Yes, these Sriracha-Sesame Meatballs really were cooked on the grill! If you prefer, you can use almond meal instead of the small amount of breadcrumbs to make this recipe low-carb and gluten-free.
I'm known as the queen of cooking gadgets among my friends, and a few years ago I got a new stainless steel grill grid pan from Sur La Table that really got me excited. It's flatter than the grill pan I use to cook vegetables, with holes that are small enough to make it perfect for cooking lots of interesting things on top of the grill. It was definitely this pan that got me thinking about cooking these Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatballs on the grill. I'm always looking for interesting ways to cook ground turkey, and these Grilled Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatballs were a big hit with several people I tried the recipe on.
I found the recipe for Sriracha Turkey Meatballs at Life's Ambrosia and the first time I tried the recipe I fried the meatballs and then baked them, just as Deseree did, so if you're not up for grilling your meatballs, follow that link and use her instructions. The second time I made this I increased the ingredients because I wanted more meatballs! My version makes about 20 good-sized meatballs, and they disappeared very quickly! Whether you grill the meatballs or use the fry-then-bake method, if you like Sriracha Sauce, I'm guessing you'll love these spicy meatballs.
I love this lean ground turkey from Foster Farms, which has only 7% fat, and I buy it at Costco in packages like this which are about 1 1/2 pounds. I wouldn't use ground turkey breast, which I think would be too dry for this recipe.
I used the chopping bowl of my Immersion Blender to finely chop the garlic, ginger, and green onions, but you could chop them by hand if you don't have a mini-chopper.
Mix together the ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs or almond meal, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, chopped green onions, sesame seeds, Sriracha Sauce, and salt.
I used a 2 T sized scoop to scoop out the meat, then rolled them with my hands to make 20 meatballs (about the size of a large lime.)
Here's a close-up of the stainless steel grill grid pan from Sur La Table that I used. (I bought the pan myself and Sur la Table is not paying me to mention it here. In fact, they probably don't even know I'm alive!) I did find a similar Weber Professional-Grade Grill Pan at Amazon.com.
Here's my meatballs starting to cook on the pre-heated grill grid pan, but you can see from the photo that you could easily sit your meatballs right on the grill grate if you wanted to.
Here they're getting a little more done. I was enjoying being outside with a big glass of my favorite summer drink while they cooked.
Total cooking time for me was about 30 minutes, but if you're cooking them right on top of the grill grates I think they'd cook a bit faster.
Grilled Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatballs
(Makes about 20 medium-sized meatballs; recipe adapted from Sriracha Turkey Meatballs at Life's Ambrosia.)
1 T finely minced garlic
1 T finely minced fresh ginger root
3 green onions, sliced and then finely chopped
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey (use turkey with less than 10% fat for South Beach Diet)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (you can make your own from 100% whole wheat bread, or use almond meal for lower-carb and gluten-free Phase One version)
1 1/2 T sesame seeds (I used toasted sesame seeds from the Asian market)
2-3 T Sriracha Sauce (I used 3 T, which I thought was pretty spicy but just right)
1 tsp. sea salt
additional sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnishing finished meatballs (optional)
Preheat the grill to medium-high. If you're going to cook meatballs right on the grill, spray with non-stick grill spray or oil the grates with a towel dipped into oil before you heat the grill.
Finely chop the garlic, ginger, and green onions. I used the mini-chopper attachment of my immersion blender to do this, but you can also chop them by hand.
Put the ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs or almond meal, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, chopped green onions, sesame seeds, Sriracha Sauce, and salt into a bowl and combine gently with your hands until all ingredients are well distributed into the meat. Then form meatballs with your hands. (I used a 2 T scoop to scoop out 2 heaping tablespoons of meat and then rolled them in my hands to make balls. The mixture is fairly soft.)
If you're using a grill grid pan like I did, spray it with non-stick spray or oil and put it on top of the grill to pre-heat for 5 minutes before you put the meatballs on. (I put them on with my fingers but switched to tongs when the meatballs got hot.)
Grill meatballs until they are cooked through, turning every 5-7 minutes until all sides are nicely browned. Total cooking time will be about 30 minutes, or slightly less if you're cooking the meatballs directly on the grill. Serve hot, garnished with some sliced green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
These kept well in the refrigerator overnight and were delicious just reheated a minute or so in the microwave.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
If you use lean ground turkey and 100% whole wheat breadcrumbs, these meatballs are a good choice for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. If made with almond meal you can eat them for Phase One or other low-carb diets. I'd cook something like World's Easiest Grilled Vegetables or Spicy Grilled Eggplant to share the grill with the meatballs. (If you're looking for low-carb turkey meatballs, I recommend these Phase One Turkey Meatballs with Romano Cheese and Herbs.)
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Tasty Ideas for Ground Turkey:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers from Kalyn's Kitchen
Greek Turkey Burgers with Yogurt and Feta Cheese from The Perfect Pantry
Thai-Inspired Turkey Mini-Meatball Lettuce Wraps from Kalyn's Kitchen
New Mexican Stew with Ground Turkey + Green Chiles from Gluten Free Goddess
Asian Lettuce Cups (or wraps) with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling from Kalyn's Kitchen
Ground Turkey Thai Laab from Use Real Butter
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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