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4.6 from 5 votes

Asian Meatball Lettuce Wraps

These Asian meatballs in lettuce wraps make a great appetizer or light lunch or dinner.   They're healthy, low carb, and taste just like pork gyoza but without the hassle of wrapping and folding!
Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine Asian
Keyword asian meatballs, lettuce wraps, pork meatballs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 lettuce wraps with 2 meatballs each
Calories 139kcal
Author Julie & Debbie

Ingredients

FOR THE MEATBALLS

  • 500 g ground pork
  • 1/2 large onion finely chopped or grated
  • 5 cloves garlic minced (use less if using red russian)
  • 2 tsp ginger grated or minced
  • 1/2 cup carrot shredded
  • 2 cups napa cabbage finely shredded
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (use only 1 if using red russian)
  • 1 tsp ginger minced or grated
  • 1 green onion finely sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes

FOR THE LETTUCE WRAPS

  • 1 head buttercrunch lettuce or living lettuce
  • 2 large carrots sliced julienne or grated
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 1-2 red chili finely sliced (optional)

Instructions

MAKE THE SAUCE

  • In a sauce pot, mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, green onion and chili flakes.  Turn your stove to medium-low and start to heat the sauce. 
  • Make a slurry by mixing 1 tsp of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and mixing until there are no lumps. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce while whisking quickly. 
  • Cook until the sauce starts to simmer and thicken slightly. You only want the sauce to barely coat the back of a spoon. You don't want it too thick. Remove it from the heat and set aside to cool completely. 

MAKE THE MEATBALLS

  • First, shred your cabbage with a food processor.  Small pieces of cabbage make mixing the meatballs easy.  You can shred your cabbage with a hand grater as well, but a food processor does a nice job of mincing it.  Slicing by hand doesn't work nearly as well. 
  • Put all the meatball ingredients in the food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined and the cabbage is shredded nicely. You might have to do this in two batches. If so, mix the two batches together well when they are done. Take a slightly smaller than golf ball size scoop of the meatball mixture and roll it around in your hands until it becomes a smooth-ish ball. You want your meatballs to be about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inchs in diameter. Place on a parchment or slipmat lined tray. 
  • OVEN METHOD: Heat your oven to 400 degrees. When its at temperature, place your tray of meatballs in the oven and cook for about 12 mins. Remember that every oven is different and this timing is only approximate. The best way to tell if they are done is to cut one in half or check the internal temperature. They are done when there is no more pink in the middle or if a thermometer reaches 165 degrees in the middle of the meatball. 
  • STOVE METHOD: Heat a large skillet to medium. Add a tablespoon or two of oil to the pan and when the oil is hot, add some meatballs without crowding the pan. Cook till browned on all sides and there is no pink in the middle. You may have to do this in batches as all the meatballs won't fit all at once. They are done when there is no more pink in the middle or if a thermometer reaches 165 degrees in the middle of the meatball.

MAKE THE LETTUCE WRAPS

  • Julienne the carrots or slice them up really thin, or even grate them.  Slice the chili and the green onion.  
  • To server, place two or three meatballs on each lettuce leaf.  Top with the carrots, chilis if you like, and green onion.  Drizzle with a little bit of sauce and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1lettuce wrap | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g