Sweet & Saucy Cambodian Style Meatballs are a flavor-packed, modern take on a classic dish.These meatballs are a credit to Jackie for taking me to a Cambodian restaurant years ago. It was then that I was introduced to flavor combinations that I simply fell in love with. We started that memorable meal by ordering Banh Mi sandwiches that were true heaven. The flavors of cilantro captured my taste buds, however this was just the beginning. We also ordered ears of fresh corn that were lathered in chili paste and gochujang mayo and coated with coconut. It sounded a little odd, but it turned out to be a delightful taste combination.
We have already paid tribute to these meals by posting our versions of Bahn Mi and Street Corn on Superman Cooks, and they are still some of our favorite go-to recipes. These Sweet and Saucy Meatballs are a dish that reference those amazing flavors. Ever since I first tried them, I find myself experimenting with different recipes that highlight my new-found obsession with gochujacng, chili sauce and mayo. I could honestly put them on everything. These meatballs are one of my most successful endeavors to date, as I think it is an easy and unique way to update a classic dish with unique flavor. We still frequent Num Pang, that restaurant that started it all, and we have discovered others that use similar flavor profiles. It turns out that Cambodian flavors have become quite popular, which we completely understand. I am sure that this will be inspiring more recipe creations in the near future. If you enjoy this one, please give Jackie all the credit, as she is the one that inspires me to try new things, encouraging me to discover new flavors that inspire my cooking each day.
A robust and flavorful meatball that has a sweet element followed by subtle heat
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ C finely chopped green pepper
- ½ C panko bread crumbs
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 egg
- For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp Gochujang sauce
- ½ C mayonnaise
- ½ C chili sauce
- ½ C sweetened coconut
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- ½ C chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, green pepper, bread crumb, egg and garlic powder. Form into golf ball size meatballs.
- Place in large non-stick sauté pan and cook on burner set to medium/high. Turn often until brown.
- Transfer to oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Remove meatballs from pan and discard grease.
- Return meatballs to pan and in a medium mixing bowl combine all ingredients in sauce and mix. Add mixture to sauté pan and add ½ C water and simmer for 15-20 minutes until sauce has thickened to resemble a spaghetti sauce.
- Serve on a sandwich or over a bed of rice, garnish with coconut and cilantro.