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I don’t like to be pushy (hey, don’t laugh!), but you’ve really got to try these. I aim to share only my best recipes here, but this one is the best of the best.

If you love my Spicy Pork Meatballs or Crispy Baked Egg Rolls, you will love these. They’re a flavor explosion of pork, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and Thai basil. They also come together in just a few minutes, with the help of your food processor. And there is zero time at the stove – they’re cooked in the oven.

To get started, zizz the herbs and spices in the food processor and add them to the ground pork. With your hands, mix all of the meatball ingredients together and then scoop them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Meatballs Mixed
Meatballs Shaped

The pickled vegetables are simple, you can make them while the meatballs bake.

These meatballs are delicious served in lettuce cups with quick pickled vegetables (or Pickled Radishes) and spicy, sesame-sriracha mayonnaise. Or for quick party fare, skip the pickled vegetables and lettuce cups and serve the meatballs on the end of party toothpicks with a side of the spicy mayonnaise (or Garlic Aioli or Sriracha Aioli) for dipping along with a tangy, spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad.

Asian Pork Meatballs with Quick Pickled Vegetables and Spicy Mayonnaise

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
Total: 52 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Calories: 138
Servings: 16 lettuce cups
Serve these meatballs in lettuce cups or on the end of party toothpicks with spicy mayonnaise for dipping.


For Meatballs:

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass roughly chopped (just the tender white center – top, bottom and outer leaves removed)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh Thai basil leaves a large handful
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For Quick Pickled Vegetables

  • 2 medium carrots cut into julienne strips (recipe note #1)
  • 1 small daikon radish cut into julienne strips (recipe note #1)
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste

For Spicy Sesame-Sriracha Mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or homemade sesame mayonnaise (see recipe notes for recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil omit if using homemade sesame mayonnaise

For Lettuce Cups:

  • 1 head butter lettuce leaves separated


To make the meatballs:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • With the food processor running, through the chute add garlic, ginger, lemon grass and basil. Process until minced.
  • Place ground pork in a medium bowl. Add garlic mixture from food processor bowl along with soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, pepper. Using your hands, combine ingredients taking care not to overmix which would make your meatballs tough.
  • With a 3 tablespoon scoop or 1/4 cup measure, scoop out scant 1/4 cup portions of pork mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Once meatballs are portioned, quickly roll each between your palms to make rounds. Arrange meatballs on baking sheet with an inch or two of space between each one.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.

To make the Quick Pickled Vegetables:

  • Combine carrot and daikon radish strips with rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make Spicy Sesame-Sriracha Mayonnaise:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sriracha and sesame oil.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble lettuce cups:

  • Arrange lettuce leaves on serving platter.
  • On each leaf, place about a tablespoon of Quick Pickled Vegetables, 1 teaspoon of Spicy Sesame-Sriracha Mayonnaise (or more) and one meatball. Serve.


  1. You should have ~4 cups between the two julienned vegetables.
  2. Try this recipe for  Homemade Sesame Mayonnaise in place of store bought.


Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1682IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Leave a comment & rate the recipe below!

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  1. Paula says:

    Hi, Marissa,
    I cannot get fresh lemon grass where I live. The only grocery store near this little, podunk town, east of nowhere is Walmart. I do have Penzy’s dried, ground lemon grass. How much would you use in this recipe? Is there something else I could substitute?
    Thank you

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Paula! I’d go with 1 teaspoon of the dried lemongrass in place of the fresh stalk and a little lemon zest (maybe 1/2 teaspoon) if you have it on hand. I hope these are a hit!

  2. Amy says:

    5 stars
    Hi Marissa,
    I came across your kofta with carrot salad recipe recently and have become hooked on your website.
    Tonight we made these delicious meatballs and wanted to say THANK YOU. Great flavours and fantastic recipes. Can’t wait to try more….egg rolls next.
    Amy & Tara

    1. Marissa says:

      aww, thanks so much, Amy! Welcome!!

  3. Mary Frances says:

    Anything with spicy mayonnaise is delicious!! But meatballs with lemongrass and thai basil makes is sound even better. Great idea, Marissa!

  4. nagimaehashi says:

    I didn’t laugh, I swear. But I did smile!! A BIG smile.

    I know you share your best! Hey – there’s a reason I’m so addicted to your grilled cheese. I love that I know your recipes always work and taste incredible.

    Asian meatballs? You’ve convinced me. Do you know, I’ve never made Asian meatballs before? Was never confident about the recipe. This is the first one I’m going to make. 🙂 Sharing!

    1. Marissa says:

      What? I hope you do make them because I know you’ll find something even better to do with them. 🙂 Thank you, sweet friend!

  5. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    Oooh, look at that lovely bright green colour in the bowl! I’m a meatball addict, Marissa, and just love the flavours in these. The mayo sounds just perfect!

    1. Marissa says:

      Thank you, Helen! The mayo is pretty addictive, I’ll admit it. 🙂