Korean Meatball Rice Bowls


Total Time:

40 minutes



Get ready for the most delicious Korean Meatball Rice Bowls that use up all those ingredients you have on hand in the fridge!!

Korean Meatball Rice Bowls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Ever since taking a Kimchi making class a few years back at Grand Central Market in LA, I have been in love. If you’ve never heard of kimchi before – it’s a staple in Korean cuisine and consists of fermented vegetables like Napa cabbage and Korean radish, and seasoned with gochugaru, garlic, ginger etc. It makes incredible kimchi fried rice and I just snack on it from time to time. I got to thinking, what would happen if I used the liquid from the kimchi jar to make a vinaigrette. I usually just discard it… but there is so much flavor there why not use it?! So that’s what I did! I made a kimchi vinaigrette that blew my mind!

The kimchi vin gets served over a quick mixed green / herb salad and some delicious Korean meatballs that use up all those Asian pantry staples we have on hand: soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and gochujang! Everything gets served over a bowl of white rice and voila… Korean Meatball Rice Bowls!! Another bowl to add to our collection of bowl recipes 🙂

Need more Asian Inspired Bowl Recipes:

Korean Meatball Rice Bowls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Korean Meatball Rice Bowls

These Korean Meatball Rice Bowls use up all those pantry ingredients you have on hand for a rainy day to make the most incredible meal!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 people


For the Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 4 tablespoons gochujang, divided
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

For the Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kimchi brine
  • 1/4 cup kimchi, drained and diced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

For the Herb Salad

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 Asian Pear, thinly sliced (or a pink lady apple)
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cooked white rice


For the Meatballs

  • Heat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, egg, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons gochujang, breadcrumbs, green onions and cilantro. Carefully combine everything with your hands until the ingredients are evenly mixed. Form the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2  inch in diameter, about 2 heaping tablespoons each.
  • Combine the remaining two tablespoons gochujang, remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, honey and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl, toss the meatballs into the sauce and  place onto the baking sheet. Bake meatballs 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

For the Vinaigrette

  • Whisk all the ingredients together and set aside.

For the Salad

  • Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl

To assemble

  • Portion the rice into equal amounts in 4 bowls. Add equal amounts of the salad and the meatballs. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve immediately. Serve your favorite kimchi on the side.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Anita Motard

    What is your favorite Kim chi brand? I bought some but it was too fishy tasting for me.

  2. Nicole

    Do you think I could sub ground pork for the turkey? It’s all I have on hand during quarantine…

  3. Brenda Lichty

    Thank you for sharing this. This recipe caught my eye and wow…I am so glad it did. The flavors are fabulous and it was easy to make. For the rice…I made a Sushi Rice to give it one more level of flavor. Don’t pass this recipe by…you won’t be disappointed.

  4. Erin Mitchell

    Ayyy. What if I dont have kimchi? Would love to make this tonight.

  5. Erin

    5 stars
    Delicious! I ended up making my own kimchi since Whole foods was wiped out. Also, I may have had a little too much wine because I ended up putting the gochuchang and honey sauce into the meatballs instead of on them. Ha! Was still delicious. Can’t wait to make again.

  6. brushjl

    5 stars
    correct, emptied out a bunch of half jars of stuff, and delicious!

  7. Keelin

    5 stars
    I’m obsessed. Took me a long time to prep (my knife skills are slow) but was worth it. Will be making again next week!

    Would love to make these for some vegetarian friends, any suggestions for meat substitutions?

  8. Emily

    Hi Gaby! Can you clarify the amount of soy sauce in step 2 of the meatballs? It says divided but I’m not seeing where. This recipes looks deeeeelicious!

  9. Amanda

    5 stars
    Now i know why my meatballs keep coming out runny and i have to Let them sit in the fridge them to give them some body. I keep putting in the honey and rice vinegar IN them instead of on them. Oh boy. Seems Erin and i are soul sisters.
    Regardless of my errors, this recipe is SO GOOD and flavorful, per usual.

  10. LeighAnne

    So delish! My boyfriend is kindof a picky eater but he loved it and he’s sensitive to spice but he said it had the right amount of heat. I used sriracha instead of gochujang & it worked great.
    Thanks Gaby!

  11. Madeleine

    5 stars
    Why are there no reviews on this yet?! I made these last night and basically fangirled over my food. They were SO flavorful and the herb salad was the perfect fresh accompaniment. LOVE – definitely a repeat dinner!

    • Madeleine

      LOL why did i not see any of these reviews before? SOS.