Korean Dumpling-Inspired Keto Meatballs
Looking for a low-carb recipe to add to your keto meal plan? This Korean, low-carb meatball recipe is sure to be one your whole family will love. Made with ground pork, fresh ginger, cabbage, and coconut aminos, these are the best meatballs for when you’re craving an Asian-fusion dinner.
How to Make Low-Carb Meatballs
No matter what flavor of meatball you’re making — Italian, Asian, Swedish, or another version — there should be minimal alterations required to lower the carb count. To transform your family favorite meatball recipe into a keto-approved version, try these tricks.
Eliminate the Breadcrumbs
This should be the first (and sometimes, the only) step in transforming a classic meatball recipe into a keto version.
Typically, meatballs contain:
- Some sort of ground meat, like ground turkey or ground beef
- Seasoning, like Italian seasoning or a dash of garlic powder, black pepper, and sea salt
- Diced onion
Every single ingredient on the above list is already low-carb, except the breadcrumbs. While some recipes suggest substituting almond flour, almond meal, and even crushed-up pork rinds for “regular” breadcrumbs, many homechefs have found this to be an unnecessary step. In the recipe below, you won’t use any breadcrumb substitute, as the eggs are enough to hold your mixture together.
Watch Out for Hidden Ingredients
Another thing you have to watch out for is hidden sugar(s) in packaged ingredients. For example, if you’re whipping up your favorite Italian meatballs, you’ll have to double-check the label on the jar of marinara sauce you use. Many brands add sugar to tomato sauce, alfredo, marinara, and other sauces, so be sure to select a sugar-free product or create a homemade version.
The same can be said for packaged meat products — if you use Italian sausage, bacon, or other packaged products, be sure there is no sugar listed in the ingredients.
Use Keto-Friendly Dairy Products
The below recipe is completely dairy-free, thanks to the coconut milk used to make the sauce. That being said, many meatball recipes call for some sort of cheese or heavy cream, so we thought it best to include this tip.
If you’re making a keto meatball recipe that calls for dairy, be sure to select the highest quality dairy you can find at the grocery store (and that you can reasonably afford). If you’re making an Italian meatball recipe, select full-fat, grass-fed mozzarella cheese or Parmesan cheese. If you’re making Swedish meatballs, select full-fat, grass-fed heavy cream to make the sauce.
Tips for Making Easy Keto Meatballs
If you’ve ever made meatballs before, you know that it can easily turn into quite an undertaking. One simple recipe suddenly transforms your kitchen into a war zone, with dishes all but spilling out over the sink. If this sounds like you and your household, try the following tricks:
- Cook in cast iron: The reason we love cast iron is because you can transport it directly from the stovetop to the oven. Most recipes call for searing your meatballs first in a skillet then transporting them to an oven-safe baking sheet. A cast iron pan can go from the stovetop to the oven, reducing the number of dishes used.
- Chop veggies beforehand: This is just a general meal prep tip you should try to work into your weekly routine. Dice onions, peppers, cabbage, or any other necessary ingredients on Sunday, then store them in the fridge for easy access throughout the week. When the time comes, you can toss the veggies into your meatball mixture rather than dirty another chopping block.
- Cook sauce and meatballs in one pan: This might not work for all recipes, but it is possible. Rather than whisk your sauce in a separate pot, try to pour all ingredients into the skillet with your meatballs (once again, cast iron works best for this), reducing the number of dishes used.
The Inspiration for These Korean Keto Meatballs
These keto meatballs were inspired by Korean dumplings. While the wrappers used in dumplings are certainly not keto-friendly, the pork filling is. This recipe combines the typical ingredients used for the filling in pork dumplings, then combines gut-supporting bone broth and coconut milk to simmer the meatballs in a creamy, Asian-inspired sauce.
If you’re looking for more keto recipes to try, stay tuned for the release of brand new Kettle & Fire pre-packaged soups. New flavors like Spicy Mushroom and Cauliflower Bisque will soon be available to order.
Korean Keto Meatballs
For the meatballs:
- 2 lb. ground pork
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 cup green cabbage shredded
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- Olive oil for cooking
For the sauce:
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth
- 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, prepare your meatball mixture. Combine ground pork, onion, coconut aminos, and sesame oil and mix. Let sit for five minutes.
While your meatball mixture rests, prepare your sauce. Whisk together coconut milk, chicken bone broth, coconut aminos, and fresh ginger in a pot over medium heat. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Return to your meatball mixture. Add the cabbage, and mix again.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with olive oil.
Form your meatballs into small balls, roughly 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Place into the cast skillet. Sear for roughly 2 minutes, flip, then sear for another 2 minutes.
Turn off the burner, and pour the sauce mixture directly into the cast iron pan with the meatballs. Transfer the entire pan to the oven.
Cook the meatballs for an additional 15 minutes, until cooked thoroughly.
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