How to Make Chinese Meatballs

Super easy recipe for homemade Chinese meatballs. Perfect as an ingredient for so many Oriental recipes, and also as a finger food for parties!
Chinese Meatballs
Chinese Meatballs
Chinese Meatballs

Chinese meatballs are a delicious snack or ingredient that you should always have at hand. They can be eaten in so many different ways: as a snack, a topping or an ingredient.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Chinese Meatballs

I adore meatballs of any kind. And tehse Chinese meatballs recipe is one of those recipes that I’ve been wanting to blog on for a long, long time. However, despite making them pretty regularly, I’ve never photographed the method nor the result. Because they get eaten too quickly!

So what finally prompted me to blog about Chinese meatballs?

Well, I’d planned to make Bak Chor Mee, a singularly Singaporean minced meat noodle dish. Bak Chor Mee is served with a host of toppings, and one of them is meatballs, to be precise.

I didn’t have any in the freezer (always homemade), so had to make some before I could make the noodles. Since I was already planning to take photos of the noodles, I figured it was a case of now or never!

Bak Chor Mee, Singapore Noodles recipe
Bak Chor Mee

Why make Meatballs at Home?

… if you are lucky enough to get them easily? For the same reasons you make anything from scratch at home: you control the ingredients, so no nasties, and you make it to your taste. And you know what? They are soooo easy to make.

If you start off with the meat already minced, it won’t take you more than 20 minutes, plus about 5 minutes of cooking time. Sometimes, I like to make mine with minced chilli, sometimes I like to add fresh coriander (cilantro) to the mix.

See what I mean about making the recipe to your own taste? I’ve given suggestions for other ingredients you can add to your paste in the recipe card below.

The beauty of having ready made Chinese meatballs in your fridge or freezer is that they can be used in so many ways: soups, stews, fried rice and fried noodles. When using in fried rice and noodles, they can be sliced and used either as a “filling” or as a topping/garnish.

How to use Chinese Meatballs

I use this exact recipe for all types of meat, although I do double up on the Chinese 5 spice and the white pepper when using beef or lamb. So you can make your Chinese meatballs with pork, chicken, turkey, beef or lamb.

Fishballs? Watch this space! Here you go, just click on that image for your fishballs recipe!

chinese fishballs in soup
Chinese Fishballs

I’ve included a short video tutorial on the actual rolling of the meatballs, in the recipe card below.

Shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

Chinese Meatballs

How to Make Chinese Meatballs

Super easy recipe for homemade Chinese meatballs. Perfect as an ingredient for so many Oriental recipes, and also as a finger food for parties!
4.99 from 82 votes
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Course: Appetiser
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese, meatballs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 Make about 20 – 24, depending on size
Calories: 11kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 500 g minced meat of your choice (pork, chicken, beef, etc)
  • 3 Tbsp cold water
  • ¼ tsp Chinese 5 spice powder (½ tsp) for beef or lamb
  • ½ tsp white pepper (1 tsp) for beef or lamb
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Additional aromatics/spices (Optional)

  • minced ginger
  • minced garlic
  • minced chilli
  • chopped spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 Tbsp crispy fried shallots

You’ll also need a bowl of cold water for your hands


    • Place the mince into a chopper with the cold water and blitz for 20 seconds until the water has been absorbed by the meat. You could also do this by hand in a bowl with a fork or spoon.
    • Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl into a smooth paste.
    • Pour this paste onto the mince meat.
    • Turn the chopper on again for 30 – 60 seconds until you have a smooth, well mixed meat paste. Again, you can do this in a bowl with a fork or spoon but it will take about 2 minutes of continuous mixing.
    • Tip the meat paste into a bowl. If you are not ready to cook them yet, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge until needed.
    • When ready to cook, do a taste test first. Microwave a pinch of the meat paste for about 30 seconds, then taste it. Add more soy sauce if it needs it.
    • Let's make some balls! Scoop a small amount of the meatball paste in your hand, clench your fist and push the paste between the "hole" made by your thumb and forefinger (see images and video).
      Use a teaspoon to scoop the ball of your hand.
    • Keep doing this until all the meatball paste has been used up. You may have to rinse your hands in the bowl of cold water every 3 – 4 balls, to prevent sticking.
    • At this stage, you could roll them between your palms to create more rounded and smooth meatballs, if you like. Again, don’t forget to dip your hands in the bowl of cold water to keep the paste from sticking.
    • Bring a pot of water or stock to boil.
    • Lower the heat right down and slowly, slide the meatballs into the simmering water. You want them to form roughly a single layer, don’t overfill the pot, so you may have to do this in 2 batches.
    • Increase the heat to medium high and keep a close eye on the meatballs. As soon as the water starts to boil, lower the heat down to medium-low or low and simmer for 5 minutes. This should be enough time for the balls to cook. Don't let the water come to a rolling boil as the meatballs might fall apart.
    • When they are done, scoop out with a skimmer or slotted spoon and use as required in a recipe.

    To freeze

    • Cool to room temperature, place in a freezer proof bag and freeze for up to a month.



    Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 11kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.1g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.8g | Sodium: 437.6mg | Fiber: 0.2g
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
    Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

    37 thoughts on “How to Make Chinese Meatballs”

    1. Hi, I am going to make these meatballs. They look yummy. Do you have the recipe for the soup they are in? I love Chinese soups.

      1. Hi Margaret, I have a recipe for a simple soup that I make all the time over at my other blog. In this recipe, I’m using prawn balls, but it’s perfect for anything, whether meatballs, fishballs or even wonton. It says Eurasian, but it’s based on Chinese soups, as you’ll see from the ingredients. There’s also a link on the recipe to make your own Chinese Chicken stock which is much lighter than the European version. I hope that helps.
        Eurasian Prawn Ball Soup

        Let me know how it goes.

        1. Hi Azlin, Thank you so much for your reply to my message and for recommending the Eurasian Prawn Ball Soup together with the Chinese Chicken Stock. Tried this last night and it was absolutely lovely. Will definitely make this again and again.

          I will try the Chicken balls next time.

          Many thanks

    2. I tried making these but didn’t get the QQ / bouncy mouthfeel I was looking for. To be fair, I only had a stand mixer and no food processor. Would that have made a huge difference? Any other suggestions? Thanks for making this so approachable though — it means a big deal to me to try recipes from my own culture!

      1. Hey Andy, sorry to hear they didn’t quite hit the spot. A stand mixer should’ve worked perfectly, that’s what many use too. The only thing I can think of is that a stand mixer’s speed isn’t going to be as fast as a food processor, and so the muscle fibres and connective tissue don’t get as much of a workout. Solution might be just working it longer. Breaking down the connective tissue and fibres is crucial to the bouncy mouthfeel.

    3. I love the variety of your recipes! And I would love to make these meatballs but where would I go for minced meat?

      1. Thank you Laurel, I’m so pleased you do! Minced meat (or just called mince) would be found at your local butcher or supermarket. I don’t know where you are but here in the UK, it’s easily found in the fresh meat aisle. The most common would be beef, pork and lamb. I hope that helps.

    4. 5 stars
      I can prepare this tomorrow As all ingredients are in my kitchen.I saw your recipe suggestions with noodles. Do you have a curry recipe suggestion with these .

    5. 5 stars
      20-60 mins to set up!!! Always something to learn..
      Double kicks from chili inside and the extra oil, goes well soup noodles!

    6. 5 stars
      The meatballs look delicious, Lin! And I can imagine adding them to so many Asian style dishes. I love that squeezing method for making meatballs!

    7. 5 stars
      Thank you for this recipe. I was watching your prawn crackers video and this came after. The recipe looks very easy. Going to try it this weekend.

    8. I didn’t know there were Chinese meatballs.. I sorta want to try this recipe now just to do a little comparison with the more Italian inspired ones I grew up eating. They sure sound appetizing. ^^

    9. Nom nom nom… Meatballs are a favorite of mine. It’s easy to make. I am looking forward to trying this at home.

    10. This doesn’t look as hard as I thought that it would be! I really want to make this to go into my noodle soups, I think it would be a great addition!

    11. Henny Suriawarti

      Yay, yay, yay, homemade meatballs! Recipe looks easy enough, and that video is a big help. You know why I like your recipes? You always go the extra mile – perfect for noobs like me, so far away from home!

      1. Thanks Henny, I totally appreciate you telling me that. Glad to know I can help. I remember what it was like, new in London in the 90s and missing REAL home food!

    12. Hahaha, I’m one of those naughty old readers you are talking about, right? Good! I’m glad to see you responding and am really happy to see this recipe. I have never made these but obviously love them in soups but the shop bought ones always got MSG and E numbers, and not much actual meat! So, this one is bookmarked for this weekend, when I’ll have lots of free time and I can’t tell you how I’m looking forward to the Bak chor Mee recipe!

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