, garlic, and poblano pepper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add ground pork, ground chicken, egg, arrowroot flour, green onion, poblano pepper, garlic, ginger, coconut amino, and salt. Use a spoon or your hands to combine the ingredients well.
- Roll the batter into balls using your hands. (approx. 24 - 26 meatballs for 2 lb of meat). Wet your hands with cold water to prevent the meat from sticking to your hands.
- Place the meatballs on the greased baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for 15 - 18 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes in the end.
Sticky Asian Sauce
- Add coconut aminos, chicken stock, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and coconut sugar to a skillet and whisk together.
- Add the arrowroot flour to the skillet and whisk to combine well until there are no clumps left.
- Bring to a boil then turn the heat to low.
- Stir frequently until the sauce thickens. This takes about 2 - 3 minutes.
- Once the meatballs are done, transfer them into the sauce skillet and cover them with the sticky sauce.
- Sprinkle some extra green onion and sesame seeds for garnishing. Enjoy!
- Instead of pork and chicken, you can use turkey or beef. I prefer having ground pork in the mix because the fattier meat brings out the flavor.
- If the sauce doesn't thicken, keep stirring and turn the heat up by just a notch.
- * Coconut aminos are salty themselves, take into consideration when you add additional salt.
- **If using soy sauce instead of coconut aminos, use a less soy sauce and more stock ratio since soy sauce is saltier than coconut aminos. You can add up to 1/2 cup of coconut aminos to taste.
Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This does not result in any extra cost for you, but it does mean that I make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 593mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 29g
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.