Chinese Meatballs

How to Make Chinese Meatballs

  • Author: Azlin Bloor
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: About 20-24 meatballs, depending on size 1x


Chinese meatballs are an essential ingredient in many noodle type dishes in Asia. Homemade is so easy, and free from additives.



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

Additional aromatics/spices

  • minced ginger
  • minced garlic minced chilli
  • 1 Tbsp crispy fried shallots

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


  1. 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.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl into a smooth paste.
  3. Pour this paste onto the mince meat.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Use a teaspoon to scoop the ball of your hand.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Bring a pot of water or stock to boil.
  12. 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.
  13. Increase the heat to medium high and keep a close eye on the meatballs.
  14. 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.
  15. When they are done, scoop out with a skimmer or slotted spoon and use as required in a recipe.

To freeze

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


Nutrition information is based on chicken meat in the meatballs.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: meatballs, Chinese