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Shrimp and Pork Meatballs

This recipe for shrimp and pork meatballs, like most meatball recipes, makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal. I love it for that reason. But I also love these Asian pork meatballs because they bring back memories of Sunday dim sum with my family, a large cavernous dining room, and carts of goodies being wheeled between tables.

I also used this recipe to see if I could hide the shrimp in the meatball. My kiddo is not a picky eater, but she has been boycotting shrimp for the last year or so. And it was a resounding success. Plates were emptied.

I haven’t decided if I will tell her that she gobbled down a shrimp-containing meal.

a plate shrimp and pork meatballs made with a minced pork recipe over noodles and vegetables next to a flute of purple cocktail

Tips and tricks for making this recipe

About meatballs and meatloaves

There’s an easy-to-remember starting ratio for meatballs and meatloaves. For every pound of ground or minced meat, you should use one egg and one half cup of breadcrumbs or equivalent. The pureed shrimp substitutes for the egg in this recipe.

You should finely chop any add-ins. Otherwise your meatballs may have a hard time staying together.

If I’m using onion or some other crunchy vegetable like fennel or celery, I will often saute it beforehand. But that just adds time and another pan to clean. So if a recipe calls for onions, I’ll often substitute raw green onions.

Shaping and cooking meatballs

A bowl of meatball mixture made from the minced pork recipe.

The shrimp and pork mixture should be combined gently with your hands and rolled to form balls. I use a cookie scoop to get meatballs of generally the same size for cooking consistency.

You can fry, bake, or braise meatballs. I recommend baking these pork and shrimp balls in a pan covered with a thin layer of oil or lined with parchment paper.

Unbaked shrimp and pork meatballs in a roasting pan.

What to serve with shrimp and pork meatballs

I was going to serve these over rice with an Asian-flavored coleslaw. But Mr. uglyducklingbakery decided that he wanted noodles, so we ended up with the vegetable stir fry that he made and plated for the picture. Leftover meatballs are probably destined for a grain bowl or a meatball wrap.

For drink, I would avoid wine here and go with a martini or bubbly. Or you can do what we did and make a classic or rose syrup French 75, a cocktail made with gin and Prosecco.

FAQs about this these shrimp and pork meatballs

What is the difference between ground pork and minced pork?

Technically they are two different ways of processing meat (i.e. grinding versus fine cutting). But effectively they are the same thing, with “ground pork” being the more common terminology in the U.S. and “mince” being used elsewhere.

What do I do if I don’t have food processor?

You will just need to chop the garlic, ginger, and shrimp very fine, but the meatballs should still hold together if you do.

Can I fry these shrimp and pork meatballs instead of baking them?

Yes. Frying will get you a crispier crust to the meatball, but it will require more oil.

Can I freeze these meatballs?

Yes, meatballs freeze well. First blot off any oil with a paper towel and then freeze the lot in a freezer bag with all the air removed. Reheat in the oven or in a steamer.

Do I need a meat thermometer?

While you can often test whether meat is cooked in other ways – by cutting into meat or by poking it with your finger, the easiest and safest way to check is with a thermometer. The USDA says that meats should be cooked to the following temperatures:
Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), including ground poultry: 165F
Other ground meat: 160F
Whole cuts of meat: 145F with three minutes of rest time

Related recipes

Check out other uglyducklingbakery meatballs like these lamb meatballs with pine nuts and raisins, chicken and apple meatballs, or BBQ chicken meatballs.

Shrimp and pork meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Category: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 262kcal
This minced pork recipe for shrimp and pork meatballs creates Asian pork dumpling flavor without all the work. Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • vegetable oil or spray for the pan
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • ½ pound raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, rinsed in cold water, and drained
  • 1 pound ground or minced pork
  • ¾ cup panko or other dried breadcrumbs
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray or oil a roasting pan with vegetable oil.
    vegetable oil or spray for the pan
  • Add the ginger and garlic in the bowl of the food processor and process until chopped. Scrape down the bowl of the processor if necessary.
    2 cloves garlic, 1 inch fresh ginger
  • Add the shrimp to the food process and process until the shrimp is finely chopped.
    ½ pound raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, rinsed in cold water, and drained
  • Add the shrimp mixture to a medium bowl with all of the other ingredients, and use your hands to combine until well mixed.
    1 pound ground or minced pork, ¾ cup panko or other dried breadcrumbs, 4 green onions, sliced thin, 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Use a medium cookie scoop or your hands to form golf ball-sized meatballs and place them in the pan.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. I usually shake the pan once or twice during that time to get more even browning. You may need to use a spatula to free any meatballs that stick.

Notes

  • The mixture should be combined gently with your hands (no need to knead!) and rolled to form balls.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to get meatballs of generally the same size for cooking consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 674mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 163IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
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Shrimp and pork meatballs on a plate of noodles and vegetables.

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