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Asian Shrimp and Pork Meatballs

This recipe for Asian shrimp and pork meatballs, like most meatball recipes, makes a quick and easy weeknight meal. The combination of ground pork, shrimp quickly chopped in a food processor, and the Chinese mirepoix of garlic, ginger, and green onions come together for a simple but flavorful addition to your dinner menu.

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. That dim sum reference will come up again below in what to serve with shrimp and pork meatballs.

I originally used this recipe to see if I could hide shrimp from my kiddo. She’s not a picky eater, but she has boycotted shrimp recently. It was a resounding success. Now she now asks me to make lumpia and these meatballs, even with the shrimp.

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

Tip from the wise quacker: if you have a picky eater or you are uncertain how to cook meat, using ground meat (or grinding or mincing it yourself) can be a great entry point. Make meatballs or meatloaves in whatever your favorite flavor combinations.

Tips and tricks

About meatballs and meatloaves

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

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

If you’re using onion or another crunchy vegetable like fennel or celery, you’ll need to cook it first. But that just adds time and another pan to clean. You can always sub in green onions, shallots, or another small allium for the onion!

Shaping and cooking meatballs

Bowl of shrimp and pork meatball mixture with green onions.

Combine the shrimp and pork mixture gently with your hands. I use a cookie scoop to get meatballs of generally the same size for cooking consistency. Then roll them into balls.

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 so they don’t stick.

Unbaked shrimp and pork meatballs in a roasting pan.

What to serve with shrimp and pork meatballs

  • Make a homemade dim sum
  • Serve with rice and an Asian-flavored coleslaw.
  • Make a vegetable stir fry and serve over noodles.
  • Leftover meatballs would be great in a grain bowl or a meatball wrap.
  • Drink with a martini, sparkling wine, or rose syrup French 75, a cocktail made with gin and bubbly.

Do you love meatball dinners? Check out more options for meatballs and what to serve with meatballs for dinner.

Storage

Leftover 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.

FAQs

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?

Chop the garlic, ginger, and shrimp very fine. The meatballs should still hold together.

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.

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.

Or look at other Asian-inspired recipes like this pulled duck breast, Peking Duck-inspired meatloaf, or these purple ube crinkle cookies.

Shrimp and Pork Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
Category: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 262kcal
This 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 or use parchment paper
  • 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 ground black pepper or Szechuan pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray or oil a roasting pan with vegetable oil or line with parchment.
    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 processor 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 ground black pepper or Szechuan 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.

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.
  • Parchment paper or a little oil prevents the meatballs from sticking to the pan.

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, green beans, and cabbage.

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