Asian Pork Meatball Bowls


Total Time:

40 minutes



One of the MOST frequent requests I get via Instagram or Facebook messages is for make ahead lunches. Recipes that can be prepped on a weekend and then used to take into work/school throughout the week. And my answer to that is always sort form of a bowl. Asian Pork Meatball Bowls this week to be exact!

Asian Pork Meatball Bowls from (@whatsgabycookin)

1: These Asian Pork Meatball Bowls are easy to transport. 2: it’s easy to prep ahead. 3: usually it uses some sort of rice or grain which can be made in a rice cooker meaning – you don’t have to pay attention to that and 4: you can really mix up the flavors depending on your mood.

Asian Pork Meatball Bowls from (@whatsgabycookin)

Today it’s all about these Asian Pork Meatball Bowls which have 4 components. We’ve got really delicious asian fusion meatballs which are baked in the oven so you can spare your stovetop getting dirty. The coconut lime rice that we’ve been obsessed with ever since the Larb Bowls. A crazy good sambal sauce that keeps well in the fridge for DAYS. And an herb salad on top to give it a pop of brightness. It’s truly perfection. Grab all the ingredients, prep this weekend, and your lunch situation next week will be ON POINT!

Asian Pork Meatball Bowls

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Asian Pork Meatball Bowls with juicy meatballs make the perfect take ahead lunch or savory dinner!

Gaby Dalkin
Prep Time:
15 minutes
Cook Time:
25 minutes
Total Time:
40 minutes
Main Course


For the Meatballs

  • 1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chives finely chopped

For the Rice

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk full fat
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 whole lime zested and juiced

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons sambal

For the Herb Topping

  • 6 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves stems removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves stems removed
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves (or regular basil leaves) stems removed
  • 1 red Fresno chili thinly sliced


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper
  • In a large bowl combine all of the meatball ingredients, mixing the meat and everything else together well. Form the meat mixture into 16 meatballs and place them evenly spaced on the prepared sheet pan. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
  • While the meatballs are baking whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. In another bowl, lightly toss together the Fresh Herb Salad ingredients and cook the rice
  • Dish the rice into bowls and add a heap of the fresh herb salad and a few meatballs and serve immediately.

For the Rice

  • Combine the water, coconut milk, and salt in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to simmer. Add the rice and bring back to a low simmer. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam for another 5 to 10 minutes, until fully cooked and soft. Uncover, fluff, and toss in the lime zest and juice.
Asian Pork Meatball Bowls: Chef Vision

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    A touch of fish sauce in the meat balls, which I do with my own version make this next level.

    • Peter

      Hi Gaby

      Wonderful sight.

      I’m looking for recipe to make a Sweet & Sour Sauce.

      Like the one that has a delicious “tang” to it in Chinese restaurants.

      recipes I find on the web do not do it.

      I asked the owner of a Chinese restaurant near me. He said there
      is a secret something they add, but would not tell me!

      Can you help please?


    • Gaby

      Hey Peter! I don’t have one on the site at the moment! Maybe sometime in the future!

  2. francie doak

    Looks amazing! Help! I have a question.. In the past I’ve tried to double the delicious coconut lime rice and it comes out mushy? If I make it exactly like your recipe, it’s wonderful. But sometimes a girl needs more rice. What should I do differently to prevent the mush?

  3. Amy Squyres

    The list of ingredients for the rice do not include sugar but the directions call for sugar as one of the ingredients for cooking the rice. ?

  4. Michelle

    How can I make the coconut rice in a rice cooker? Would love to keep the flavor and reduce the work

    • Gaby

      same deal – put all the ingredients into the rice cooked minus the lime and cook until done. Add lime once cooked, fluff and serve!

    • Leah

      In my Instant Pot pressure cooker I reduced the water by 1 cup and it was perfect.

  5. Anne DeMaret

    This. was. AMAZING. My husband and I grew up in Asia, and always have a special eye out for an interesting Asian recipe and this one measured up on all fronts: very flavorful, due to the fresh ginger, garlic and onions, delicious rice courtesy of the coconut milk and grated and juiced lime, fresh thanks to all the fresh herbs and chili, and the pork meatballs were firm on the outside and deliciously tender on the inside – even a feast for the eyes! We will travel to Vietnam in six weeks for our 30th wedding anniversary, and this could not have been a more fitting preamble. Thank you, Gabi!!

  6. Vandegee

    for prepping ahead and using for work or school lunches – do you eat it room temp? And do you put everything in the same container, or does it get mushy/soggy if you do that?

    • Gaby

      I portion out the rice, sauce and meatballs on Sunday and add the herb salad after I reheat!!

  7. Amelia Hopper

    Hi Gaby! Any substitutions for the Fresno chili? We have habanero and jalapeño and that’s it at my grocery store. Should I add some red pepper flakes!

  8. Joanne Hopkins

    I made this recipe yesterday for my work lunches. OMG, I just ate it and it is one of the best things I ever tasted. The meatballs were so tender and the sauce was delicious. I used brown jasmine rice and added a little more garlic chili paste because I like things extra spicy! I already shared this recipe with friends after I posted it on FB!

    Thank you!

  9. Bree

    I loved this recipe! I made a few modifications based on what I had available. Replaced pork with ground chicken and swapped the jasmine rice for cauliflower rice. I followed the recipe exactly as wrote with my two ingredient swaps and it was DELICIOUS! Even my 6 and 4 year old daughters gobbled it up (hence why I sneak in cauliflower every chance I get!). Will definitely make this again – thank you!

    • Amy

      Great idea Bree! I was thinking about making it with cauliflower rice. Did you add the coconut milk and lime to the cauliflower? I have some frozen cauliflower rice that I’d like to use.

  10. Andrea Duran

    This was so delicious! My boyfriend loved it. It’s a new staple in our household. Sooo yummy!

  11. Shelley

    This was pretty good – I adjusted the amounts in the sauce and used less garlic. I think you need to play around of it to suit your taste. Meat balls were really good! I liked cooking the rice in coconut milk. Nice flavor. Love all your recipes!


  12. Marisa

    I didn’t think this would be a kid friendly meal but made it anyway – low and behold my 3 and 5 year old INHALED the meatballs and rice with sauce. Like, I had to cut them off. The herb salad was my favorite part – so fresh. Keeper for sure and next time I’ll double the recipe. Thank you!