These Mala Spiced Meatballs are juicy, tender, flavour-packed and tossed in the most irresistible sweet, sticky & spicy glaze. Served with lots of crunchy snow peas over a bed of steamed rice, they’re perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or meal prep for the week. You need only a handful of ingredients, they’re gluten-free and everything comes together in under 30 minutes in a single pan.
What You Need for Mala Spiced Meatballs
- Ground Beef: For best texture and flavour, I recommend using a medium-fat ground beef (80/20). You can certainly use lean or extra lean ground beef (90/10 or 95/5) but the meatballs will be much less juicy once cooked. You can also substitute lamb, pork or a combination of beef, lamb and pork, to bring the total to 1.5 pounds.
- Fly By Jing: The real stars of the show in this recipe are the Fly By Jing Mala Spice Mix and Sichuan Chili Crisp. They add a crazy amount of flavour, aroma, umami and that tongue-tingling sensation from the Sichuan peppercorns. They’re gluten-free and made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients without preservatives. Seriously addictive!
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- Green Onion: Be sure to thinly slice and separate the white and green parts. The white parts will go into the Mala Spiced Meatballs and the green parts will be reserved for garnish.
- Fresh Garlic and Ginger: The meatballs get an extra kick of flavour thanks to some finely chopped garlic and ginger.
- Almond Flour: Try adding some almond flour to the meatballs to make them nice and soft. It’s an ideal breadcrumb substitute for anyone avoiding gluten or wheat.
- Egg: You need only one egg for around 1.5 pounds of ground beef. It really only serves as a binder to help everything come together. If you have an egg allergy in the family, you can omit it.
- Snow Peas: I love to add a couple of big handfuls of snow peas to the meatballs as they get tossed in the sweet and sticky glaze. They cook super quick and add a beautiful texture and colour to the dish. You can substitute snap peas, baby bok choy or broccoli florets.
- Coconut Aminos: The body of the Sichuan Chili Crisp glaze is made with coconut aminos. This naturally gluten-free sauce is the perfect soy sauce substitute. It’s much less salty and slightly sweet, which I actually prefer, and reduces down to a thick and syrupy glaze.
- Rice Vinegar: To help balance some of the sweetness in the glaze and cut through the fattiness of the beef, add a splash of rice vinegar.
- Sesame Oil: This is a potent and intensely flavoured oil so always add a little at a time and taste as you go.
Mala Spiced Meatballs with Sichuan Chili Glaze
- 1.5 pounds ground beef preferably 80/20
- 6 green onions thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon Fly By Jing Mala Spice Mix
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tabelspoons Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ¾ pound snow peas
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds for garnish
- In a bowl, combine the beef, white parts of the green onion, garlic, ginger, Mala Spice Mix, almond flour and egg. Using your hands, mix until combined. Form into equal-sized, small meatballs, roughly the size of golf balls, and transfer to a tray.
- Preheat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the avocado oil and heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook until browned, around 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until browned, around 4 more minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a bowl and discard all of the rendered fat.
- Wipe the pan clean and return it to a medium heat. Add the coconut aminos, Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, rice vinegar, honey and sesame oil. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has reduced by ¼ in volume, around 3 minutes. Return the meatballs to the pan along with the snow peas. Toss everything to coat and cook until the snow peas are slightly softened but still crisp, around 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with sesame seeds and reserved green parts of the green onions. Serve with steamed rice, if desired.