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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.

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  1. Joanne says:

    This is probably all kinds of sacrilegious, but I”m going to try these with my eggplant “meat”ball recipe! Sounds like these Asian flavors would pair perfectly with them.

    1. Marissa says:

      Not sacrilegious at all, Joanne! I think that’s a great idea…

  2. Kristi says:

    Marissa, I *love* your posts. I’ve never heard of “zizz-ing” in my food processor, but whoo!!! it sounds exciting…, so girl, I’m sssooo doing it!!! And, these meatballs? You can count on it. These are so happening in my kitchen. Pinned, pinned, zizzed, then pinned again! 🙂 xoxo

    1. Marissa says:

      Wow, thank you Kristi!! You are such a sweet friend…xoxo

  3. Maggie | Omnivore's Cookbook says:

    What a wonderful idea Marissa! I always felt reluctant to cook the minced pork cups because they’re kind of messy to cook and eat. The meatballs idea is genius! It make the mouthfeel of the dish better and easy to serve at a party! Pinning and sharing

    1. Marissa says:

      Thank you, Maggie! You’re a constant inspiration to me so I’m excited to have shared something that’s new to you. xo

  4. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says:

    I’m craving meatballs and these look amazing! I love addition of the veggies and spicy mayo. I definitely need to add these to my dinner menu soon!

    1. Marissa says:

      Thank you, Ashley!

  5. Girl and the Kitchen says:

    I love it!!! I love everything about this!!! Do you think Italian grandmothers did not have ovens and that’s why they didn’t use ovens for meatballs? Because aren’t meatballs in the oven just the best?!? I love this honey!!! Absolutely fantastic!!! I gotta try this quick pickling thing 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      I think you may be on to something there, Mila. In a way I feel like I’m cheating when I cook them in the oven. But I honestly prefer the texture – even when I’m adding them to sauce.